Commonwealth Essay Competition Review 2006

Write around the World

Seychelles (2006). During the year. Canada. Malaysia (2006). Line also wrote a scholarly and prize-winning article for the Commonwealth journal The Round Table. India (2006). Sridurga. Singapore (2004). In July. Charles Kemp. Their enthusiastic involvement in the Competition is an inspiration and we hope that you will enjoy what they have to say in this review. Amanda Chong. A in our publications. Elly Varma. London by the Canadian High Commissioner to the UK.Welcome to the 2006 Review This has been another highly satisfying year for the Commonwealth Essay Competition which is organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society. South Africa. Cameroon. M. The article quoted many entrants in the 2004-2006 Commonwealth Essay Competitions and will be published in February 2007. To demonstrate the geographical spread. 2 Review 2006 . 4. Jacquelyn Kataneksza. she placed a flag showing the number of participating schools. Her starting premise is that entries will reveal the world-view of the candidates. Pakistan. Nilusha Perera. Line created a time-line composed of prize-winning essays starting with an entry from 1922. Malaysia (2006). Simone Dishaw. HE Mr James Wright. India (2006). Noreen Masud. HM Queen Elizabeth II visited the Commonwealth Club to mark the opening of the Club’s new extended premises. Line explores the themes of imperialism and modernism. Ghana. India (2003). Zimbabwe (2003). For each Commonwealth country and territory. Tanzania and Trinidad & Tobago. Fabianna Bonne. India (2006) and Anika Venter. Shamira M. she identified the whereabouts of the 1.350 schools which took part in the 2006 Competition on a map of the world. Mauritius. Chengetai Mahomva. it has been a privilege and a delight to hear from so many young writers. Ashwina Rangasamy. Singapore. Runners-up also came from India. Singapore and Vanuatu. Jason’s success Finally. Alizeh Khaleeli. They he was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Service. The entrants quoted (with the year of their entry in bracket) are: Sharanya Athithan. Sri Lanka (2006). Nigeria. the project manager. Zaynab Mosafeer. Line Gissel shows a map of the world with details about The extract was read aloud during participating schools to HM the Queen Elizabeth II on her the Commonwealth Christmas visit to the Commonwealth Club in July. To show the historical depth. As always. We aim to make use of these photographs newspapers in Ghana. Pakistan (2005). Toyad. Sri Lankan essay on the importance of preserving cultural history and a Singaporean essay about racial discrimination With my best wishes. Pakistan (2004) Alizeh Kohari. Carol Service in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. You can read an extract from his essay about living in two cultures on p. organised a display illustrating both the historical depth and the geographical spread of the Essay Competition. Jillian G. South Africa (2005). I would like to thank all those of you who sent was also picked up by several newspapers in Canada and us photographs of your schools and your students. Our team of 24 Examiners awarded prizes to 21 winners from Australia. contribute to a diverse and exciting photo library which Other prize winners were featured on websites and in local we are developing. Seychelles (2006). Mauritius (2006). Chief Examiner * If you are quoted. Pakistan (2005). We welcomed back into the Competition schools from Kiribati and Vanuatu. Mauritius (2005). Leon. We received more than 6000 entries from 1350 schools in 54 Commonwealth countries and territories. South Africa (2006). Kenya and the Seychelles. she compares the essays written in the 1920s with the stories and essays which we receive today. please contact the Royal Commonwealth Society for a copy of the article (please do not enclose your request with the entries for the 2007 Competition). Shaiba Sarkar. Sri Lanka. Jawad Qureshi Pakistan (2006).* The 1st prize in Class A went to Jason Choo from Southridge School in Canada. In particular. were published in two Commonwealth Ministers’ Reference Books. Line Gissel.

