Letters — 21 September 2017
Queen of The Bay history from Edison Staine, J. P.

Conrad Edison Staine, J.P.
94 Barrack Road
P.O. Box 7
Belize City, Belize
September 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Editor,

Kindly grant me the space during the celebration season to share some history with readers.

The picture I took when I was 18 years old and fresh out of Wesley College.

Two queens came from the Northside, Beulah Vasquez and No. 3 Effie Meighan, Barrack Road and Craig Street, respectively.

C.E. Staine


The Queen of the Bay was first held in 1946 and was organized by a retired civil servant by the name of Monrad Metzgen.

In 1945 a young, white lady by the name of Sheila Gray-Wilson from the exclusive Pickwick Club on North Front Street won a Miss Belize contest that was held at Thistle Hall on Queen Street. The next day, upon hearing this, Mr. Metzgen, who was a member of the Loyal and Patriotic Order of the Baymen (L&POB), immediately began to plan and organized a pageant whose contestants would be more representative of the people of the Bay.

The contestants were young ladies who represented different Houses such as World War II veterans Dick Fairweather and Cassian Waight, Simon Lamb, Thomas Paslow (St. George’s Caye) and others. The first Queen of the Bay to be crowned was Rita Lewis, whose body was brought back home to Belize for burial.

Mr. Roderick Augustus “Father” Pitts, a civil servant and a member of the L&POB, made his contribution by writing the famous Proclamation, “O Yea, O Yea”, that is read at the ceremonial crowning of the Queen of the Bay.

( – contributed by Conrad Edison Staine)

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