On the night of September 10, 1994, Johanna Ulett, walked away in history, becoming the 37th Miss Jamaica and the first educator to win the title in the competition’s history.
Exuding supreme confidence and flashing a beatific smile, Johanna, who was a crowd favourite from the word go, captured the hearts of the judges and swept the crown from under the feet of 19 contestants.
Tonight Johanna demits her throne, ending a year of numerous activities as Miss Jamaica. As she makes way for her successor, who will carry on the tradition of “beauty with a purpose,” Johanna shares some thought with us.
Her reign she said, has been an exciting one chockfull of events and activities. Her engagements as Miss Jamaica ranged from participating in the Municipal Christmas Tree lighting at the Mandela Park on December 21, 1994, to being a special guest at the monthly meeting of the Wolmer’s Old Boy’s Association. Other engagements included appearing on numerous fashion shows, and holding counseling sessions with Primary and Secondary School students.
Of course, her most memorable engagement, was representing Jamaica at the premier Miss World beauty pageant in Sun City, South Africa. This she describes as a “beautiful experience.”
She spent four weeks in South Africa in the days leading up to the pageant. Most of the time was spent in Sun City, and a few days on the Coast.
At the pageant, she met South African President Nelson Mandela, and his daughter, who was a judge at the competition. Some other prominent individuals she met were, Supermodel Iman, Actor Balky and the Mayor of Atlanta.
Johanna also represented Jamaica in Miami, The Cayman Islands, and New York. Just recently, she was one of five judges for the Miss Jamaica U.S. beauty pageant held in New York.
While in Sun City, she began a close friendship with Miss St. Lucia, Yasmin Walcott, who was her roommate. Both young women have kept in touch, and Miss Walcott has visited Jamaica twice.
During the year, Johanna visited several schools in the Corporate area, in a bid to offer counsel on matters affecting them. Schools visited included the Denham Town High, Waterford Primary, Immaculate Conception High, and Campion College.
This aspect of her reign she said, was very important. She had the opportunity to interact with school children of all ages and she was welcomed with open arms by the students.
After a year of being in the limelight, her major achievement has been the impact she made on the youth. Visiting the schools, giving talks to students has been very fulfilling for her. “I hope in whatever way I could, I have made an impact on them,” she said.
Johanna has always been concerned about the rights of women and children. Through talking to them, she has encouraged them to speak out on issues affecting them.
One of her engagements during the year was attending a tea party at the Women’s Crisis Centre. Here she gave a speech which received a standing ovation.
To the next Miss Jamaica, her advice is “Don’t lose sight of your individuality. Remain an individual, be humble and gracious.” It is also important, she said, to be true to yourself. “You might come up on negative attitudes and reactions, but you shouldn’t let that deter or affect you. Have an open mind and be nice, no matter what.”
Source: 1995 Miss Jamaica World Souvenir Magazine