Xavier’s Boys’ National School Sri Lanka Commonwealth Prize Melody Akinyemi Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls Nigeria (Lagos) Specially Commended as Runners-Up: Henry Andersen Applecross Senior High School Australia (Western Australia) Rebecca Goh Zhonghua Secondary School Singapore Jhosy Ng Chu Xi River Valley High School Singapore Class D (under-12 year olds) 1st Prize Leow Tze Yan. Johannesen West Point Grey Academy Canada (British Columbia) 4th Prize Elizabeth Tan Su Lin CHIJ Secondary School (Toa Payoh) Singapore Special Prize Jesuthashan Johnson Joy MN/ St. Class A (16-18 year olds) 1st Prize Kyomim Jason Choo Southridge School.A. School Pakistan Sarah Pickett Summerland Secondary School Canada (British Columbia) Vikram Singh Cathedral and John Connon School India (Maharashtra) Class B (14-15 year olds) 1st Prize Scott Wang University of Toronto Schools Canada (Ontario) 2nd Prize Tan Juanhe Raffles Institution Singapore 3rd Prize David Inyene Hundeyin Oxbridge Tutorial College. Valerie Chongfu Primary School Singapore 2nd Prize Madeline J. Nigeria (Lagos) 4th Prize Alina Ahmad Karachi Grammar School Pakistan Commonwealth Prize Guy-Folly Chefor Cameroon College of Arts. Science and Technology Cameroon Specially Commended as Runners-Up: Pavithra Iroshini Chandrasena Maliyadeva Girls’ School Sri Lanka Christmarine Fernando International School Seychelles Zohra Nasir Springfield School Pakistan Stephanie Phang Tanjong Katong Girls’ School Singapore Patricia Marie Rodrigues Kianda School Kenya Class C (12-13 year olds) 1st Prize Fatimah Ashraf Lahore Grammar School Pakistan 2nd Prize Rejoice Ntumy Ridge International School Ghana 3rd Prize Peter L. San Fernando Trinidad & Tobago Joint 2nd Prize Sasha Sa Point Grey Mini School Canada (British Columbia) 4th Prize Rhea Chatterjea Bangla Language & Literary Society Singapore Commonwealth Prize Nabiha Saklayen Colombo International School Sri Lanka Specially Commended as Runners-Up: Muhammad Ahnaf bin Abdul Rahim Victoria Junior College Singapore Sara Faruqi The C. Rodgers West Moreton Anglican College Australia (Queensland) 3rd Prize Chidinma Josakweker Laureate International School Tanzania 4th Prize Mattie Landman St Katharine’s School South Africa Commonwealth Prize Tan Hua Yang Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) Singapore Specially Commended as Runners-Up: Uma Girish D. Winning an award or commendation is a considerable achievement for all entrants and something of which they can be rightly proud.S.A. Canada (British Columbia) Joint 2nd Prize Martika Percy St Joseph’s Convent.Prizes Congratulations to the Prize Winners of the 2006 Commonwealth Essay Competition.V. Singapore Nandita Nair International School Seychelles Bhargavi Patel Bloorlea Middle School Canada (Ontario) 3 Review 2006 . Girls’ Senior School India (Tamil Nadu) Jessica Lee Methodist Girls’ School Singapore Sheldon Lim Wei Jie Maris Stella High School (Primary).

