Miss World move to Bali welcomed by Miss Bermuda’s parents
The parents of Miss Bermuda Katherine Arnfield welcomed the news the Miss World competition would move its finals following protests.
The latter rounds of the international pageant were scheduled to be held outside of Jakarta, Indonesia, but thousands of Muslims have taken to the streets in the city, denouncing the competition.
The Indonesian Government announced over the weekend that the competition will now be held entirely on the Hindu-majority island of Bali, where the opening ceremony took place yesterday.
Ms Arnfield's father, Alex Arnfield, told The Royal Gazette he was relieved by the announcement, saying he had some concerns about the original location.
“I'm relieved Bali is the place,” he said. “I have been concerned about this all the while, right from day one. I thought it was a little strange to hold the competition there, but the organisers gave everyone assurances.
“The first part of the contest was always supposed to be held in Bali and then they were going to move it to about 40 miles outside Jakarta.
“Now we've been told that the Government seems to have decided to keep the event in Bali because of the Muslim protests. I'm sure they're well protected.”
He said Katherine is enjoying her time in Bali, but that the competition is keeping her very busy.
“We're hoping that it's a trip of a lifetime for her,” he said. “She seems to have settled in quite well and is enjoying it, but they are working 12 to 15 hours a day. I guess if you have 125 young people together, you have to keep them busy.”
He said the change of locations could cause some difficulties returning to Bermuda following the competition as flights were booked from Jakarta, but he was confident there would not be a major problem.
The 2013 Miss World competition, the 63rd edition of the pageant, is set to conclude on September 28 with the new Miss World being crowned in an internationally broadcast ceremony.
Bermudians have had some success in the competition in the past, with Gina Swainson winning the crown in 1979 and Zina Minks finishing in the top 15 a year later.