Branden O’Brien of St. Kevin’s High in the Goulds claimed top honours May 30 during the annual Eastern School District public speaking competition.
The event attracted eight participants, and was held at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts.
O’Brien spoke in favour of the Newfoundland seal hunt, and took a hard line against groups who oppose the annual harvest, describing them as domestic terrorists.
Judges for the event were Terry Roberts, senior editor of The Compass, and Christine Greene, a program specialist with Eastern School District.
The format did not include selecting runners-up, but the judges said the difference between each competitor was “razor-thin.”
Also competing were the following: Elizabeth Hicks, Carbonear Collegiate, genocide; Taylor Lynn Hutchings, Ascension Collegiate, Bay Roberts, bullying; Adrienne Janes, Baccalieu Collegiate, Old Perlican, parenting; Evan Slaney, Queen Elizabeth high, Foxtrap, climate change; Charles Byrne, St. Michael’s high, Bell Island, cell phones in schools; Catherine Durling, Bishops College, St. John’s, the impacts of technology and social networking; and Daniel Rees, Holy Spirit high, Manuels, Star Wars.