The drawing and writing talents of local secondary and elementary school students are something to behold.
The best of the best is always showcased during the Royal Canadian Legion’s Literary and Poster Contest, commemorating Remembrance Day 2019. Winners at the branch level were announced Sunday and presented with cash prizes during a ceremony at the Chemainus Legion Hall.
The Chemainus Legion 191, under the direction of Janet Mitchell, has long been a supporter of the program that can lead to some incredible perks for the winners. First place in the various categories move on to the zone competition, with presentations to be made March 1 at the Prince Edward Legion branch in Langford.
Winners continue on to the provincials and eventually to Ottawa for the Dominion contest.
“It’s really a neat contest,” said Mitchell, who’s been organizing it at the branch level for many years. She’s also had considerable input with the zone competition, although not this year.
Legion 191 supported the students’ work with a total of $840 in cash awarded, plus mementos from the Legion. The prizes ranged from $100 to $10 depending on the category and the age of the participants.
There’s a lot to be gained in experience just from entering, Mitchell stressed, and the possibility for an even greater payoff.
Grade 12 seniors in the country taking first place at the Dominion level receive a free trip to Ottawa, along with a chaperone, to attend next year’s Remembrance Day services in the nation’s capital.
“One of the students won $600 by the time she was through it so it’s worth the effort to try,” said Mitchell.
For students as young as Grade 1 all the way to Grade 12, it’s just exciting to have their work recognized with awards in the local competition.
“I’d like to thank the students and family members and teachers who encouraged you to participate in the contest,” said Legion 191 member Wes Everitt.
“There’s wonderful poems back there and some of the posters are just fantastic.”
The work of the students was displayed on tables in the hall for all to see.
Teacher Graeme Arkell was pleased to coordinate the effort at Chemainus Secondary School that resulted in six students receiving awards.
“Learners rose to the challenge of creating an essay, poem, or poster on the theme of remembrance,” Arkell pointed out. “Literary and artistic entries expressed students’ sophisticated understanding of Canadian soldiers’ duty, service and sacrifice. During our Remembrance Day Ceremony on Friday, November 8th, several students proudly presented their creations in front of our entire school community and our honoured guests from the Royal Canadian Legion.”
Money awarded to the students comes from the Legion’s poppy fund, Mitchell pointed out.
Legion and community members judging the contest included: Terri Hegarty, Ellen Lavender, Dave Munro, Brenda Carmichael, Dorothy McHattie and Kirsten Waller.
Branch winners of the various categories were as follows:
Primary Colour Poster: 1. Ella Kasting (Grade 2 Thetis Island Elementary), 2. Eleanor Vanderplas (Grade 1 Chemainus Elementary), 3. Aubrey Gall (Grade 3 Thetis Island Elementary).
Primary Black & White Poster: 1. Elise Meulnier (Grade 3 Thetis Island Elementary).
Junior Poetry: 1. Dakota Allard (Grade 5 Chemainus Elementary), 2. Maddison James (Grade 5 Chemainus Elementary), 3. Kai Kasting (Grade 6 Thetis Island Elementary).
Junior Black & White Poster: 1. Lucas Bieber (Grade 4 Thetis Island Elementary), 2. Matthias Bannister (Grade 6 Thetis Island Elementary), 3. Wesley Knowles (Grade 6 Thetis Island Elementary).
Junior Colour Poster: 1. Liliana Johnstone (Grade 5 Chemainus Elementary), 2. Emily Parkes (Grade 5 Chemainus Elementary), 3. Raglan Gall (Grade 6 Thetis Island Elementary).
Intermediate Poetry: 1. Sarina Stirling (Grade 7 Chemainus Secondary), 2. Hannah Douglas (Grade 7 Chemainus Secondary), 3. Kody Price (Grade 9 Chemainus Secondary).
Intermediate Colour Poster: 1. Brooklyn Stobbe (Grade 9 Chemainus Secondary), 2. Hannah Poole (Grade 7 Chemainus Secondary), 3. Hannah Douglas (Grade 7 Chemainus Secondary).
Intermediate Black & White Poster: 1. Brooklyn Stobbe (Grade 9 Chemainus Secondary).
Senior Black & White Poster: 1. Miriam Holmes (Grade 12 Chemainus Secondary).