The six students who will contest the final of the 2023 Lions Club South Flow National Secondary Schools’ Public Speaking Competition have been named. This followed on the completion of the preliminary round of competition, that took place from September 26 to 29.
The final is set for a 7:00pm commencement on Tuesday, October 24 – at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown.
The finalists in order of appearance reads: Leesa Robertson- Adelphi Secondary; Kevisha Richardson- St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown; Christian Joseph- St. Vincent Grammar School; Soren Phillips – Thomas Saunders Secondary; Rayanna Ross – Mountain View Adventist Academy; and Jonniel Stowe – the St. Vincent Girls High School.
The first round of competition features the Prepared Speech on the topic: “Unless criminals’ proximity to power is reduced, their ill-gotten gains confiscated and a culture of lawlessness fostered, the level of crime will remain at unacceptable levels”.
The finalists will then speak for five minutes on a topic of their choice, and complete their participation with an impromptu round.
At stake is the Lion Michael De Freitas Challenge Trophy, among other prizes.
Last year’s winner was Oscar Browne, who represented the St. Martin’s Secondary.
The first National Secondary Schools’ Public Speaking Competition was held in 1976 under the auspices of the then St. Vincent Jaycees. The winner was Colin Williams, now a High Court Judge in the Eastern Caribbean Jurisdiction. He represented the St. Vincent Boys Grammar School and edged out Ashely Caine, a retired Chief Agricultural Officer, who represented the St. Martin’s Secondary School.
The symbol of Secondary School Public Speaking, under the Jaycees, was the Arthur Connell Trophy, named in honour of one of the founding members, in 1959, of the St. Vincent Jaycees.
After the Jaycees experienced a period of dormancy in the 1990s, the Lions Club South assumed responsibility for organizing the Public Speaking Competition in 1999.