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50th Anniversary

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                           Miss Gastonia 1959 Gwen Pearson 


Pageant celebrates former queen's 50th anniversary


The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association honored Miss Gastonia 1959 Gwen Pearson Falls during the Miss Gastonia Scholarship Pageant held August 1, 2009.  The special recognition celebrated her 50th anniversary of being crowned Miss Gastonia.

When Gwen served as Miss Gastonia, it was tradition for the reigning queen to pass the crown to the new queen.  Therefore, Gwen never had a crown of her own.  During her 50th anniversary celebration, she received the official Miss America crown pin and a replica Miss America crown.

Below is an article about Gwen that appeared in our program book:

Her family had moved from Shelby to Gastonia, and her father thought entering the Miss Gastonia Pageant was a great way for Gwen Pearson to make new

friends and become involved in the community.  But when the 19-year-old

beauty met the other contestants, she decided the pageant wasn’t for her. 


“I was going to quit.  The other contestants were so beautiful and talented,”

says Gwen, who fortunately listened to the encouraging words of several people and stayed in the contest.  “When I won, I was in shock.  It was a complete surprise to me.” 

Her crowning moment was the beginning of a whirlwind year filled with many appearances, speaking engagements and media interviews.  In an instant, she became a local celebrity.  Gwen Pearson was Gastonia’s beauty queen and everyone adored her. 


Gwen recalls many fun and interesting moments from her year as Miss Gastonia 1959.  She drew the winning ticket for a Florida vacation give-a-way sponsored

by the Diane 29 Drive-In Theater and Radio Station WCGC.  She even had a new three-bedroom home named in her honor.  “The Miss Gwen” was open for tours during the Gaston Board of Realtors’ annual “Homeorama” event. 


In a speech made to the local Kiwanis club shortly after becoming Miss Gastonia, Gwen stated:  “The experiences that I have had so far have been lovelier than

my words could describe ... It is with great pride that I stand before you as the representative of a wonderful city, our Gastonia, North Carolina.” 


Now, 50 years later, Gwen Pearson Falls still cherishes her time as Miss Gastonia and enjoys reminiscing about her reign.  The retired teacher and school librarian lives in Shelby with her husband, Buddy.  She stays busy spending time with

family and friends and maintaining a beautiful garden of pink flowers that’s fit for

a queen. 


We are delighted to have Gwen with us this evening to commemorate her 50th anniversary as our queen.  Once a Miss Gastonia ... Always a Miss Gastonia.

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Gwen Pearson Falls stands at a display honoring her 50th anniversary
of being crowned Miss Gastonia.






Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association, Inc.  Copyright 2017.  All Rights Reserved.