Banana Queen crowned
By CHRISTIAN STANGER
THE crowning of Catherine Nolan as 2005 Banana Festival and Harvest Week Queen in a glittering ceremony on Saturday evening marked the culmination of a successful week of festivities.
Sponsored by Murwillumbah Rotary Club, Catherine came up trumps over 12 other candidates to become the 50th Banana Queen in this milestone year for the Murwillumbah-based festival.
Banana Queen candidate chaperone Eunice Higgins said the quality of the entrants and their level of commitment, made the decision an extremely hard one for the judges.
"It was a very difficult decision for the judges this year, but Catherine was a very worthy candidate so I'm sure everyone will be happy with the decision," Ms Higgins said.
"We had 13 contestants this year and out of those 13 girls we have a Queen, Miss Charity, a Miss Personality and a Miss Photogenic and Miss Ticket Seller - which is a first for us - and all are very deserving of their prizes."
Candidate Teigan Jones was awarded two of the sashes, claiming Miss Ticket Seller and Miss Charity after raising a total of $9057 out of the more than $26,000 raised by all the girls in total. In the other awards, Miss Personality went to Amanda Dimmick, while Miss Photogenic was won by crowd favourite Sarah Prentice.
Ms Higgins said the Tweed Valley Banana Festival is an institution in the Tweed, and the honour of being crowned the 50th Banana Queen was one that all the candidates should have been given after improving in leaps and bounds since beginning their efforts in July.
"In July, they start going to tourist industry places in the Tweed, and they have to work on their charity fundraising and their deportment and things like that, so there are a lot of functions that lead up to the big night, and girls are really happy to be here after so much work," Ms Higgins said.
"They really gain a lot of confidence and that sort of thing from being a candidate and doing the things that they are doing.
"You really see them come a long way from the first time that you meet them until their final night. They really come into their own."