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Janelle emigrated to the United States at the age of 13 to return after 12 years to her native country. In the United States he studied modeling at the Fashion Institute of Technology, to return in 1976 to Port of Spain. He married Brian Bowen, Bowen founder of Marina, who died in an accident in November 1989. After his death, he married businessman Alwin Chow. In 1953 Janelle “Penny” Commissiong, daughter of Venezuelan mother and father of Trinidad He entered the world in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, a country very famous for its music and athletes such as Ato Bolton and Hasely Crawford. In the 1960s he moved with his family to the United States.
In New York, she studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. But he returned to Port of Spain in 1976, the year in which Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Margaret Elizabeth McFarlane, won the Miss Congeniality title. Next year, Janelle Commissiong had been selected to represent the Island at the 1977 Miss Universe Contest in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
During the Miss Universe beauty contest Miss TT was very popular, but it was not the favorite for the title. Miss Austria, Eva Maria Duringer, was a great favorite until the last second. She looks like Farrah Fawcett, actress best known for her role in Angel Charly TV in the 1970s favorites. Others were Miss Colombia, Aura María Mojica, an exotic girl from Cali, and Miss Nicaragua, Beatriz Obregón Lacayo, a spectacular American Barbie from Managua. But I do not figure as a favorite because he did not speak English very well.
Miss Trinidad and Tobago was elected Miss Fotogenia 4 days before the final. She was the second woman in black to win the award in the history of Miss Universe. On July 16, at the National Theater of Santo Domingo, Janelle Commissiong was impressive in the semifinal and final. It was a very good day for her. Miss Austria did not show the same talent compared to Miss TT. Minutes later Janelle Commissiong was full of Miss Universe.
Miss Trinidad and Tobago, attracted international attention in 1977 because it was full of people like the first black in the Miss Universe chronology. At the end of the transmission, via satellite, the Trinidad celebrates the triumph of Janelle Commissiong. In Port of Spain a carnival was formed. All the newspapers had the same story. The New York Times said that “Miss Universe 1977 was a black bomb.” Certainly, the world did not have a black Miss Universe until 1977.
There were 12 judges: Oscar de la Renta (Dominican designer), Dionne Warwick (singer), Gordon Parks (American photographer), Roberto Cavalli (designer from Italy), Marisol Malaret (former Miss Universe), Wihelmina (designer of the Netherlands) and other personalities. When Janelle was full as Miss Universe, Dionne Warwick said: “I felt like I had won.”
After his reign, he had an interview with Joaquín Balaguer, President of the Dominican Republic (a fan of Miss Universe) in the National Palace. As Miss Universe, she visited many nations around the world: from Iceland, Argentina, Hong Kong, Peru, Puerto Rico to the United States.
In 1978, Jane went to Chile, where she was a special judge in the “Miss Playas de América del Sur”. During her reign, she had been an advocate for the rights of blacks and world peace. She wanted to meet with Idi Amin Dada, one of the worst dictators of the 20th century.
Like Roberto Clemente, Maria Eugenia Charles, Marlene Ottey, Billy Ocean and Tim Duncan, Ella is an icon in the Caribbean …
In 1998, Trinidad and Tobago won the Miss Universe pageant for the second time, represented by Wendy Fitzwilliam.
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