From one island beauty to another

National, Normal


IT was an eventful occassion at the crowning night of the Miss South Pacific pageant with  the queen’s crown  passed from one beauty to another on Saturday night in Port Moresby. 
Outgoing Miss South Pacific Marawalesi Nailatikau ended her reign in spectacular fashion as she passed on her blessings to the new Miss South Pacific Joyanna Meyer from Cook Islands.
“The Pacific is a place I am proud to call my home, so to hold the title of Miss South Pacific for 2009 to 2010 was very humbling.
“It was a role that held significant importance for me and it is my hope that I have done it justice,” Nailatikau said during her  speech.
“More so to have the South Pacific Pageant here in PNG, the land of a thousand journeys is a special moment for me.
“I spent the first five years of my childhood in Enga, up in the Highlands of PNG with my missionary parents where my father was a doctor,” she added.
“I have learnt so much about my beloved Pasifika during my reign as Miss South Pacific, the opportunity to meet many people, make new acquaintances served to increase my appreciation for Pacific culture and issues.
“One issue in particular has become very close to my heart and that is climate change which is a serious threat especially to our smaller island neighbours.
“Never before have I felt so compelled to speak about this issue as I do now and I urge us not to become complacent because a threat to one of us is a threat to everybody,” Nailatikau said.
She added that the Pacific might be a smaller geographical area on a global scale but when presented with an occasion to showcase its beauty, culture and talent, she stands shoulder to shoulder with other regions.
“It was an honour for me to be part of the Pasifika Festival (NZ), Shanghai World Expo 2010 (China) and Miss Samoa Pageant (Samoa) where the vibrant and colourful displays of pride in our Pacific heritage was evident for the world to witness. “What a truly humbling experience.
“Closer to home, I chose to champion safe and adequate maternal health services (White Ribbon safe motherhood campaign) and environmental conservation (Bank South Pacific go green clean-up campaign).
“While I was glad to use my reign to bring a stronger spotlight on these very important issues, I personally believe that I gained more from working with passionate individuals  with admirable and unwavering commitment to the cause.
“In saying that, it’s an honour to be in PNG, a beautiful country filled with a gracious people.
“A special Vinaka Vaka Levu (thank you) to PNG and her people for the wonderful hospitality and warmly welcoming the Miss South Pacific Pageant to her shores,” Nailatikau said