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By Peter Kamara, 3rd Year Aspirant

 

Bomana, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 16 Juily 2019 --- During our holidays we were privileged to have a couple with us from Australia, who volunteered to come and help the aspirants in some English review, good manners, health and hygiene, psycho-sexual growth and group dynamics (cf. earlier news item from a fellow aspirant.


Also in our schedule, we were supposed to have our debate and declamation contest during these holidays, but priority was given to the program of activities organised by the couple. 


However, this didn’t stop us from debating and declaiming. Fr Ariel Macatangay, Savio Haus Prefect, convinced six of the aspirants, who did not take part in the English review, to be the ones to prepare for the debate.


There was some reluctance at the start, but when the aspirants later understood the value of this formative activity, then they took the challenge upon themselves and prepared for it.


On 14 June, 2019 six of the aspirants debated on the topic “It is good for the government to pass a law allowing same- sex marriage in PNG.” Even though the preparation was short, the delivery and outcome were superb and remarkable from both the proposing and opposing camps.


One of the judges, Mr Fred Gomes, expressed his gratitude, thanking the debaters for their effort in delivering their arguments. “Your points were very convincing and your arguments show that you were well prepared,” he remarked. He also thanked Fr Ariel for organising this debate, which can help aspirants to gain confidence and improve their public speaking.


The opposing camp came out as winners of the debate. Raphael Gobi from the proposing camp got the prize of the best debater and Peter Kamara from the opposing camp for the best English speaker. Other participants from both side received consolation prizes.


A week after the debate, most of the same aspirants, who participated in the debate, were asked again to prepare, this time for the declamation contest. At first, these aspirants aired strong reservations at staging such a contest given the limited time. Nevertheless, Fr Ariel managed again to convince the aspirants to take up this next challenge.


Each of them was asked to choose speeches of famous presidents, generals and other leaders of the world.  On the 21st of June, the aspirants had their declamation contest. The judges were the three Salesian brothers with the assistance of Fr Ariel.


Even though the time was limited, this did not stop the aspirants from declaiming. Each of them gave their best but only one always came out as winner. Melchior Vatabu, a first year aspirant bagged the first prize for his speech, “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King Jnr.


He expressed his joy at winning because he could not believe that he could do it in a limited time. “I am speechless, this is a miracle for me. This is my first time taking part in such competition like this,” he shared. He went on to thank Fr Ariel for the support and encouragement.  Everyone enjoyed the night and the declaimers were happy after all their efforts and gains. They together with the judges expressed the gratitude for the efforts and support of the organisers. Fr. Ariel concluded the night with a good night talk.



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