Sil­ver cel­e­bra­tion

Cabi­net­maker won sil­ver medal at Skills Canada na­tional com­pe­ti­tion

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front page - BY ROSALYN ROY [email protected] Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

Melissa Bat­tiste chats about tak­ing sil­ver at re­cent Skills Canada na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

On Tues­day, June 19, the Col­lege of the North At­lantic (CNA) in­vited class­mates, staff, and mem­bers of the pub­lic to help cel­e­brate Melissa Bat­tiste’s re­cent sil­ver medal win at the 24th an­nual Skills Canada Na­tional Com­pe­ti­tion, held June 3-6 in Ed­mon­ton, Alta.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment,” said Port aux Basques cam­pus man­ager Jan Ped­dle. “You are com­pet­ing against the best in Canada who tend to do well on the world stage.”

MHA An­drew Par­sons (Bur­geo – La Poile) and town man­ager Leon MacIsaac also of­fered their con­grat­u­la­tions.

“The col­lege, to me, is such a big part of our town,” said Par­sons, who noted the win re­flects well on not only Bat­tiste, but the town, the col­lege and the prov­ince. “This re­ally is a pil­lar of ex­cel­lence in our prov­ince.”

Kelly Tompkins, the cabi­net mak­ing in­struc­tor at the Port aux Basques cam­pus, de­clared Bat­tiste was a per­fect stu­dent dur­ing his re­marks.

“What­ever you show her, she does it,” said Tompkins, who ad­vised Bat­tiste dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion as to what pre­cisely the judges would be look­ing for when grad­ing en­tries.

Tompkins said the judges picked out Bat­tiste as a strong con­tender early on.

“We were about two hours into the com­pe­ti­tion at the na­tion­als. The judges were al­ready com­ing over and they asked, ‘How old is she?’ be­cause they wanted to know whether she

“It’s the first time ever that I’ve gone to a com­pe­ti­tion and had the judges con­stantly come over.” Kelly Tompkins, in­struc­tor

would be el­i­gi­ble to go (to the world com­pe­ti­tion), be­cause the win­ner of the na­tion­als is go­ing to go to the worlds in 2019 in Rus­sia. It’s the first time ever that I’ve gone to a com­pe­ti­tion and had the judges con­stantly come over.”

Un­for­tu­nately Bat­tiste is a bit too old to qual­ify.

Bat­tiste, who is orig­i­nally from Cold Lake, Alta. re­lo­cated to the Co­droy Val­ley about six years ago af­ter meet­ing her hus­band, Chris, who hails from the area. The former civil­ian Air Force clerk de­cided to re­turn to school and grad­u­ated from the CNA pro­gram last year. She chose to train for a third year to hone her skills even fur­ther.

“My Dad was a cabi­net maker by trade,” said Bat­tiste, who also spent time with her crafty grand­fa­ther in the sum­mer. “We al­ways built ev­ery­thing, from sheds to what­ever.”

Both the gold medal and bronze medal win­ners had won medals at pre­vi­ous com­pe­ti­tions, but this was the first time for Bat­tiste com­pet­ing at na­tion­als.

Con­tes­tants were given a set plan to build.

“You get the di­a­gram and you have to build this di­a­gram to the specs,” said Bat­tiste, who ad­mits she got off to a slow start on the first day.

“So I wasn’t so con­fi­dent on the first day, but the sec­ond day I had ev­ery­thing planned out and I just winged through ev­ery­thing.”

Bat­tiste says she found the com­pe­ti­tion chal­leng­ing at times, and that she faced strong com­pe­ti­tion.

“Luck­ily, I didn’t know that at the time, so it was kind of good.”

Now that she has fin­ished school and has proven her­self at na­tion­als, Bat­tiste is un­de­cided as to where her tal­ents might take her next.

“I’m just gonna wing It, roll with it. I have a small shop. I will set that up and I’ll see about work­ing on small things and just keep build­ing from there.”

ROSALYN ROY / THE GULF NEWS

Melissa Bat­tiste with her in­struc­tor, Kelly Tompkins.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THE COL­LEGE OF THE NORTH AT­LANTIC

Col­lege of the North At­lantic medal win­ners from the 24th an­nual Skills Canada Na­tional Com­pe­ti­tion were An­thony Leonard, Melissa Bat­tiste, Glenda Guest and Stephen Ket­tle.

ROSALYN ROY / THE GULF NEWS

Melissa Bat­tiste’s sil­ver medal win­ning ta­ble.

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