The Miss Wagga Wagga Quest has a long, proud tradition and continues to make its presence felt within the community. We are pleased to advise that 2018 will mark the 71st year of the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest. The Quest has continued to evolve to keep pace with our ever changing community which is why we have stood the test of time.
The Miss Wagga Wagga Quest is perhaps the oldest and longest serving quest of its type in Australia. While the winners of other quests held during festival times in many centres usually rein for the duration of the festival, Miss Wagga Wagga and Community Princess hold their titles for a year.
First held during 1948, with its culmination on New Year’s Eve as part of New Year’s Eve Revels, the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest was first organised by the Community Advancement Fund of the Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The first Quest was indeed unique. An elimination carnival was held in September followed by public voting with ‘pennies’ for their preferred candidate at the Mardi Gras on New Year’s Eve. All candidates were presented to the public at 8pm and eventually four finalists were sashed several hours later. The winners of each section – Miss Cafes, Miss Sports, Miss Commerce South and Miss Commerce North continued fundraising by ‘penny’ votes until 10pm. The winner or title holder gaining the most ‘votes’ or ‘pennies’ was announced as Miss Wagga Wagga. In 1948 that winner and the inaugural Miss Wagga Wagga was Thena Karolfilis.
As times have changed, the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest has adapted to meet the different challenges it has faced. Over the past sixty years, modifications have been made within the organisation of the Quest in order to keep it relevant in today’s society.
Over the years entrants have sometimes needed to be sponsored in the Quest. They have raised money collectively for the Community Advancement Fund, been able to work for charities and community organisations of their choice and have worked collaboratively through the Quest Foundation to benefit organisations which have requested assistance.
The expectations of the entrants have changed over time too. The variety of guidance and assistance provided through personal development exercises has varied from year to year just as the regalia worn or carried by Miss Wagga Wagga and the Community Princess have also changed in style and colour. However, all regalia items hold special significance and importance.
The method of determining the most suitable titleholders has been updated as has the name of the second title from Charity Queen to Community Princess as well as the prize-winning trips.
In 2013, further changes have been made to ensure that the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest continues to move from strength to strength following its Diamond Jubilee in 2008 and changes to the Chamber.
And so to the present with further enhancements to keep pace with a rapidly changing world while still up holding the wonderful traditions of the past
Past Miss Wagga Wagga Winners
A list of the previous Winners of the Miss Wagga Wagga crown can be found here:
1949 Thena Karofilis
1950 Patricia Walker
1951 Marjorie Johnson
1952 Jean Burness
1953 Margaret Rutzou
1954 Margaret Preston
1955 Judith Blamey
1956 Jenny Weissel
1957 Barbara Webb
1958 Janice Sullivan
1959 Barbara Booth
. . .
Past Community Princess Winners
The Community Princess Role began in 1965 and was then known as the Charity Queen and was to acknowledge the entrant who raised the most funds. The Charity Queen Title carried on until 1983 when it was changed to the current title of Community Princess was introduced.
The MWWQ Receives New Crowns
The mark the 70th year of celebrations the MWWQ Committee approached local jewellers Epica to design a new set of matching crowns to replace the existing crowns that have been in use for over 20 years. Jake and his team has produced two beautiful handcrafted designed based on the Quest's rose. Made from solid stealing silver they will be treasured by the Quest for many years to come.