On the evening of Wednesday, 13 December 2017, the Royal Canadian Legion Perth Regiment Veterans Branch 236 St Marys hosted an awards presentation. Certificates and cash prizes were handed out for the annual poster and literary contests.
Legions across Canada hold the competition each year. Students participate in a variety of categories and age groups, all with the goal of encouraging remembrance. The year 2017 saw 113 participants from St Marys District Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Holy Name of Mary School, Little Falls Public School, Downie Central Public School, and South Perth Centennial School.
The top 3 entries in each category were awarded prizes. The work of those who placed first in each category has been sent on to compete at additional levels within the district, and possibly on to provincial and national competitions.
A total of 26 prizes were awarded. The large contingent of proud family and friends that gathered to witness their recognition is testament to the talent and hard work exhibited by each and every entrant.
There were, however, some categories that received little or no participation.
In discussions with some parents following the awards, Youth Education Chair, Tom Leier, answered questions about the difference in participation from school to school, and even grade to grade. He stated that while all schools were visited and supplied with the forms and information regarding the contests, it is up to their staff to decide how much or how little to promote the competition.
“Teachers have a tough and busy job”, said Leier. “We have to try to come up with ways to assist them in generating interest in this program. Our plan for next year is to better connect with the students by such things as offering to address a general assembly, hosting a meeting with a school’s staff, or to sit down with the school’s student council. It’s extremely important that we never forget the fallen men and women who so unselfishly gave all in order to make it possible for us to enjoy the freedom we have today.”
Congratulations to all the students who took part in this year’s competition.