Budding orators shine at Legion public speaking competition

Royal Canadian Legion Public Speaking competition f irst place winners Jocelyn Kuntsi, Amber Wahl, and Grace Duncanson are joined by second and third place winners Jared Toope, Ethan Cooper, Darci Debassige, Jenna Visitor, Kendra Jordison and Denver Leeson.

LITTLE CURRENT—The winners of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177 public speaking competition had their work cut out for them, noted master of ceremonies Marcel Gauthier as he announced the winners of this year’s event. “You were all pretty amazing,” he said. “This is the first year that we have had at least one winner from every school represented in the competition.”

In the end, judges Melissa Peters, Debby Turner and Wendy Gauthier had to make the tough choice on who would be advancing to the Zone H-3 championships at Onaping Falls Branch 130 on March 2.

Representing the primary division, Grades 1 to 3, will be Jocelyn Kuntsi of Assiginack Public School who spoke on Gladiators. Second in the primary division was Jared Toope of Little Current Public School who spoke on hockey legend Bob Cole and third place went to Ethan Cooper of Central Manitoulin Public School who spoke on ice fishing.

Representing the junior division, Grades 4, 5 and 6, in Onaping Falls will be Amber Wahl of Central Manitoulin Public School who gave an impassioned speech on power outages. Second place went to Darci Debassige of Lakeview School who spoke on David Suzuki and third place went to Jenna Visitor of Shawanosowe School in Birch Island who spoke on the legends of the Plains Cree people.

Representing the intermediate division, Grades 7, 8 and 9, will be Grace Duncanson of Central Manitoulin Public School, who spoke on the impact of vaccinophobia. Second place went to Kendra Jordison of Little Current Public School, who gave a humorous history of the candy treat M and Ms and third place went to Denver Leeson of Assiginack Public School, who spoke on the life and times of the artist Vincent Van Gogh.

The senior category, Grades 10, 11 and 12, only had one entry, Alexis French of Manitoulin Secondary School, who delivered a timely and informative speech on the dangers of the Internet and how to protect yourself from identity theft.

There were 15 students in all competing in this year’s event. Each student received a certificate commemorating their efforts from Mr. Gauthier and the top three finishers in each division received a ribboned medal as well.

Michael Erskine