On Monday, 20th January, the first Lectern Club of 2020 marked the start of an Olympic year, taking the theme, ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’. Once again, the Sixth Form rose to the challenge in Olympian style with six new speakers from Lower Sixth stepping up to share their thoughts. The short speech category began with Cyrus Sharma’s contribution entitled ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici, Cecidi’, in which he spoke convincingly about the growing trend for robotics and technology superseding human achievement. Nicholas Ng followed with a discourse on eugenics and the dangers associated with pursuing perfection in his speech entitled ‘Success, The Double-Edged Sword’. Parthenia Thevar concluded with her interpretation of the theme, ‘Is life a bed of roses?’ in which she explored how we compare ourselves with others, concluding that the process or journey we undertake is ultimately more important than the outcome.
Following a delicious main course, the long speech contenders took to the lectern. Sohana Jethnani held her audience spell-bound as she described, in a speech entitled ‘Kindred Spirits’, the life of an eleven year old Indian girl living in poverty with limited life opportunities but determined to succeed and how this inspired her. Gian Forero Ziegler also inspired the audience with ‘Why stop at gold?’ in which he extolled the virtue of constantly striving for better, celebrating effort rather than achievement and finally, Freddie Patten brought the long speech category to a close with ‘The power of ancient words in modern times’ , a humorous and motivational contribution which reflected on the links to MCM’s own motto and ethos, pushing us all to give of our best and be the best we can be.
With the help of guest judges, Hector Lim and Nicolas Lim, and after the usual lengthy deliberation, Nicholas and Sohana were declared winners of the Short Speech and Long Speech categories respectively and the Master and Mrs Stevens look forward to welcoming them back as judges at the next event in March. However, guests all agreed that the evening had been a stimulating and entertaining experience and that in true Olympic fashion, the bar has been set high.