Ard Scoil na nDéise Star Pupil Shines in Clonmel
9th March 2012
Reporter: Africa Bernal Barcelo (Fifth Year)
Ard Scoil na nDéise student Abigail de Souza photographed at the National Final of the Soroptimist International Public Speaking Competition in Clonmel, with Mrs Dorothy Hughes, Principal, and English teacher, Mrs Evelyn Simons.
On Saturday March 3rd Abigail de Souza, a 5th year pupil represented Ard Scoil na nDéise and County Waterford in the All Ireland Girls Final of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition.
Over the last number of weeks Abigail worked intensively with the guidance of Mrs. Simons, her English teacher, to prepare for this event. Excitement grew all week and at 2pm on Saturday the competition commenced in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The participants were ten girls from various schools all over Ireland. The audience included Soroptimists, school principals, teachers, parents, supporters and even grandparents. The adjudicators, timekeepers, public speaking convenor and chairperson were introduced and the first speaker began.
Abigail, Other Contestants, Judges, Organisers - The Whole Crew
Abigail Displays Her Certificate
The 2011-2012 topics were: The European Union, Education, Environment, Economic and Social Development, Health, International Goodwill and Understanding, Civil Rights and The Status of Women.
We anxiously waited on the eighth slot, and Abigail took the podium. She spoke on the topic of The Environment. “Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites” were her opening words.
Abigail spoke passionately about her concerns for the long term future of our environment. She demonstrated the risks to planet Earth if our current attitudes do not change. She argued that we should use the resources that nature provides in moderation, as excessive use would result in their disappearance. “Only when the last river has been polluted, the last tree has been cut down and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money” was the convincing finale to her speech.
Abigail Giving Her Speech
On the conclusion of the delivery of the chosen topics the girls nervously awaited the impromptu speech. They left the room and were given an envelope with the topic of their speech. They could only open it two minutes before presenting it. The topic of the impromptu speech was “My own place”. We had very interesting speeches including Abigail´s which was full of humour.
Abigail with Friends and Supporters
Refreshments were then served while the adjudicators came to their decision. The head adjudicator took the podium and a hushed silence fell on the room. She congratulated all the participants and confirmed that they were all winners. She stated that the standard of the speeches exceeded their expectations and explained that they had been faced with a very difficult task to pick an overall winner. Finally she called out the winner who was Rachel Reigel, from Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, Co. Cork, who spoke about Education.
Abigail with Friends
Despite the fact that Abigail had not won The All Ireland Girls Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition Title she had the satisfaction of her success in reaching the final. Ard Scoil na nDéise, her teachers, her peers and Dungarvan Soroptimists are very proud of the hard work, determination and interest Abigail showed in participating in this great event.
Dorothy Hughes, Principal, Evelyn Simons, Teacher, Abigail and her Father
Note: The bottom six photos were provided courtesy of Tom Keith. Tom has always been a great friend and supporter of the schools.