Trin­ity Con­cep­tion stu­dents look for­ward to Beau­mont Hamel visit


Heather Hol­lett of Dildo and Aca­cia Pud­dester of North­ern Bay have never met, but the two teenagers share sim­i­lar tal­ents that have earned them a trip to Beau­mont Hamel this sum­mer.

Hol­lett, a Level 3 stu­dent at Cres­cent Col­le­giate in Blake­town and Pud­dester, Level 1 at Bac­calieu Col­le­giate in Old Per­li­can, are among the 2008 pro­vin­cial win­ners in the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion’s Re­mem­brance Poem, Poster and Es­say Con­test.

Hol­lett, rep­re­sent­ing the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Sgt. Levi Hol­lett Branch 39, won the Se­nior Black and White Poster cat­e­gory, while Pud­dester, rep­re­sent­ing Branch 23 in Carbonear, took first place in the Se­nior Poem cat­e­gory. Both branches fall un­der District Two of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion. The other win­ners from the prov­ince also go­ing on the trip are Car­rie Ann Swee­t­ap­ple, (Colour Poster) of Glover­town Academy, Branch 41 and Jil­lian Stuck­less, ( Es­say) of El­wood Re­gional High, Branch 3, Deer Lake.

The con­test, spon­sored an­nu­ally by Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Pro­vin­cial Com­mand, is de­signed to pro­mote the theme of Re­mem­brance amongst to­day’s youth.

Each year, through creative writ­ings and draw­ings, stu­dents from schools all over the prov­ince hon­our the supreme sac­ri­fice given by thou­sands of Cana­dian sol­diers for the preser­va­tion of peace. Sub­mis­sions are judged re­gion­ally in the cat­e­gories of ju­nior, in­ter­me­di­ate and se­nior di­vi­sions (first sec­ond and third awards) and then for­warded to the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Pro­vin­cial Com­mand of­fice in St. John’s for the pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tion. Along with be­ing se­lected as the best in the prov­ince, win­ners in the se­nior cat­e­gories are awarded a trip to France to tour the var­i­ous memo­ri­als and to par­tic­i­pate in the July 1 Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­monies.

Both Hol­lett and Pud­dester are looking for­ward to be­ing able to stand on for­eign soil and pay their re­spects to the 733 men in the First New­found­land Reg­i­ment who were ei­ther killed or wounded dur­ing the bat­tle of Beau­mont Hamel on July 1, 1916.

“Be­ing there and see­ing the graves be­long­ing to all those sol­diers and think­ing about how hard they fought and how much we owe them will no doubt be an emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Hol­lett.“I’m looking for­ward to learn­ing more about the war and the part New­found­lan­ders played in it.”

“I’ve seen all the memo­ri­als of Beau­mont Hamel and read about the bat­tle in text­books, but to think that I’m ac­tu­ally go­ing to be able to stand there is crazy,” adds Pud­dester. “I can’t wait to go.”

In de­sign­ing her black and white poster, Hol­lett tried to put her­self in a sol­dier’s place.

“I wanted to evoke emo­tion through my poster,” she says.” I wanted it to mean some­thing, to make peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate the sac­ri­fice that was made and make them pon­der over war it­self. In or­der to do this I had to de­sign the poster from a sol­dier’s view­point.”

Hol­lett’s poster shows a sol­dier stand­ing be­hind a group of head­stones with moun­tains and an old bat­tle­ground in the dis­tance.

“He’s looking out over the graves of his friends, his coun­ter­parts and think­ing about them,” ex­plains Hol­lett. “He’s an­a­lyz­ing the war, its worth and what it has cost him.”

Hol­lett used a num­ber of draw­ing tech­niques, learned dur­ing Art class at Cres­cent Col­le­giate, to bring the poster to life.

“I did a lot of in-depth shad­ing and tex­tur­iz­ing for the grass and tress,” she said.“And my art teacher Mr.(Pheilm) Martin kept en­cour­ag­ing me to take it fur­ther, to im­prove it. He kept telling me I had some­thing good go­ing and to ex­pand on it. So I took it home and worked on it a lit­tle there as well.”

While the hon­our roll French Emer­sion stu­dent ob­vi­ously had a flair for sketch­ing, she wasn’t too fussy about tak­ing an art class in the beginning.

“I did ev­ery­thing I could to get out of it,” she says. “But I needed a cou­ple of cred­its in Fine Arts and I’m not into the act­ing thing. My sched­ule in school was so tight, art was my only op­tion, but I’m re­ally glad I did take it now be­cause aside from the fact that it earned me this trip, I re­ally learned a lot.”

For the past 10 years Ge­orge Brown, chair­man of the Sergeant Levi Hol­lett Branch 39 Youth and Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mit­tee has been pro­mot­ing the theme of Re­mem­brance through the po­etry, es­say and poster con­test to stu­dents from schools in Trin­ity Bay.

“This is the eighth time in nine years that a stu­dent from Cres­cent has come first and won a trip to Beau­mont Hamel,” Brown points out. “That’s a huge ac­com­plish­ment.”

Ac­cord­ing to Brown the level of in­ter­est and the num­ber of awards go­ing to stu­dents in schools un­der District 2 of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion speaks well of the level of tal­ent and com­mit­ment to the con­test by teach­ers and stu­dents in the area.

