I was working to win, says Miss United Nations 2022 | News
Surprised, excited but not shocked, how Miss United Nations World 2022 Toni-Ann Lalor explained her reaction after being announced the winner in the final in New Delhi, India on May 7.
Talk with the gleaner at the VIP lounge at Norman Manley International Airport on Saturday afternoon, Lalor credited her innate friendliness and amazing ability to connect with people from different cultures, as well as her country’s outpouring of support, as reasons why she won the crown and the title.
Enrolling her mother, grandmother, godmother Seprod, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and speech and diction coach Ian Andrews among her support groups, Lalor has always believed that she would keep its promises.
“I was working to win. I had made all my preparations and I was mentally preparing for it. I was looking forward to it,” she recalls. Despite this, at the last moment, she found herself in conversation with herself.
“The big night before we went on, I was like, ‘This is your moment, make it count, put it all on stage’.”
Lalor believes she scored very high in the interview before last night, a section that counted for a significant number of points.
“I think I did very well because they mostly asked me questions about agriculture, poverty, hunger and my impact in my community and country. They asked me quite a few questions which I was empowered to talk about, having had the experience of Miss World, I felt ready but I was not going to count my eggs before they hatched,” a- she admitted.
“So when I was called I was like surprised, excited but not shocked because I had done the job and so grateful that they (the judges) saw it.”
Although she had competed internationally before, the reigning Jamaican National Farm Queen was surprised at how well she connected with the hosts as well as the other competitors.
“I’ve always been praised for my effervescence, but given that there were so many people from so many different backgrounds, from so many different countries, there are language barriers and what they kept to say is, ‘Toni, you’re amazing, your authenticity, the way you connect, your love is so warm,’ she said.
“I think the biggest part of it is that I was able to connect with people and build friendships. It was my Jamaican identity, honestly and when we went to different places, the Indians liked me so much that the other girls would say, “Miss Jamaica, you always pay attention” so every time we took the bus, they would say “Miss Jamaica, today is not your day, but it is the Jamaican that shines through.
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearl Charles Jr, who was on hand to welcome Lalor, applauded the fact that she had always proudly declared herself a farmer, wherever she went in the world.