I could come up with many more examples of my misuse of English.” These errors are not huge. Jason Choo Southridge School. memorizing “SAT words. Here Jason Choo answers the question “Does English allow you to be fully yourself or do you also need another language?” whilst Alina Ahmad explores the topic “Crossing the boundary”. I don’t talk so intellectually in Korean. Because English is a second language to me. but. it is difficult for me to fully express myself academically.” Many of the words and phrases that I use are “marked.” I should have said “polite. This is frustrating because I am a very funny and urbane person. and entertainment. I have spent many hours.” Memorizing all those SAT words has Newspaper cuttin gs (left to right): Th made me seem like a bit of a nerd. which forces me to speak in a literal manner. or emotionally. I can see global issues from two perspectives. I sometimes call my 12 o’ clock meal lunchy. They also live in more than one culture. On the contrary. even though I cannot be fully myself when communicating in English. should I say. However. socially. they appear awkward or out of place to a native English speaker. and National Post August 2 200 6. The advantages of learning English are not just external. The Peace Arch News July 29 2006. in fact. but they give me an awkwardness that I would not have if I spoke only Korean. The true me is no longer just Korean. there is so much more to me than they see. At least a quarter of the world’s population can speak some English. international relations. English has official status in more than 75 countries and is spoken as a first language by over 375 million people. I am limited by the fact that idioms and expressions do not come naturally to my lips. science. You may now think that I am arrogant.” Many Koreans applying to American universities are forced to go to Scholastic Aptitude Test schools to learn what is needed to score big and get into Harvard or Yale. but that is only because I couldn’t think of any word that was better than “urbane. days. and more people are learning it every day. academician. I told my classmates that I licked dogs. I know the meaning of many big words: lugubrious means sad.” it just doesn’t sound right to native English speakers who would say. Learning a second language has been shown to cause the brain to build more connections within itself. lackadaisical means lazy. Culturally. Canada 1st Prize in Class A e Province August 8 2006. but it will never be just English. This has made me more open-minded and empathetic with other people. English is the main language of literature. like the country I live in. Learning English has provided me with the opportunity to attend a very good Canadian school and is giving me the chance to matriculate at a North American university.Living in two cultures Many of our young writers speak two or three languages. I. am a mixture of two cultures and two languages. business. The fact that I am learning English as a second language will help me in the future. I am glad that it is the language I am learning. While I cannot be fully myself in English. 4 Review 2006 . “that lazy fat guy sure looks sad. corpulent means fat. I remember when I was twelve. “the corpulent lackadaisical man appears lugubrious.” This means that although they are usually grammatically correct. I am learning more about the world. While my English speaking friends may believe that they know the “whole” Jason. I have called myself an “expert” hockey player when I should have said “skilled. For example. or. I get kitchen and chicken confused. when I say. As a result. Do not think that I have a limited vocabulary. adding English to my communication skills has made me a more complete person. I don’t believe that this is my true nature.

. There are kids who just visit back and forth often. I sometimes think that if everyone could cross a boundary and look at the world from a different viewpoint the world would be a much better place.and American. Pakistan 4th Prize in Class B 5 Review 2006 . My father comes from a land where male figures dominate society and my mother comes from a place where women and men are considered to be equals. sing Paak Sar Zameen and watch Indian movies..yet neither Pakistani.. that I realize that I am really very privileged..and other American kids who are living in be more understanding and less judgemental. or hasn’t started driving lessons yet. I am sure we are all a little confused. with completely different cultural and sociological traditions and beliefs. There are other times.My parents come from two distant corners of the world. And in Pakistan. Alina Ahmad Karachi Grammar School. I find great difficulty in answering this question. My father is Pakistani and my mother is American. or who only owns three shalwar kameeses. America is full of people who are helpful and friendly. two languages to communicate in and the list goes on and on. sing the national anthem and watch fire works on Fourth of July.. to this day. Pakistan may be dirty and corrupt and may be filled with chaos. My father likes spicy food for dinner at 10pm and my mother likes bland dishes preferably at 7pm. There are times I feel sorry for myself for not knowing where my real roots are. This allows me to be a better person . though. When I am in Pakistan. two religions to help me understand God. I was born in the US but have lived in Pakistan for 10 years with trips back every summer. There are Pakistani kids that have moved to America . but I really do love Pakistan.and the desi food! The fact is that I am Pakistani. or who has not been baptized. But I take consolation in the fact that there are lots of people who feel this way. I am often asked whether I prefer America or Pakistan as a home. I still have not been able to figure out which place I like most. I love it just as much! I feel completely like an American when I hang out with my friends back in Kansas. My father comes from a background in which religion plays a large role in life. On the other hand.nor American. and everything is very beautiful and organized.. while my mother comes from a background in which religion is generally a private matter which doesn’t play a major part in daily life at all.. I have two places to call home. But I also feel totally Pakistani when I read the Quran. two sets of customs to choose the best from. so I have seen my share of both worlds. But when I am in America I cannot help missing the craziness of Pakistan. In fact. I’ll always be the kid that has never been to prom. Some differences are major and some are minor. I’ll always be that girl who cannot recite some verse from the Quran. In America. the country I call home. I miss the joy and opportunity of America.

