Amidst all the controversies that have plagued beauty pageants in Guyana in recent years, the 1958 Miss British Guiana was the exception with host, Harry Kawall, and Lionel Luckhoo (among others) as judge. The venue was none other than the Empire Cinema (Middle Street), now the Empire Shopping Plaza.
According to one newspaper, “Never before in the history of Beauty Contests in British Guiana was a decision more popularly received than that to place the 1958 Miss Guiana Beauty Crown on the head of Miss Pepsi Cola, Miss Clyo Fernandez… And D’Aguiar Bros, bottlers of Pepsi cola, made capital of it by launching a big advertising campaign from the next day… Runner up: Joy Wong (Miss Banks Beer)”
Another highlight of the event was when Mr Claude Merriman the Mayor of Georgetown, was requested by American cover girl, Sara Lou Harris, for a dance on stage. He bounced on stage and the orchestra struck up a Mambo, and they treated the audience to a fine exhibition of the Mambo. The roof of the theatre nearly fell in from the maddening applause which rent the air at the end of the dance and in which Sara joined.
Said the Mayor afterwards, “I didn’t know I was still so good…”