This year’s Festival of the Spoken Word took place in 1st Larne Presbyterian Church Hall on Saturday, October 10.
The event, organised by the Arts Sub-Committee, was well supported with 55 entries over six classes, down slightly on last year’s entries.
Arts Sub-Committee chairman Carole Baird welcomed everyone to the event, including Federation Chairman Elizabeth Warden and adjudicator Carolyn Stewart, BA (Hons), PGCE, LLAM (TD), LLCM (TD), ALAM (public speaking), ALCM (Performance) who was very well qualified to judge the entries in the various classes.
The first class was for a three minute prepared speech and Nancy Orr from Armoy WI gave a rousing speech on ‘Let’s give WI a makeover’. Some of her suggestions would certainly raise eyebrows with the older members but her enthusiasm won over the judge and she was awarded the Magherafelt Trophy. The Sight Reading Class was a passage from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and the range of drama and threat portrayed by the participants was fascinating to listen to.
In the next three classes, all of which involved Poetry and Verse the audience were kept entertained with everything from the poignant to the hilarious.
The final class was for a two minute piece of Prepared Prose and again we had the whole range of emotions from Psalms and Prayers to ‘How to stop a church gossip’ which had a punchline delivered with perfect timing by Anna Murphy of Kells & Connor WI that won her the Downpatrick Trophy.
The adjudicator thanked everyone for taking part and said her job had been made more difficult by the very high standard meaning that, in some classes, only a few points separated the top and bottom places.
The presentation of awards was carried out by Federation Chairman, Elizabeth Warden who also thanked the Arts Chairman and her committee for their hard work putting the event together.
The general ‘Vote of Thanks’ was given by Nancy Orr who expressed appreciation to the adjudicator for her hard work; to the Session and Committee of 1st Larne Presbyterian Church not only for the use of their halls, but for the delicious tea, coffee, scones and lunch provided by the ladies of the Church Catering Committee and to all the participants and audience for such an enjoyable day. The full list of prizewinners is as follows:
Magherafelt Trophy for Prepared Speech: 1st, Nancy Orr, Armoy WI; 2nd, Hazel Campbell, Crumlin WI
Armoy Trophy for Sight Reading: 1st, Beverley Simpson, Armoy WI; 2nd, Edwina Marr, Downpatrick WI
Highly Commended – Maud Steele, Kilrea WI; Lorna Stevenson, Crossgar WI
Lambeg Trophy for Poem by Irish Poet: 1st, Edwina Marr, Downpatrick WI; Joint 2nd, Nancy Orr, Armoy WI; Elizabeth Patterson, Kilrea WI
Phillipine McCoy Trophy for Humorous Verse: 1st, Joan Ward, Crumlin WI; Joint 2nd, Roberta McCullough, Muckamore WI; Edwina Marr, Downpatrick WI
Aileen Chapman Trophy for Poem written by WI member: 1st, Maud Steele, Kilrea WI; Joint 2nd: Anna Murphy, Kells & Connor WI; Ann Patterson, Crossgar WI; Nancy Orr, Armoy WI; Katie McCurdy, Armoy WI
Downpatrick Trophy for Prepared Prose: 1st, Anna Murphy, Kells & Connor WI; Joint 2nd, Nancy Orr, Armoy WI; Beverley Simpson, Armoy WI.