ENTERING Gibraltar, you are greeted by a traditional red phone box, a Rock tours information counter and a giant poster of the first and only Gibraltarian Miss World.

Kaiane Aldorino, who first won Miss Gibraltar before the international equivalent in 2009, is certainly something of a national hero.

After fighting off the world’s best to take the crown in South Africa, she embarked on a global tour before her rapturous homecoming, with 15,000 people clamouring to cheer her up Main Street.

In an interview with the Olive Press in 2010, she praised her ‘totally unique, really special’ home. “There is nothing like the amazing views from the top, to Africa and into Spain,” she said. “I also love the beaches, the lighthouse and the people are so friendly.”

Kaiane was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2011, in recognition of her devotion towards the Rock she still calls home, despite the fame and glory.

In fact, Miss Gibraltar has won special awards at International pageants three times, an incredible achievement for such a small nation.

The contest is still an important part of the social calendar, and the first place prize of entry into Miss World is a mouthwatering prospect.

The pageant has been held everywhere from St Michael’s Cave to the Caleta Hotel, while stars such as Albert Hammond, Paco de Lucia and Sinita have performed at it.

But that’s not to say the other winners in its 56-year history are not glowing symbols of the Rock’s worldwide appeal.

The highlights include:

Viola Abudarham – 1959 

The first ever Miss Gibraltar contest was organised by Vox newspaper and held at a dance organised at the CFCA hall on Main Street. The then 23-year-old stole the show with a black and silver number.











Jessica Palao – 1984

Jessica went on to win Miss Congeniality at the Miss Universe pageant a year after winning Gibraltarian hearts in a sparkling silver outfit aged just 18.











Dominique Martinez – 1986

With blonde hair, green eyes and an elegant white dress, Dominique was victorious on the Rock before winning the Miss Personality title at the worldwide pageant later that year.












Melissa Berllaque – 1994

The youngest ever Miss Gibraltar fought off her more experienced competitors with a sparkling white outfit to take the crown at the age of just 17, one month and 20 days.











Kaiane Aldorino – 2009

All the fame in the world couldn’t harm Kaiane’s adoration for her home. The former hospital administrator has now married her long-term boyfriend, who works on a cruise ship.











Jessica Baldachino – 2012

Clad in an extravagant green and beige dress, Jessica topped the competition to be crowned the tallest ever Miss Gibraltar – measuring a neck-aching 1.83cm.












Family affair

Twice in the competition’s history has one winner given birth to another, but only one family can boast three separate winners.


Grace Valverde – 1966

After dazzling her way to the title in a silver dress, Grace – then just 17 – developed a taste for success. But she caused controversy at the World pageant in London that year, after Miss Spain refused to accept Gibraltar’s presence in the competition, and promptly withdrew.













Michelle Torres – 1992

Undeterred by her mother’s political strife, Michelle stole to the title 26 years later in a multi-coloured dress, also aged 17.











Melanie Chipolina – 2005

Inspired by the family success, Grace’s niece Melanie made it a hat trick when she won with a green dress, at the older age of 23.












For more information on the Miss Gibraltar pageant, visit: www.missgibraltar.gi

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