NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 30, 2019) – Idella “Della” Wallace, 62, is still beaming with pride after she was crowned winner of the second annual Miss Nevis Senior Queen Pageant hosted by the Ministry of Social Development through the Department of Social Services, Senior Citizens Division at the Cultural Village, a stone’s throw from her home in Lower Stoney Grove on October 26, 2019.
Ms. Wallace won among four contestants who made judged appearances in Sportswear, Talent and Eveningwear before an appreciative crowd of at least 1,200 spectators. Idella captured the title amassing 520 points from a possible 600. In an interview with the Department of Information on October 29, 2019, she could hardly contain her elation.
“I feel good about myself. I feel so good that I didn’t let down my children. My grandchildren and my supporters…Well it was a big moment, a big moment. I was a bit scared but I just tell myself I can do it and I just do it. When they announced that I won a little tears come to my eyes, I bend down and I give thanks…
“Well I [am] getting a lot of support on the street still. People meet me, hug me, congratulate me. Some give me one or two gifts and tell me well I did good. I was excellent. So I feel good about that. I never thought that this would happen to me. I was never approached to go on a stage. I didn’t think it would happen,” she said.
Regarding the reaction of her children and grandchildren, Idella believes her accomplishment will be etched in their minds forever.
“All of them proud of their granny and everybody could see that that night. I didn’t get the chance to do my final walk because they gang [-up on] me. They proud! They proud! They proud! The first grandson say ‘Granny, I love you so much! You make me proud!’ It make me feel good because when I go home to rest, I will leave them to talk about their granny and good things about their granny…
“My eldest child my son, didn’t say anything. He just was grinning from ear to ear. Up to now I don’t hear him say one word. All I see is just teeth, just grinning, grinning, grinning. I could have seen the proudness in his face, and the joy in his face but I didn’t know what‘s going on in his mind but I know it’s good things [that] was going on in his mind. His face alone could tell me. My daughters, they were excellent. They were proud. One of them worked with me. One of them was my chaperone. So proud! They were proud!” she said, adding that support and encouragement also came from other senior citizens and her family members at Newcastle.
In an invited comment on how she felt about the crowd support during the pageant, Idella smiled and noted that she didn’t have a choice but to forget them.
“I’m going to tell you the plain truth. I had to block out the crowd, and the reason why I had to block out the crowd, I might have broken down in tears or I might have broken down in laughter. So I had to like, just block them out until whatever happened, if I win or lose. I just had to block them out.
“I hear all of them. I hear all of them remarks in the crowd. Some of them say ‘Go Della!’ Some of them say ‘Wow!’ Some of them say ‘Sit down in the chair,’ before I crown and all because they had done had me to be the winner so it was good,” she said.
The Nevis Senior Queen said she always had the desire to enter a pageant but the opportunity never presented itself when she was much younger.
However, when she was approached by the department to participate in the pageant she didn’t turn down the offer, thinking it was an opportune chance to take the stage to show what she could do. Though it was her first time in a contest, it was not her first time on the stage.
“I have always been on stage, you know. I was a limbo dancer. I used to dance on glass bottles. I used to dance with fire. I used to dance on nails. So I [was] always on stage in my younger days. So I know what the stage can bring out of you, and I know what the stage can do for you,” she said.
Idella used the opportunity to encourage other senior citizens to take part in the contest like she did.
“Go for it! Go for it! Once you have the mind-set and the boldness, go for it. It’s a good experience,” she said.
The other contestants in this year’s pageant were Jeanette Grell-Hull of Budgeon, Govanie Butler of Camps and Josephine Maynard from Butlers.
The pageant was one of the activities celebrating senior citizens on Nevis during Seniors Month in October, in observance of International Day of Older Persons on October 1st. Last year’s winner was Ms. Mareta Hobson.