“The Le­gion and the schools have re­ally part­nered on this and be­cause of that part­ner­ship there’s a deeper ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Re­mem­brance and the sac­ri­fice that was given for free­dom dur­ing past and cur­rent wars among our young peo­ple,” he says.

“Our young peo­ple are more aware of what is hap­pen­ing in the world than ever be­fore and are fol­low­ing world events closely. The re­al­ity of war, the cost of free­dom and the sac­ri­fice to pre­serve is hit­ting closer to home all the time. Many of th­ese stu­dents have fam­ily mem­bers who have been called to duty and they re­al­ize the risk that ac­com­pa­nies serv­ing your coun­try, it isn’t just about peace keep­ing any­more.

“The Le­gion has an ex­cel­lent rap­port with the schools in­volved in the con­test and the teach­ers re­ally work with the stu­dents by help-


ing, guid­ing and sup­port­ing them with their en­tries,” he said.“The cal­i­bre of tal­ent in­creases each year and it gets harder and harder to pick win­ners.There are some re­ally good art and lit­er­ary pro­grams in our schools and ex­cel­lent teach­ers to sup­port them.”

Theme of Re­mem­brance

When Pud­dester sat down to write her award-winning poem, she says she com­pared her life to that of a sol­dier. Her poem, aptly en­ti­tled Life sum­ma­rizes the day-to-day hap­pen­ings of a teenager as op­posed to a sol­dier go­ing to war.

“If our sol­diers didn’t go to war to pro­tect our free­dom and rights our lives would be dras­ti­cally af­fected,” says Pud­dester.

Her poem reads: While you lis­ten to the song of a celebrity you ad­mire You can’t hear the moan of a sol­dier caught in barbed wire. While you fear of not get­ting asked to the prom A sol­dier fears of get­ting killed by a bomb. While you’re on the beach with your toes in the sand A sol­dier’s life is poised in fate’s hand. When you sit in your desk and start writ­ing a poem A sol­dier writes his last let­ter home. An­other solider died for you yes­ter­day So how can you live your life this way? You fail to see that life costs a price That sol­dier’s life was the sac­ri­fice.

Pud­dester wrote her poem dur­ing Lan­guage class at Bac­calieu.

“Our teacher Mr.(Mark) War­ren re­ally en­cour­aged us to put a lot of thought into it,” she says.

Pud­dester, who has been par- tic­i­pat­ing in the an­nual con­test since Grade 6, has earned sev­eral awards. Both Pud­dester and Hol­lett be­lieve the con­test helps to keep the theme of Re­mem­brance alive among young peo­ple.

“It re­ally gets us think­ing hard about the sac­ri­fice for free­dom,” says Pud­dester. “It’s a good way to get the mes­sage of Re­mem­brance across to youth in a man­ner that causes us to re­flect and to want to con­tinue it.”

Nu­mer­ous other stu­dents from schools within Trin­ity and Con­cep­tion Bays also placed first, sec­ond and third in the con­test.

The win­ners from Sgt. Levi Hol­lett Branch 39 were Claire Ne­whook, Cres­cent Col­le­giate, ( sec­ond place In­ter­me­di­ate Poem); Holly Thorne, Cres­cent (third place, Se­nior Black and White poster); Lexi Thorne,Wood­land Ele­men­tary (sec­ond place, Pri­mary Black and White Poster) and Brady Hoskins, Wood­land Ele­men­tary (sec­ond place, Ju­nior Es­say).

Win­ners from Carbonear Branch 23 in­clude Mark Blun­don, Tri­con Ele­men­tary (sec­ond place, Ju­nior Black and White Poster); Michaela Gar­land, Bac­calieu Col­le­giate (third place, In­ter­me­di­ate Poem); Tif­fany Richards, Bac­calieu (first place, In­ter­me­di­ate Poem) and Matthew Noo­nan, Bac­calieu (sec­ond place, Se­nior Colour Poster).

Win­ners from Branch 9 in Spa­niard’s Bay were Ka­t­rina Fill­more, Holy Redeemer school (sec­ond place, Ju­nior Poem) and Kyleigh Mercer, Holy Redeemer (first place, In­ter­me­di­ate Es­say).

St. Fran­cis stu­dent Paige Coombs rep­re­sent­ing the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion, Branch 15, Har­bour Grace, placed third in the In­ter­me­di­ate cat­e­gory of the Colour Poster while As­cen­sion stu­dent Maura Hayes, rep­re­sent­ing Branch 32 in Bay Roberts, earned sec­ond place in the Se­nior Black and White Poster cat­e­gory.

Denise Pike/ The Com­pass

POSTER WIN­NER - Ger­ald Drover, pres­i­dent of Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Branch 39, presents Heather Hol­lett of Dildo with a cer­tifi­cate. Hol­lett, a Level 3 stu­dent at Cres­cent Col­le­giate in Blake­town, is one of the 2008 win­ners of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion’s 2008 Re­mem­brance Poem, Poster and Es­say Lit­er­ary con­test. Her black and white poster, de­pict­ing a sol­dier stand­ing be­hind a group of head­stones, has earned her a trip to Beau­mont Hamel.

PO­ETRY WIN­NER - Aca­cia Pud­dester of North­ern Bay earned first place in the Se­nior Poem cat­e­gory of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion’s 2008 Re­mem­brance Poem, Poster and Es­say Lit­er­ary con­test. Her poem, sum­ma­rizes the day-to-day hap­pen­ings of a teenager as op­posed to a sol­dier go­ing to war.

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