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Celeste Broderick, Cert. Hon.

Mrs. Celeste Broderick, Cert. Hon.

Celeste Broderick, Certificate and Badge of Honour

For Mrs. Celeste Broderick, recognition of pageants as a means to boost self-esteem began in her pre-teen years. Together with a friend, she entered a West Bay beauty pageant and the girls won the two top places.

That fun event was over 60 years ago but the confidence which she gained fuelled her desire to develop similar feelings in other young locals. Since then, poise and personality have become hallmarks for those whose lives she has touched, with a similar focus on etiquette and education.

And for her dedication and positive influence, especially through pageantry, Mrs. Broderick is now recognised with the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour.

As a source of inspiration and motivation, she brightened the lives of many, working to "maximise the potential of young ladies, to overcome the mindset that pageants are only superficial beauty contests, and to use my talents to benefit the wider community."

Hailing from Rose Gardens, West Bay, she moved to Jamaica in 1960 with her new husband, Patrick Sr. The couple returned to Cayman some years later, just as the country was fine-tuning its emergence into the modern world.

Thereafter, having attending overseas pageants and deciding that "Cayman's girls could be competitive," she began to seriously promote them.

Aware of the positive benefits of a youth developmental programme, she gained the international Cinderella franchise in 1987. Mrs. Broderick emphasises that the Cinderella Scholarship Programme focuses not on the beauty of toddler to young adult females, but on personality and talent. Age-appropriate dress and presentation are also considered.

This year will mark first time in 23 years that Cayman will not be hosting a local Cinderella pageant. However Mrs. Broderick is already preparing to send representatives abroad to participate in the finals.

Recalling highlights from years when "her girls" bested competitors to bring home numerous crowns and trophies, she notes that Cayman's first Cinderella International winner was her own daughter, Nicole. And over time, several Cinderella participants who were groomed by her went on to win the coveted Miss Cayman crown.

Mrs. Broderick's development of this niche area also led to her being awarded the local franchises for both the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants-and her management encompassed competitions for these ladies.

For almost two decades her unstinting efforts with contestants succeeded in increasing awareness of the Cayman Islands, and this when the country's tourism and financial industries were taking root.

"We have never had a shortage of ladies with personality, poise, beauty and intelligence," she says. "However, I do encourage young people to focus more on developing personal talents - whether for competition, or for their own benefit."

Travelling as ambassadors, usually with the Department of Tourism, Miss Cayman title-holders have attended numerous overseas promotions. And in turn, this primary pageant manager has embraced opportunities for Cayman to host international queens.

Today, she is proud that so many of her protégés "have done great things in relation to their education, lives and careers." While she no longer remains at the helm of the Miss Cayman pageant, her involvement in training and refining contestants remains.

And her organizational talents have also extended to fundraising - especially through the Hands Across Cayman organization which she managed for some years, garnering widespread support for entities such as the Lighthouse School of Special Education and the Sunrise Adult Training Centre.

While she still enjoys life to the fullest - especially church activities, entertaining, cooking and dancing - Mrs. Broderick's contends that for her, the crowning achievement is being regarded as a role model by her five children - as well as by her 15 grandchildren and two great-grands.

For further information contact: Wosila Rochester