John Gray student wins oratorical contest

From left, top finishers David Swan, Lacee Barnes and Mark Plowright.

Mark Plowright, a 15-year-old student in Year 10 at John Gray High School, is the winner of Optimist Club of George Town’s Oratorical Contest.

David Swan, also of John Gray, placed second and Lacee Barnes, a student at St. Ignatius High School, placed third in the contest on April 8 at the Town Hall in George Town.

Mark will go on to represent the Cayman Islands at the district contest on April 29 at the Inter Faculty Lecture Theatre, University of the West Indies, in Jamaica. Mark will compete against up to 10 people from across the Caribbean, including Jamaica and Barbados.

In 2013, David Forbes of Cayman won  the Boys Contest.

In the contest, youths up to age 18 speak on a given topic. This year seven speakers took part, six from Clifton Hunter, Grace Christian Academy, John Gray and St. Ignatius high schools, and one independent participant.

Contestants spoke between four and five minutes on “What the World Gains from Optimism.” Contestants drew on the messages of famous speakers in history, including Winston Churchill, Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr., pointing out that optimism drove the invention of the light bulb, the successes of Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, and the invention of a famous cleaning product.

Sandra Rowe, Optimist Club president, said the club believes it is extremely important to provide the young people of the Cayman Islands a platform to express their thoughts and beliefs, especially on topics that help to shape their outlook on life.

The Optimist Club of George Town meets the first and third Thursday of every month in Room 223 at John Gray High School. Contact 928-8098 or [email protected]

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