Boys’ School Speech Competitions
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
In a running race, first past the post wins. No problem.
In a mathematics competition, the biggest number of correct answers wins. No question.
But when it comes to the subjective nature of speechmaking, how do you pick a winner?
Judging is not easy, as this year’s adjudicator at the Senior School Speech Finals will attest! Invited guest judge, Ms Wendy Petrie is a well-known presenter on Television New Zealand’s One News. As a phenomenal presenter, public figure and communications expert, she had the unenviable task of picking a winner from the thirteen finalists. This was not an easy task!
To understand the calibre of the thirteen finalists, we first had to survey the audience. The 239 Year 7 and 8 boys have all given speeches over the last few weeks, gradually moving through the ranks to be finally selected as finalists. The finalists’ speeches were first class because they were being pushed by excellent speeches from behind! The Boys’ School has a history of excellence in speechmaking.
This year’s winner told us he could have been neglected, underestimated and misunderstood - a secretive loner lacking in ambition. We were, however, glad to hear that Year 7 student, Joe Duncan does not suffer from ‘middle child syndrome’ despite having older and younger siblings! On the contrary, he sees himself as trailblazing, innovative, free thinker with peacemaking skills after time spent in the middle sorting out problems between the age groups! There is one pointer he didn’t get quite right, ‘The oldest child gets all the awards.’ Older brother, Jack Duncan in Year 8 was also a finalist but in this instance came runner up to Joe with his speech about ‘Failing to succeed!’
First runner up was Jack Sandelin who posed the question, ‘Is winning everything?’ He heeded his grandfather’s words that it’s not how you win or lose but how you play the game that counts. ‘Nobody who gave their best ever regretted it.’
Ms Petrie marked the thirteen finalists on speech construction, delivery and presentation, content and engagement, use of language and the overall impact and these three boys ticked all the boxes. In summing up, she quipped that each could be a contender for co-presenter, Simon Dallow’s job!
We give our grateful thanks to Ms Petrie for her time to undertake the unenviable task of picking a winner, and to her daughter Addison, a Girls’ School student, for time keeping each contestant.
Well done to all the finalists!
Senior School Finalists
Adjudicator: Wendy Petrie
Christian Colenbrander , Arden Ongley, Jack Duncan, Ben Humphries, Gabe Ross, Oscar Kingan
Isaac Mellis-Glynn, Jack Sandelin, Charles Wilkes, Quinn Thompson, Jack Webber, Thomas King, Joe Duncan
MC: William Hadfield
Musical Interlude Senior School
Anthony Gu playing Concerto no 21 by Mozart on piano
Chamber Group: Jamie Robinson, Lachlan Wong and Regan Feng playing Minuet