At the police station. shattered. I repeated to myself.” I sat quietly for a moment. Creative writing lies at the heart of the Competition alongside academic excellence. He saw me and asked how I was doing. mentally hurling abuse at the murderers. but she was strong and spoke with composure. they’ll be put on trial and hopefully convicted. Malta. “What is actually going to happen?” He laughed. your grandson will be there to hear it . tears rolling down her cheeks. Case may not even reach court. tug the strings of your heart.” Vikram Singh Cathedral and John Connon School. The summer in Bombay is a torrid affair. I said in a hoarse whisper. The rest will be threatened with their lives. “What happens now?” I asked the man. went in to see my father. Some stories make the hairs tingle on the back of your neck. He nodded and apologised. exciting. a police officer. all of eighteen years old. Inspector Rane. But all that changed in an instant. She was. how do you think I am?” I shot back. Enjoy these extracts! Vikram Singh’s moody and atmospheric story about revenge and the loss of innocence is set in Bombay (Mumbai). was at home. it will conveniently not have enough evidence for a conviction. “Whoever has had to be paid off has been.. A million thoughts went through my head. 6 Review 2006 . after we had identified the bodies. The police needed to talk to her. I sat on the stairs. In a panic I picked up the phone and spoke to the man. when we find them. India Runner-up in Class A Illustrations by Amit Banda. broken intermittently by the occasional sound of the pressure cooker.. It was a dispute over some borrowed money. it is not just hot. all from IES Jawaharlal Nehru Port Vidyalaya. “We look for the men. which are written from direct personal experience. it felt like some dream. Vikram describes a visit to the police station after a murder has taken place. I. In this extract. shrunk from the phone and collapsed into a chair. One of the younger inspectors on the case emerged from the police station. She dropped the receiver. we were ushered in to talk to an officer. Others set the pulse racing. not because anything was funny. “Half my family has been murdered. There was relative peace in the house. and then slowly asked. It was a dry disgusted laugh. the heat maliciously partners itself with the humidity to create an unbearable environment. Mangesh Mhatre and Anusha Putti. we’ll be right there”. Some make you smile or laugh out loud. As I sat there. not really wanting to think.Creative writing and story telling Every year. by the time the verdict is out. broke their legs and then shot them till they were dead. vivid and dramatic stories from all over the Commonwealth. without a question. I excused myself as my mother spoke to the police. Why them? I asked myself. I’m really sorry. aimlessly flipping through the channels of the television. who elaborated on what had happened. They beat him and my brother up. the Examiners have the opportunity to read fresh. it’s just not possible. India and Sara B. The phone rang and the voice on the other end delivered a hammer blow to my mother. a nightmare I just wouldn’t wake up from. Grech. My mother was in the kitchen cooking dinner while my father and brother were yet to return from their office. This can’t be happening. Others still. not knowing what exactly I should think. A few wring tears from your eyes. and even if it reaches court. moving. student at Mater Boni Consilii St Josepth. To the best of their knowledge some goondas. small time players of the gang war. but because the truth was quite sad. Late on one such summer evening. If it does. eyes wide. “Of course. Walking outside.

