Toni-Ann back on the beatThursday, June 10, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
REIGNING Miss World, Jamaica's Toni-Ann Singh, has resumed travelling and the physical activities associated with her title.
Singh and the Miss World team were recently in Puerto Rico to beef up efforts on that island as it prepares to host the Miss World finals later this year. This is her first visit to any country in more than a year, as the usual hectic round of engagements undertaken by the holder of the Miss World title was derailed by the onset of the current pandemic.
“The trip to Puerto Rico was extremely special for me, as it was my first since the pandemic,” Singh told the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview.
“I clearly remember being in Nepal when the pandemic broke and we were told that we would be taking a break for two weeks... well, it has been 14 months and it hasn't been easy, scary even. So I got a little emotional when I was able to put on the sash and crown once again to go to Puerto Rico. This was our opportunity to get a first look as we prepare to take Miss World to them,” she continued.
Singh — who became Jamaica's fourth holder of the Miss World title behind Carole Joan Crawford, Cindy Breakespeare, and Lisa Hanna — was quick to explain that despite the inability to do the physical travel associated with the title, she has been working with her fellow queens and organisations around the world fulfilling the pageant's 'Beauty With A Purpose' mantra, and will continue to do so until she hand over the title.
“We do have some plans for travel in the coming months. I prefer not to say specifically where as all travel revolves around issues of health and safety. But, in the meantime, I have been working quietly behind the scenes doing substantial work and assisting with the 'Beauty With A Purpose' projects in a number of countries. In one of the projects in Nepal, we helped raise funds to purchase oxygen tanks for health centres in that country. This is extremely critical during this pandemic as we are all aware the coronavirus affects the respiratory system and as such oxygen supply is critical. In another country, we helped with funding to build health centres which will help the women and children in those areas,” she said.
She was quick to point to one of the positives of the pandemic. Singh noted that although persons have become accustomed to Miss World travelling, the 'new normal' has allowed her to virtually share her goodwill with a lot more countries than she would have been able to do physically.
Are there any plans for another visit to Jamaica before her reign ends?
“Jamaicans will be very excited to hear that Julia Morley (Miss World CEO) is very excited about making another trip. We have a lot of ideas for projects and to visit some potential partners. She is very serious about that. But like everything we will have to stay within the guidelines of the pandemic, but I can't wait,” said Singh.
The beauty, who hails from St Thomas, but currently resides in Florida, shared that she has been fully vaccinated in light of the current global health crisis.
“I am not one to impose my own beliefs on anyone. I have been vaccinated as I see it as the best way to keep myself safe given this line of work and the need for travel. What I will do is encourage persons to do the necessary research and make an educated decision,” she said.
The Miss World organisation has announced December 16 as the date for this year's contest, which will be held at the Coca Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Local franchise holders Weston Haughton and Dahlia Harris are currently in preparation mode to find Singh's successor. They have released a schedule of key days, including the eliminations, to select this year's finalists on July 18 and coronation show which is set for September 26.
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