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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 26, 2001 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---Only one contestant from each of the South Pacific island states and territories will be allowed to compete in the upcoming Miss South Pacific Pageant.

The decision was reached by the South Pacific Pageant board in a meeting held in Apia, Samoa.

Some island nations are criticizing the contest because Samoans dominate the pageant, making up more than half of the contestants vying for the regional title.

During the meeting, a tentative schedule of the 2001 Miss South Pacific Beauty Pageant was set. The event will take place at the end of October in Samoa.

Six islands have confirmed their participation in the 2001 pageant.

The board will meet again in September to finalize the planning for the pageant.

Among the issues raised in the meeting was the membership fee for each of the island states and territories that are board members. The board concluded that each will pay a $1,000 membership fee. The fee will go into effect in November.

The delay in implementing the fee is to give the member countries a chance to raise the necessary funds.

Money collected from the fees will be used for the reigning Miss South Pacific to help pay her participation in regional and world events, and also to off-set costs in the promotion of the pageant.

The board also agreed to set up a calendar of events for Miss South Pacific to attend based on sponsorship and available finances.

Bids to host the 2002 pageant will be reviewed during the September board meeting.

The meeting also endorsed the continued inclusion of Aggie Grey's Hotel and Polynesian Airlines as non-voting members of the board.

American Samoa fought for the two Samoa-based companies to remain on the board because they were founding members and have made contributions to the Miss South Pacific Pageant for more than 10 years.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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