Beauty contests in the Townships

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

We’ve all heard of a Miss Canada, Miss America, or Miss World, but what about Miss Eastern Townships? Beauty contests, or pageants as they are more commonly known, have a history here in the Townships with several towns in the area holding contests of their own. The winners from each of the towns, which included Sherbrooke, had the chance to battle it out in a regional contest to be crowned the Queen of the Eastern Townships. Using Record archives, we were able to piece together the role that beauty contests played in these communities and what they entailed for the woman who was crowned winner. As we looked through the archives, we found various mentions of a Miss Sherbrooke, Miss Waterloo, Miss Saint-Hyacinthe, Miss Richmond, Miss Stanstead County, and Miss Drummondville. In an issue of the Record dating back to August 23, 1941, there was a roundup of the Stanstead County Fair, which included a mention of a beauty contest. Irene Lavers from Ayer’s Cliff was announced as the winner and was crowned Miss Stanstead County. She received a silver cup for her big win. A Miss Sherbrooke Contest took place on May 8, 1949, at the Sherbrooke Commercial Exhibition according to an article that was published on May 3. Sherbrooke had not had such a contest in quite some time and over a dozen girls entered. The Queen was chosen based on her beauty, personality, and popularity and received a $500 prize. See full story in the Thursday, Jan. 30 edition of The Record.

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