ONAPING Falls—Three Island youth placed first at the Zone H3 Royal Canadian Legion Public Speaking competition in Onaping Falls last weekend and will be moving on to represent the area at District H competition in Sudbury on Saturday, March 25.
Representing the Little Current Legion Branch #117 was Eric Wahl from Central Manitoulin Public School in the primary division, Thomas Green from Little Current Public School in the junior division, Darci Debassige from Lakeview School in the intermediate division and Manitoulin Secondary School student Sandi Kuntsi in the high school division.
From the Gore Bay Legion Branch #514 were Amara Wilson-Zegil in the primary division, Mason Leighton in the junior division, Malia Leighton in the intermediate division and April Torkopolous in the high school division.
Eric placed first in his division, as did April and Mason—with all three advancing to the district competition later this month.
Fellow Island competitors also placed strongly in their divisions with Thomas placing second, Darci third, Cassandra third and Amara third.
Eric, a seven-year-old Central Manitoulin Public School Grade 2 student, did his speech on his family Christmas.
“I was a little nervous before,” said Eric of presenting his speech at zone competition.
Eric made it to the zone competition last year as well for his speech on his big sister, placing third.
“I starting working on my speech a lot sooner this year,” said Eric. “I also practice a lot.”
Eric said that he is ready for the next competition and will be practicing in front of his parents to help him prepare.
April, a Grade 10 student at Manitoulin Secondary School, also made it to the zone competition two years ago for her speech about going to high school, placing third.
“I wrote my speech about Canada and Canada’s 150th birthday,” said April. “I spoke about the confederation, what Canada was like 150 years ago, Canadian stereotypes, and our future as a country.”
April said she is excited and confident about heading to the district competition.
Mason, a Grade 6 student at Charles C. McLean Public School, delivered his speech on duct tape.
“I use duct tape every summer when I’m making my cardboard boat for the competition,” said Mason. “I wanted to write a funny speech and my dad suggested I did it on duct tape because I could have fun with it. In my speech I talk about how duct tape got its name, what it is used for and how people now use it for everything—even to make clothes.”
Mason is also a Zone H3 speech veteran, making it to the competition two years ago for his speech about his military family.
“My speech was kind of last minute this year so I didn’t expect to win,” said Mason of his comical, yet informative speech. “I’m glad people liked it and I’m a bit nervous but excited to be moving on to the next competition.”
Eric, April and Mason will be representing the Zone H3 at the District H Royal Canadian Legion Public Speaking competition in Sudbury on Saturday, March 25.