On August 5, Cia Monet’s Beauties at Brunch series was held under the distinguished patronage of Astrid Stratton at the Great Abaco Beach Resort to honour several prominent women on Abaco. In celebration of 50 years of the Women Suffrage Movement, Stratton was honoured along with Anna Albury; First Lady Carmen Cornish; Wynsome Ferguson; and Quitel Charlton.
Stratton was recognized as the first Bahamian female pilot. First Lady Carmen Cornish was honoured for her work in the ministry whereas Wynsome Ferguson was recognized for her work in the Tourism sector. Quitel Charlton was commended for being an intelligent and well-rounded role model in the community.
Meanwhile, Ann Albury was acknowledged for her academic achievements and for overcoming the odds as a young, blind female. Former Miss Bahamas Richa Sands sang a song in tribute to the honourees.
The event was organized by Patricia Chatti of Cia Monet, which is an online clothing store that features designer brands. She explained that the honourees were nominated via an online poll. Earlier this year, Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson was honoured in New Providence while Geneva Rutherford received her honours in Grand Bahama.
“Upon doing research, I realized that we have many women in The Bahamas who have gone unnoticed and gone above and beyond duties in terms of community building,” Chatti explained. “I wanted to do something to be able to celebrate these women, so I created this series for the purpose of creating an awareness and also [for] celebrating the great women of The Bahamas.”
Before the event began on Abaco, patrons were invited to have their photos taken by professional photographer Demetrius Francis by the media wall at the entrance of the pavilion. As brunch was served, the fashion extravaganza began with the lively Phyllis Garroway as moderator.
Abaco models strutted on the runway in fashionable, vibrant clothing suited for the casual or business environment as well as beachwear, men’s and children’s attire.
Following its Abaco visit, the Beauties at Brunch series will return to the capital on October 14 for a grand finale. At that time, three Bahamasair female captains will be honoured along with four other women.
“This whole Beauties at Brunch thing is more than beauty and it’s more than food – it’s about trying to teach young girls about their value and their worth from as early as we can,” Chatti shared. “We’re born females, and we’re going to die females, but what happens in the middles is what we’re trying to achieve.”
Next year, Chatti said they plan to visit Exuma, Long Island and Cat Island with the Beauties at Brunch series. She appealed to corporate sponsors to come on board in advance to support the worthy cause. Also in attendance was Italia Williams of I-Candy Make Up Line. Ten percent of the proceeds from the event were donated to Lovely Reckley’s “Feed the Children” Charity. Chatti said that they tend to take on a charity that is specific to the island, so that the community directly benefits.
“Honouring great women in The Bahamas goes beyond Nassau; there’s nothing like honouring people in the place where they are from,” Chatti concluded.