Lectern Club – MCM 2123: 110th Anniversary

On the evening of 24 March 2023, Master Stevens and Mrs Stevens warmly welcomed six young speakers with their guests into their home for a night of Lectern Club. The theme of the night was ‘MCM 2123: 110th Anniversary’ and what made this Lectern club particularly special was the attendance of Mr Burbury, the future Master, at the table. This challenging title elicited speeches that were not only forward looking but concurrently honoured the illustrious past of Marlborough College Malaysia. In terms of practicality, the speakers were divided by short and long speeches.

We kicked off the night with a short speech delivered by Bryan, titled ‘Carpe Futurum’, which is Latin for ‘Seize the future’ or as the modern day adolescents would say, ‘YOLO.’ Bryan’s use of the humorous slang right from the beginning instantly tied the audience members in. In his speech, Bryan used impactful repetition by following the phrase ‘the same hands that..’ as the legacy of an Old Marlburian, in order to honour them. He delivered his speech with well-articulated words and fluidity to his speech. He preached the importance of seizing the future by leaving a lasting legacy, in order to empower future generations and achieve greatness. By using rhetorical questions and including personal anecdotes, Bryan used language like a magnet, drawing the audience in and keeping the judges engaged until the very end of his speech.

Lee was the next to speak for the short speech category with his title, ‘Back to the present: let’s create the future.’ He began his speech with an interesting and appealing beginning and he led the audience to imagine how Marlborough College Malaysia will be in the future. He introduced lots of original and impressive ideas and his speech was just like a breath of fresh air, with vitality and energy, keeping the audience engaged from the beginning to the end. Then he led the judges to think deeply about how we could create the future like he has described. ​His speech was impactful and gave the panel a lot to imagine and think about. His passion for the subject matter was evident and his speech was both informative and entertaining, which was no easy feat.

Emily was the last of the short speeches with her title, ‘A Legacy of Progress’. Emily delved into the exploration of two alternative and contrasting futures: one possible future of facing our ‘Cataclysmic Doom’ of climate change, in relation to the Willow Project, and another future where Marlborough College Malaysia continues to flourish and provide inspiration to its pupils to thrive. Emily’s speech kept close to the theme as she described the celebration of MCM’s 110th Anniversary marked with the unearthing of Marlborough’s physical legacy: the time capsule, buried in the Michaelmas Term of 2022. Her speech ended on the note: the past is a compass to guide our future. Her final message was that the possibility of a future in 2123, lies with what we, the people, want and truly value as an MCM community.

The transition into the long speeches came after enjoying a delectable seabass course with baby potatoes and assorted vegetables on the side. First for the long speeches, it was Linda with her title, ‘Forever Young’. Linda’s speech discussed looking into the unpredictable and unforeseen future of Marlborough with a sense of pride and confidence, the same way the current generation of Marlburians look back at the past excellence of Old Marlburians. Linda used the example of famous British poet Sir John Betjeman who graduated a hundred years ago to illustrate her point. She put an interesting spin on the words of her title: not worrying about what the future holds, as no one is forever young but forever there will be someone young.

Following Linda was Meredith. Meredith’s speech, titled “Probable Futures”, began by introducing ‘The Butterfly Effect’ a concept introduced by mathematician Edward Norton Lorenz. The butterfly effect suggests that even the smallest actions can have a significant and unpredictable impact on the future outcome of a system. Meredith smoothly shifted the focus of her speech to bringing it ‘closer to home’. She created a recurring metaphor that played with the idea of rolling a die, relating to the topic of probability taught in Mathematics lessons, but the twist was each number could lead to a different future. At heart, she expressed how people are able to decide their future for themselves if they are willing to take action and control.

Dasha wrapped up the evening with her wonderful speech, ‘A glimpse into the unforeseen’, which was about how the development of technology will change MCM in 100 years through the lenses of learning and socialising of students. She engaged with the audience using several impressive and remarkable examples, which have struck a responsive chord in our hearts. She explained that the learning aspect in MCM will be ameliorated by adjusting the school programme to make it more personalised, and she also emphasised that even if the entire world is changed and made more individualistic and reserved, MCM will always be diverse and collective, just like a tapestry of diversity, a beautiful blend of different colours, woven together into a stunning masterpiece. We were all impressed with the depth of content of her speech, and we felt like her speech was a symphony of ideas, each note building upon the last to create a harmonious and splendid message.

When Dasha’s speech came to a close, we were graciously guided into the Master’s Study for a discussion by the panel of judges. It was a tough call to make but after much discussion, convincing and echoing of opinions, the judges made the unanimous decision to crown Emily winner of the short speeches and Meredith winner of the long. The former judges humbly resign their position and pass on the beacon of wise judgement to the winning pair in the coming Lectern Club.

Written by Jasiel and Brandon

You may also like