This Week in Rotary

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In recent weeks Plains Rotary held the annual round of speech contests, starting with the Junior Speech Contest.   Challenging in aspects of research, preparation, and delivery for the students and stimulating and provocative, for listeners.

Some 65 people heard 9 speakers deliver a mix of enlightenment, concern, humour, and dreams in their speech topics.   The speakers were; Emma Lowry (my three wishes), Emily Carr (why you should always be young), Tom Ellis (weird things my parents say), Harriot Brown (why being Immortal would not be fun), Leon Aiken-Wheeler (why we should play more sport), Leon Blignault (you are unique), Kaye Ocon (too much rubbish), Abby Cochrane (homeless people), Lilian Snowden (too much screen time).   Judges David Eason & Norma Cameron said all presented well, used gestures adequately and expressed knowledge of their subjects.   First placing went to Leon Aiken-Wheeler, 2nd Harriot Brown, and 3rd Tom Ellis.

The evening also saw two other students – Nate Woods and Izzy Marr – nominated by peers and teachers as significant leaders and role models to be presented with Honour Roll Certificates.


The Senior Speech Contest is open to students in year 9 and 10. The speeches are of 5 – 6 minutes duration and participants are not permitted to use props or aids.

With nine contestants taking part, in a very high calibre evening of speech craft, Adjudicator Mike Johnson summed up congratulating the participants for their efforts, and offered advice about the rules of speech contests.

Students taking part were: Emori Belanaisa (Racism is a Problem), Taymah Aitken-Wheeler (Addicted to Devices), Maddie Page (Reading Improves Knowledge), Rachel Hoekstra (Blondes are Not Dumb), Isabella Casey-Soll (Romeo and Juliet), Freya Jemmett (The new Albert Einstein), Jack Ellis (Why we should still have Plastic Bags), Jess Heaven (Why it sucks being a Teachers Kid), Mackenzie Baty (Marmite versus Vegemite).

First placing went to Taymah Aitken-Wheeler. (Ashburton Intermediate) Second placing to Jack Ellis. (St Josephs) Third placing Rachel Hoekstra (Christian School).

Also presented with Honours Certificates were: Yasmin Larry, Vili Fifita, Emori Belanaisa, Gretal Tavendale, Sasha Williams.

The contests were capably conducted by Ray King.

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