COSMOPOLITAN SPEECH CONTEST THE 'BEST YET'.
Te first day of Convention saw us off to a flying start with Training Power Pack followed by the Cosmopolitan Speech Contest. And what a contest it was!
Five contestants vied for the covetted winner's position, and I can tell you I am so glad I wasn't one of the judges. Representing Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the Netherlands, the competitors treated their audience to an exceptional display of speaking talent. In the words of Judge, Val Harper, it was "one of the best Cosmopolitan Soeech Contests we have ever had" and was "doggone hard" to judge.
Self-described 'butterfly', Dianne Miller compered the event which was themed "Pulelehua" - "All butterflies speak one language". The speakers were Lee Foon Lim [Canada], Afsaneh Howey [New Zealand], Nada Stojanovic [The Netherlands], Raquel Rivera Chavaz [Mexico] and Hisano Kagawa [Japan].
Lee Foon Lim, spoke about toxins in plastics, the damage they are doing to both the environment and the human race and concluded with a call for the use of stainless steel bottles. Afsaneh Howey 's speech encouraged abolition of prejudice and encouraged society to eliminate inequality and create equal opportunities for all. Nada Stojanovic spoke of the power of words and their effect on others. Raquel Rivera Chavaz delivered a passionate address on the challenges modern women face in balancing their career and family aspirations, and Hisano Kagawa's "When one Door Shuts, Another Opens" dealt with aging and continuing to change and meet new challenges.
Presiding officer, Ruth Maltman, echoed the thoughts of the audience when she congratulated all the contestants on a superb effort, stating that the speeches had all struck a chord, as they were about things of universal concern and interest.
And the winners are.....
First: Afsaneh Howey, New Zealand Region [centre]
Second: Nada Stojanovic, The Netherlands [right]
Third: Lee Foon Lim, Canada [left]