Island youth Eric Wahl, wins provincial public speaking competition

TRENTON—The Royal Canadian Legion Provincial Public Speaking Competition finals took place on May 5 in Trenton, Ontario. The event was held at the waterfront Legion building Branch 110 and attended by 16 students who qualified from all of the four combined districts within the province as well as many Legion officials, parents and family members.

Competing from Manitoulin Island and Legion Districts H&K were Eric Wahl, a Grade 3 student at Central Manitoulin Public School (CMPS) representing Branch 177 in Little Current and Mason Leighton, a Grade 8 student at C.C. McLean Public School (CCMPS) representing Branch 514 in Gore Bay.

Eric competed against three other students in the Primary Division (Grades 1-3). His five minute speech on “Shopping Trips” recited completely from memory with no cards, won first place as deemed by the three-judge panel. To win the final, Eric had to place first at CMPS, Little Current, Onaping, Richard’s Landing, Espanola and Trenton. The entire process took just under six months and “hundreds” of practice runs. He was given the honour of being the top public speaker for his age division in the entire province! Way to go, Eric!

Mason competed against three other students and placed a very respectable 2nd runner up with his five to seven minute speech on “Laziness,” also recited completely from memory with no cards. At the end of each division placement announcements, every competitor was asked to say who they were and where they were from. Both Eric and Mason announced that they were from Manitoulin Island, their respective schools and Legion Branches. It was a proud moment for both boys, their families and hard work recognized for excellence in Public Speaking. Congratulations to both Eric and Mason for a job extremely well done!