Shade was at a premium on Sunday afternoon, June 25, as St. John residents and visitors alike braved the sweltering heat for the food fair and coronation ceremony.
The food fair honoree, Gwenda Dagou, was praised by her family and friends.
Dagou was born on Anguilla and moved to Tortola in 1974. She traveled each week from Tortola to St. John to sell food with her mother.
Dagou eventually moved to St. John in 1981, where she is known for her cooking skills. She learned to cook from her mother, and now cooks at the Guy Benjamin School.
Dagou was honored by the food fair honoree designation, she said.
I want to thank the entire community of St. John for supporting me all these years, said Dagou. Thanks for this great honor.
St. John Administrator Julien Harley praised Dagous character at the food fair opening ceremony.
The St. John Cultural Organization found a very good lady to honor at the food fair, said Harley. The honor is well-deserved.
After Dagou was honored, St. Johns finest young ladies St. John Princess Aysha Clendenin and Miss St. John Moremi Aderohunmu were crowned.
Princess, Queen Crowned
Clendenin, who won the St. John Princess competition on June 18, honored Dagou in her speech, which was peppered with humor.
Your johnny cakes are the best, said Clendenin to Dagou. As St. John Princess, I command all of you to have a safe and happy carnival.
Clendenins twin sister, Mirisa Clendenin, was first runner-up in the St. John Princess competition.
We have proven that good things do come in pairs, said Aysha.
Aderohunmu, who won the Miss St. John competition on the evening of June 24, thanked her parents and pageant sponsors, and said she would represent the island well in her new position.
St. John will be represented with great pride, she said. The experience was enriching. Have a safe, responsible and enjoyable carnival.