Pike a pageant ambassador
Twelve-year-old a fixture at yearly contest in Harbour Grace
It is pageant time at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace and 12-year-old Samantha Pike is moving seamlessly through the women competing for the title of Miss Newfoundland and Labrador.
At the far end of the stadium, a huge stage dressed in black and white decorations sits under the score clock. People are scrambling to grab their seats for the show.
A Top-40 song is playing in the background as Samantha moves through this familiar environment.
Usually, she carries a hockey bag through the stadium as Samantha plays both boys and girls hockey with CeeBees minor hockey.
Tonight, however, Samantha is not dressed for a sport.
In fact, she is dressed like a princess, wearing a chocolate brown dress with spaghetti straps.
Samantha approaches each of the 10 contestants individually, offering a big smile and a hug. She’s as familiar in this environment as she is on the ice.
She knows these girls, having seen them compete in previous pageants.
“It’s good when they come back,” Samantha said. “It’s like seeing a friend.” And, they know her. Each lady offers a big and warm smile for Samantha. Whether it is Chelsea Ash from Paradise or Courtney Woodford from Triton, they all respond the same — with a smile and a hug.
On this night, she plays a big role in the ceremony.
Standing next to Mandi Gale, the departing Miss Newfoundland and Labrador, and radio personality Mickey T, Samantha hands out awards.
With each girl who hears her name called out, Samantha meets them with a sash, flowers and the award.
Just before the announcement of this year’s winner, Samantha and Gale share a smile.
Samantha has fond memories of when Gale was crowned.
Grabbing the sides of her face and looking surprise, she imitates how Gale reacted.
“I remember her winning, looking so excited, like her eyes were going to pop out of her head,” said Samantha.
Samantha is the daughter of Bill and Nancy Pike of Harbour Grace.
“I didn’t think that I could inspire someone who is 10 years older
than me.” — Samantha Pike
Samantha holds a special place in Gale’s heart.
As sh e showed of f a slideshow of pictures from her year-long reign, Gale stopped on one of Samantha and herself. A smile graces her face as she remembers the encounter.
“Samantha is an inspiration because she embodies a level of confidence that can be envied by the young and old alike,” said Gale. The Grand Falls-Windsor native called Samantha one of her inspirations, and has no doubt she will hold a provincial title some day.
“She is an active volunteer and athlete, demonstrating that the young people of this province care about their communities and their growth as individuals,” she said.
Samantha was humble when Gale called her a personal inspiration.
“I didn’t think that I could inspire someone who is 10 years older than me,” she said.
The pageant capped off a busy weekend for the young woman.
“I hung out with them all weekend,” she said. “Actually, the girl that won, she was one I hoped would win.”
In the future, she said she would like to participate in a pageant.
“I’m hoping in the next couple of years to try out for Miss Teen and then I’d like to try out for Miss Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Samantha.