By JESSICA SHACKLETON
An awards ceremony was held at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 11 in East Toronto on Sunday, June 18, to recognize winners of the annual Remembrance Day Literary and Poster Contest.
Students from the area received certificates for excellence in public speaking, posters, and poem and essay writing. The prizes are divided by age groups of Primary, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior. Awards are given from the local Legion Branch level all the way to the national level.
The Royal Canadian Legion sponsors the contest each year for students. Entrants create and submit their work to their local Legions during the Remembrance period in November.
“The youths who participate in these contests assist the Legion in one of our primary goals – fostering the tradition of Remembrance amongst Canadians,” said the Royal Canadian Legion..
More than a dozen students received their awards at the June 18 ceremony.. They were presented the awards by Branch 11’s Youth Education Chair Helen Pearce, Treasurer Gord Pearce, and Zone Manager Craig Oliver. The ceremony was organized by volunteers of Branch 11.
Two of the award recipients from Branch 11’s zone were also recognized at the Provincial level.
Grade 11 Notre Dame Catholic High School student Jessica Athanasyar won first place in Ontario for her poem. She heard about the contest from her Grade 10 history teacher Ms. Yarema. This was her second year entering the Legion’s Remembrance Day contest.
“I love writing so I thought why not?” said Athanasyar. “It’s important, and I didn’t know about it at all.”
After meeting Legion members, Athanasyar said she felt inspired and encouraged. “These people deserve everything and have my heart. It’s dedicated to them,” she said.
Grade 3 Crescent Town Elementary School student Angelina Pramanik won second place in the colour poster contest at the Provincial level. She also heard about the contest in school.
“I wanted to show respect to the people who fought,” said Pramanik of why the contest is important. Her older brother also received an award and they both enjoy creating art.
Both Pramanik and Athanasyar won a total of four awards each at the June 18 ceremony and said they plan on entering the contest again next year.