I held on to Aditiya but luckily it was only Uncle Jay. Uncle Jaya. I told them everything and Mamma broke down. The sport had become part of their lives. to endure the path. I screamed and ran to our old house and dashed in. leaving the opposing team either to scratch their head in confusion or to hide their embarrassment. and dwell in the happiness of life’s path. and pounce on their prey. In most incidents his playmates would get so dizzy from chasing him around that they would give up soon. the birds sang merrily and flowers blossomed. the sun streamed through our house. watching the ceremony. ducking below low branches and finally. back and front. Vili would step this way and that. Vani Tabudravu Indian College. For them the most important thing was God. sevens rugby. He was unique and had moves that could sweep you off your feet. His father had a habit of hunting for wild pigs with bare hands and Vili had accompanied him then. It was too late. Vili had gained his speed and skill and when this was taken to the ground. Sindhu Rajindran SMK Convent Bukit Nanas. All at once the two would sprint after the wild boar. Aditiya.. well. Suddenly on one Wednesday evening. Aditiya is dead. playing their favourite sport. He said that desperate times make people do desperate things. Once again the days passed. He was swift and flexible with his steps. step right.Sindhu Rajindran’s bittersweet story about war-torn Malaya touches on the love and betrayal that can happen when families are struggling to survive against the odds. but there was something unpleasant on his face. In this extract. Vani describes how the young man learned his skills. Pappa’s words. Fear once stood as a barrier and boundary that caged and crippled us. If only Aditiya was here now. His skills developed amazingly when he was a youngster. Vili also had spectacular foot work. After some time. We were delighted. A month after his death. As night approached devastation was around the corner. Everyone cheered and clapped. distant inseparable memory. Every afternoon except on Sunday. it was truly sensational to watch. Here. Vili’s father was always the clumsy one. Being supple limbed he had a bag of tricks that would stun the spectators and players all the same. They would wind into the deepest forests that had tall trees. The truck drove away but I still ran. just like a rattle snake. enduring complete silence. Aditiya sensed it.. Sindhu brings her story to a close. However. “. Mamma and Pappa kept us safe throughout the war. Malaysia Highly Commended in Class B Vani Tabudravu tells the story of a young rugby player from a poor village family whose dream is to play for the national side in honour of his late father’s passion for the game. He would accidentally step on a rotten wood and the wild pig would make a run for it. we were surrounded by Japanese troops. he would join us to celebrate new beginnings. Pappa said that uncle was a traitor and that he gave information to the Japanese to get extra money and food. we heard footsteps in our building.. “Aditiya. I moved on with life. Today we faced it. His name had become renowned all over the district and was slowly spreading over the ocean to the outer islands. intimidating and virgin forests and searched for their prey. I’ve learnt that happiness isn’t the magical miracles of life. Suddenly we heard footsteps again and before we knew it. Vili would be seen on the bald playground with his cousins and friends. They grabbed Aditiya and placed him on a truck. I gave up Aditiya. Crossing that boundary. to reach the pinnacle. they would slowly walk up to it. crawling through the desert. I stuttered. Yet now. Step left. he was a person I loved and admired. Three weeks later. I ran but just couldn’t go fast. I only thought of the delightful times with Aditiya. I hate him as much as I loved him before. then their family and third most important was rugby. jumping over the fallen logs.. Yet still no news from Aditiya. The war was over and the Japanese surrendered. A month passed. he. When they found one at last. making a dive for it. Vili was a star in the making. There’s always a pin to pierce your heart in every corner and there’s always family to sew it back for you. Fiji Islands Highly Commended in Class A 7 Review 2006 . he. confusing the players and when he found a gap. he would make a run for it. Fear however will always remain a faint. the morning was beautiful. I held Mamma so tight before she could say anything. this time with Mamma and without Aditiya. I did not understand what Pappa said and cried incessantly for days.

