Shaelyn carries Irish flag
When 19-year-old Shaelyn Callan had to decide which country she wanted to represent when she qualified to compete in the Miss Globe International beauty pageant in Beijing she had no hesitation in choosing Ireland over Canada.
Although she was born in Canada, Shaelyn has strong links with Dundalk as her grandparents John and Lily Callan are both from town and she had just returned from a trip to Europe, including ten days in Dundalk, before entering the Miss Globe Toronto competition in August.
Her proud Dad, Dave explains that while he was born in Canada, his three siblings were morn in Dundalk. 'My father Jackie, who was from the Point Road, emigrated to Canada in 1966 and my mother Lily, formerly Woods from Hill Street, followed him in 1967.'
'Shaelyn is my oldest daughter and she was in Ireland at the age of ten on a trip with my parents,'says Dave. 'This past June she returned to Ireland and toured the country with 10 days spent in Dundalk. She also toured and backpacked six countries in Europe including England after Ireland.'
'Like the saying goes you can take the family out of Ireland but you can't take Ireland out of the family,' he says.
Shaelyn, who is a second year business student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), has been competitively dancing since the age of three and finished her competitive career last year. She now teaches dance with Take 5 Dance in Ontario.
After taking part in the Miss Globe Toronto where she finished in the top two, earning her ticket to Beijing, Shaelyn looked to her Irish roots when deciding what flag to carry.
'She had the option to represent Canada but decided to represent Ireland at Miss Globe in Beijing,' says Dave. 'She will be waving the Irish flag as she competes at the 2018 Beijing Miss Globe Competition.'
Shaelyn will also be showing off her dance skills at the competition as she intends doing a tap dance for the audience.
She will be addressing the topic of mental health during her on stage speech.
Her family, Dad Dave, Mum Erin, whose father was from Belfast, and brother Ryan, were unable to travel to China with her but are keeping in touch with her via social media.
The competition has garnered a lot of publicity in China and photos of the contestants have been on display in Beijing for a number of weeks in the run up to the final.