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Bishop Lyons - 2015
Photo by Brendan Biggs

Bishop Lyons

Brendan Biggs —

Bishop Lyons 2015

The Bishop Lyons Shield Public Speaking Competition team found themselves infiltrating enemy territory for the 2015 competition involving all Catholic schools in the Canterbury Westland region hosted by St Bede’s. First up on the Friday afternoon was Hamish ‘the fastest talker in the West’ Simpson for the first engagement of the night; the Impromptu Speech competition. Unfortunately the judge, well-known newspaper columnist Joe Bennett, did not award Hamish a placing for his speech on the internet in schools but he still represented the school proudly in what is widely considered the hardest event in the competition.

Meanwhile the very experienced team of Alex ‘Team Captain’ Hansby, Michael ‘I have other commitments on Saturday afternoon’ Talyancich and Regan ‘Scholarships’ Campbell laid down a lesson in debating to the Catholic Cathedral College team in one of their best ever performances, winning easily even when forced to argue the merits of letting global warming happen. The next morning the debating team returned for round two against Roncalli College on the topic of saving endangered animals. Unfortunately the adjudicator decided that it was not going to be St Thomas’ day and gave the result to Roncalli which knocked the team out of the competition.

The Saturday was not yet over with Pawel ‘the Twin’ Gall up next in the junior prepared speech competition. Although he pulled out a rib cracker of a speech about how to not procrastinate his charismatic charms could not win over the judge who did not place him. At this point things were looking dire but we had kept a few tricks up our sleeve with Tovia ‘Head Boy’ Fui laying down the law in the Senior Prepared Speech. After his speech about Samoan identity we had many students from other schools saying how we had won that event for sure. Unfortunately (again) the judge disagreed and placed Tovia fourth.

Sunday morning came and Joss ‘the Preacher’ Hardman was up with Scripture Reading in which he was definitely set for a high up placing according to Coach Newton and students from other schools. Unfortunately (you guessed it) the judge disagreed and Joss was not placed. After mass with Bishop Barry Jones it was the last event of the day for St Thomas’ to gain some respect. Things were not looking good with all the teams struggling with strange questions and the St Thomas’ team of David ‘the Clutch’ Marcijasz, Isaac ‘the Flame’ Fowler and Charlie ‘the Evangelist’ Devine who were up second to last no different. However David lived up to his nickname and pulled out an answer to rival no other at the death gaining second place for St Thomas’.

The team would like to thank the coaches of Mrs Guerin (head coach, impromptu speech and prepared speeches), Mrs Gaffaney prepared speeches), Mr Biggs (debating), Mr Newton (scripture reading) and Mr Kennedy (religious questions) for putting in the hours to get us up to a standard that St Thomas’ can be proud of. It was Marian College who came away with the win but St Thomas of Canterbury College certainly showed some excellent public speaking skills. Apparently the main aim of the competition is to bring the Catholic schools of the region together .... which it certainly did and the younger St Thomas’ men will be back next year for revenge... whoops, I mean more fun competition.

Alex Hansby