Perseverance Pays Off in Rotary Speech Contest
Howick Rotary held its annual Brian Hanlon Howick College 4 – Way Test Speech Contest for year 9 and 10 students on Tuesday 10th November. Hope Milo who as a year 9 student had been placed as second runner up in 2019 was the winner of the 2020 contest. Her perseverance and application in entering the competition for a second time as a year 10 student speaking on the subject of “Denormalization of Anti-Asian Racism” paid off reinforcing the old adage “if at first you don’t succeed try, try again”
Hope and fellow finalists Prajna Chaudrey, Sehandu Maharage and Connor Shelley presented some thought-provoking speeches to a large audience of their families, College organizing teachers and Rotary club guests and members. Among the club’s guests were Michelle and Robbie Inness, Brian and Hazel Hanlon’s daughter and son in law with Michelle assisting in the awarding of the prizes and the presentation of her late father’s Memorial Trophy. Toastmaster’s organization members Eimaan Hamid, Aroha Heene and Sean Walton were on hand to judge the speeches.
The speeches were judged on the basis of points awarded for Content, Organization and Delivery with the overall winner being the person with the best cumulative ranking. Sean Walton who was lead judge also provided the contestants with some adjudication comments and remarked on the “very high standard that the students had achieved”. 
The Contest is held annually and this year was organized by College teachers Tom Stacey and Ann Botha in conjunction with Rotary’s Youth Committee member Rob Mouncey. It commemorates former long serving Rotarian and past President Brian Hanlon’s contribution to the Community and to Education. 
Rotary President Gavin Green said that “the Contest is one of the highlights of the Rotary year particularly in relation to the many Youth support projects that the club undertakes and it is really pleasing to see the confidence that these young people demonstrated in presenting their speeches”. 
The awards for the night included gift vouchers from Paper Plus in Howick with the winner also receiving the Brian Hanlon Trophy. Katie Treneman owner of Paper Plus said “she was really happy to support Rotary in their efforts to encourage the development of young people in the community”.
Gavin Green concluded the evening by saying “the Brian Hanlon Speech Awards is one of the many different community projects Rotarians are involved in while having a great social time together and if anyone is interested in becoming a member they should contact Membership Director Bill Charkow Mob 021 663 022 or email or visit the web site”. 
  1. Group Photo: From Left to Right. Front Row Student Finalists: Connor Shelley (1st Runner Up), Hope Milo (Winner), Prajna Chaudrey and Sehandu Maharage (2nd Runners Up). Middle and Rear: Ann Botha (Head of Area English Language), Gavin Green (Rotary President), Michelle Innes (Brian Halon’s daughter), Rob Mouncey (Rotary Organizer), Sean Walton (lead Judge) and Tom Stacey (College Organizer).