Bombshell beach babe
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
Val Steward treasures her reign as a Sun Girl Miss Byron Bay
VAL STEWARD would never have entered a beauty pageant if it was not for her cheeky husband Don.
The Byron Bay beach babe, now 69, thought she was too short to enter a beauty quest and would have been too embarrassed even if she was taller.
But her husband Don, who has passed away, entered her in the Sunday Mail's 1955 Miss Sun Girl competition without her knowing.
"He said 'you could win that' and I said 'don't be silly'," Val said.
"He was a lifesaver at the time and had to help set up for the day near the surf club, so while he was down there he put my name in."
Val reluctantly donned a lime-green one-piece swimsuit and took to the catwalk, but surprised herself by how much fun she had. Her gor- geous figure earned her the title of Miss Byron Bay in the Sun Girl contest and won her a weekend away to the grand final in Brisbane.
"A trip to Brisbane was a big thing back then," she said.
"We were in a motorcade, went out for dinner and stayed in a hotel ? it was a big deal."
Val was also the 1956 Miss North Coast runner-up.
She thinks it is a pity the beach babe contests were gradually phased out in the region.
"There are some beautiful girls around now and it's a shame they don't get those opportunities," she said.
"I had a wonderful time and it's all thanks to Don."
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