Speech on Queen Boudica wins Grade 11 Osler Contest

Trinity College School’s Grade 11 Osler Speaking Contest was held on Monday, February 11th in the Dick and Jane LeVan Theatre. This year’s competition was fierce. In my 20 years at the School, it was one of the top Osler Speaking competitions that I have had the privilege of watching. The eight speakers impressed all with their well-researched speeches, confidence and varying styles of delivery.

The contest was initiated by the late Sir Edwin Leather ’37 in honour of the School’s first Head Boy, Sir William Osler. The competition is generously supported by the TCS Parents’ Guild who donated the trophy some years ago and who provide the prize money for the winner each year.

The judges for this year’s competition were Mrs. Cyndi Langford, Mr. Doug Mann, and Mrs. Barbara Piccini. The English department would like to thank them for volunteering their time.

For the Grade 11 competition, the students speak on a non-Canadian figure who has made a significant impact on the world. The speeches were given in class with the top student from each class participating in the final round in front of the entire grade.

The topics this year ranged from Galois to Rosa Parks. After considerable deliberation, the judges awarded top prize to Acassia Arnaud for her speech on Queen Boudica. Acassia brought much passion and energy to the delivery of her speech. She was able to bring Queen Boudica alive by way of her relatable interactions with the audience and the enthusiasm she brought to the subject. Normally, the judges award honourable mentions. However, because of the high calibre of the competition this year, they were not able to do so. Instead, the judges stressed how impressed they were with the overall competition and with how all of the students were able to bring out the more personal side of the well-known public figures about whom they were speaking.

The other finalists, in alphabetical order, were: Megan Bernier, Tenzing Norgay; Abby Brewer, Che Guevara; Leah Chesney, Rigoberta Menchu; Nicole Colaiacova, Jacques Cousteau; Nita Das, Betty Freidan; Kwami Julien, Rosa Parks; and Jack Zhang, Évariste Galois. Many thanks to Head Prefect Zororo Mutomba for hosting the competition and entertaining the audience between speeches with interesting facts about the upcoming speakers.

- By Ms. Barbara Brough, head of English