Judges favour genocide speech
Record turnout for public speaking event in Victoria
The last student to speak ended up in first place at a public speaking competition hosted by the Victoria Lions Club Feb. 27 at the Victoria Community Centre.
Elizabeth Hicks impressed the judges and her audience with her address on “The atrocity that is genocide.”
Elizabeth was one of 13 students who took part in the speaking contest, the largest number in the history of the competition, which dates back over 30 years.
A Level II student at Carbonear Collegiate, Elizabeth is the 16-year-old daughter of Barry and Cathie Hicks of Carbonear. She received a plaque and $75 cash for her efforts.
Speaking on “Laughter — the best medicine,” Alana Loveys of Carbonear finished in second place and received a medallion and $ 50. Ahila Karvnanithy, who is also from Carbonear, chose “Elder abuse” as the topic of her speech, which earned her a third place medallion and $25. Janine Sellars of Western Bay finished in fourth place with her speech on depression. Janine picked up a medallion and $15.
All four winning speakers earned the right to move on to the next round, the regional/zonal level set to take place March 29 at the Shearstown Lions Club.
The Victoria event attracted about 50 people, including members of the host Victoria and Carbonear Lions Clubs, parents and teachers from Carbonear Collegiate, which all 13 students attend.
In their speeches, the students tackled a wide range of current and provocative issues. Mark Peddle spoke on the working conditions at Foxconn; Laura Slade, the Newfoundland and Labrador economy; Shelby Rae Carpenter, stereotyping among teenagers; Justin Parsons, the Canadian cadet program; Brittany Dooley, violent video games; Jacob Elyh, the fine arts; Riley Balsom, why tourists should vacation in Newfoundland and Labrador; Sarah Pynn, domestic abuse; and George Butt, our friend or enemy.
Ches Ash, retired principal of Carbonear Collegiate; Byron King, principal of Persalvic Elementary in Victoria and Mona Rose, assistant principal at the school, served as judges.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow judges, Ches Ash said all the students spoke so well that they had a “difficult time” in selecting the top four.
“All the speakers deserve our praise,” Ash said.
He said the participants demonstrated, “intelligence, commitment and responsibility” in their speeches, which were “very well researched, informative and well presented.
For those who are moving on to the next level, the judge had some advice to offer.
“Make sure to maintain a natural composure in your presentation.” He said the judges noticed the composure of some of the speakers actually improved while they were responding to questions from retired teachers Brendan White and Frank Martin.
“Look at your audience and make eye contact. And don’t be afraid to get involved with your presentation physically by gesturing to captivate your audience,” he suggested.
Lion Frank Antle, who chaired the competition, said the winners of the Victoria speak- out will compete against contestants representing the Baccalieu Lions Club in Old Perlican and Bay Roberts Lions Club when they move on to the regional/zonal level.
“The winner at the regional/zone level will receive $100 plus a trophy and will represent Lions Zone 7 at the Lions District convention in Gander April 14,” Antle explained.
Seven students from all over Eastern Newfoundland will take part in the district speak-out. The winner will receive $500 and the Daisy Sheppard Trophy. She or he will also go on to represent the district at the Multiple District convention in Antigonish, Nova Scotia May 19. There the winners from eastern and western Newfoundland and Labrador will compete against representatives from Lions districts in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the State of Maine.
The 13 students who spoke at the Victoria Lions public speaking event Feb. 27 include: Front (l-r) — Elizabeth Hicks, winner; Alana Loveys, second; Ahila Karvnanithy, third; and Janine Sellars, fourth; back — Jacob Elyk, Laura Slade, George Butt, Riley...
The four top speakers at the Victoria Lions public speaking competition Feb. 27 were, from left, Alana Loveys, second; Elizabeth Hicks, first; Ahila Karvnanithy, third; and Janine Sellars, fourth.
Elizabeth Hicks delivers her award-winning speech on genocide before an audience of about 50 guests at the Victoria Community Centre on Feb. 27.