It was a night of tears and smiles for Francine Tiffany Baron. As she stood in line with the other contestants, being given one award after another, the silent tears spilled down her cheeks, waiting to hear her name echo through the sound system and throwing the already cheering crowd, into a frenzy.
She was Miss Dominica 2014 and she had taken the awards for Miss Photogenic, Best in Costume, Best Talent, Best in Swimwear and Best in Question and Answer on her way to the top position.
“It feels so exciting; my hard work has paid off. I feel really relieved, and I can sleep well tonight.” she said shortly after being crowned Miss Dominica at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“I am finally sitting here,” she said, after having a few hiccups with her original evening gown and one had to be made for her just in time for the show.
She described that set back as a test of her patience but remained optimistic, “I did do well and the difficulty paid off.”
Baron had come ready for battle with her troops of supporters at her back, equipped with their drums and trumpets as they joined their voices and urged her onward.
But she is stepping into the very large shoes of the 2013 Miss Dominica Lesslasa Armour Shillingford, who in addition to her local title, went to win a few regional crowns and also participated in the 2013 Miss World Pageant.
“My platform is reaching my fullest potential. So, whatever will help me,” said Baron, when asked about her plans.
Donnella Riviere of Roseau is the first runner-up and second runner-up is Octavia Prosper of La Plaine.
Shalina Samuel copped the award for Miss Amity.
Other participants were Tourence Dorsette of Marigot, Royette Laurent of Portsmouth and Jewele Brown of Pointe Mitchele.