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Colchester students place in provincial poster, literary contests

TRURO – Olivia Desmond’s drawing of hills, people, poppies, doves and a cross were enough to capture the attention of three judges in the Royal Canadian Legion’s Remembrance Day Poster Contest.

Colchester students gathered at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 in Truro Sunday for presentations to provincial winners in the annual Remembrance Day Poster Literary Contests. Winners included, front from left, Dulyavich Vongsathorn (second place, intermediate black and white poster), Olivia Desmond (first place, primary colour poster), Harshin Arumugan (second place, intermediate essay), and Anna Fullerton (second place, intermediate colour poster). Presenting them with their awards included Wilson MacDonald, back left, Deputy Commander Zone 10 Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command RCL, and Alan Fahey, Zone 10 Commander Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command RCL. Missing is Sascha Berliner, first place in the junior essay contest. The first place winners will have their work entered into the national competition.

The eight-year-old from Bible Hill won the provincial competition in the primary colour poster category.

“It’s important that we remember all the soldiers that died and those that fought for us for our freedom,” Olivia said after receiving her award Sunday at the Legion from Alan Fahey, Zone 10 Commander Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command RCL. “My brother is in the reserves now, training for the military.”

Last year, Desmond had also drawn crosses on her poster submission, however didn’t place in the contest. She got her inspiration from last year’s poster.

“People are standing on the hills, looking at a cross in their hand with a poppy,” she said.

Attending Remembrance Day ceremonies, Desmond does have a favourite part each year.

“The moment of silence. It’s my favourite because the soldiers still here knew some of those soldiers and they’ve missed them because they’re gone,” the third grade student said.

Sascha Berliner won the junior essay contest. Berliner, however, wasn’t able to attend the ceremony.

Their submissions will be sent to Ottawa for entry into a national contest.

Second place winners included Dulyavich Vongsathorn for intermediate black and white poster, Harshin Arumugan for intermediate essay, and Anna Fullteron for intermediate colour poster.

“At the time (of the contest), we were learning about World War II in school,” said Vongsathorn, 14, originally from Thailand. “I saw some images and video, so I sort of mixed them together.”

His poster includes those training to go to war, including a pilot.

“Everything that happens in war comes together,” said the international student in Grade 8.

“I’m happy to have placed second. Drawing…it’s something I enjoy.”

As one of the judges, Fahey told those gathered at Branch 26 on Brunswick Street for the ceremony that they don’t know the names or hometowns of the entrants until after they have been selected.

“It was a tough job picking the winners,” Fahey said. “There was very little difference in them and all three judges had to come to a consensus.”

With hundreds of entries, it was a long process.

“We know there is some great work and a lot of thought gone into the entries, even the non-winners. For some reason, this area – Colchester and Cumberland counties – gets their share of winners.”

Fahey isn’t sure when the national winners will be chosen.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

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