and when I am done I will be a teacher. And I would reach people. Stephen. turning me like a planet towards a sun that shone with something bright and reachable. when winter in the Northern Hemisphere finally turns towards Spring. 8 Review 2006 . I have sought to retain and consolidate this aspect of the Competition. and I will press words into the ears of young minds so that they are aware not only of the gift of stories but also the world around them. he believed passionately in the Commonwealth and its potential to bring people together in a positive and creative way. I have been to every continent in the world. Only then will the world (with so many things going wrong) reach the point you set out to achieve. and one thing does not change. Nicola Lazenby (left) and Dr Charles Kemp (below left). As a means by which young people can find their voice and share what they have to say. a young South African student with a talent for writing powerful stories and a keen ear for the rhythms of the English language. I could shape a life and push it into the mouth of a character. important things and strange things. The second letter is my reply. it is always delightful to hear from a candidate who has been inspired by their involvement in the Competition. I have been accepted to study English and Drama in the Humanities Faculty of the University of Cape Town in South Africa. and the more we are able to hear and truly listen to the stories of others. eventually and with my greatest hopes. Here we share extracts from two letters. staying true to my father’s vision whilst reaching out wherever possible so that others. In his quiet and unassuming manner.What makes the Commonwealth Essay Competition special The Commonwealth Essay Competition is both unique and special. the entries begin to pour in from all over the world and the magic is rekindled as the Examiners read through all the essays and stories in their search for the year’s winners. I won Class B in 2004. compassionate and less violent place to live. I was given a Commendation. If the young people can know this. whether young writers like yourself or your parents and teachers or other readers. I started writing for the Commonwealth Essay Competition when I was thirteen. The following two years brought me a Specially Commended and Highly Commended award in Class A. Every year. they can write about it in stories and experience or facts and reports and ideally. Reply by Charles Kemp. I began to know what it was I had to become so that I would never be hungry again. It was a taste of fresh fruit to my dry language. We each have one to tell. begin to understand one another in important ways. it was built up by my late father. And then. and they were all made up of words that I wrote. with a repeat performance the next year when I turned fourteen. As Chief Examiner. the Chief Examiner I have been involved in the Competition for twenty years. It has a magic that is felt by many of the people who come into contact with it. and they would be beautiful and new and old. with its various episodes and chapters. then the world will become a more respectful. you drew a picture for me that said I could do anything I wanted. The first letter we received from Nicola Lazenby. In its modern form. I believe no less passionately than my father that the Competition has a significant role to play in human affairs. who in turn would reach the part in people where we escape to. I also believe in the power of “stories”. And these words are being spoken because of a fire you started in me and no doubt in others “write around the world”. I will teach English. can enjoy the opportunity to be part of this wonderful exercise in global communication. Like you. I would tell them things. there is nothing if there is not language and communication.

Our community looks very filthy and dirty. also. A bridge would therefore be constructed so that even when it rains. farmers or people in the neighbouring communities can come to buy our foodstuffs and vice versa. It is also a school that does not have any library. ladies and gentlemen. I would apply for the district educational fund from the local government to build three schools so that children would be educated in spacious and well ventilated class-rooms. I promise you that all that I have said will come to pass. Nigeria. and also to announce my development plan for our community. bath. we received some excellent. “Nananom”. which are killing our people. Secondly. we have a saying that cleanliness is next to godliness. Foodstuffs get rotten because farmers cannot cross the bridge because of the flood. I would also construct boreholes to prevent waterborne diseases from invading our community. I would therefore make sure that we have good drinking water by asking the World Vision International to provide us with clean drinking water. urinate and sometimes go to the extent of easing themselves in the river. The gutters have not been desilted for a very long time now. 9 Review 2006 . This would enable them to learn hard to become great people in future so that if we are no more there to lead the country. If we do not keep our community clean. they would do so. all pupils are forced to be in one room. I am very happy to stand before you today to thank you for voting for me during the elections. the loss leading to poverty of the individual farmer. If people are too overcrowded. Rejoice Ntumy Ridge International School. so they would have to wait till the bridge is fixed and this leads to the rotting of the foodstuffs and. Thank you once more for voting for me. measles etc. food stuffs always get rotten. malaria etc. These can cause diseases such as cholera. fellow citizens. You would also see a lot of rubbish in the gutters and a lot of mosquitoes in the ones which contain stagnant water. You can imagine if it rains and the river is in flood. I would therefore make sure that the community is clean by organising communal labour periodically in the community for the cleanliness of the community. Thirdly. just because of the water we have been drinking. We have heard about and seen a lot of water borne diseases around. It is just a wooden structured house with only two windows and no doors. Ghana 2nd Prize in Class C The busy library (above) and students (right) at Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls. The only source of water in the community is the River Waya. This river is not safe for drinking because people wash.” By way of reply. As we all know. education is the key to success and also children are the future leaders of the country. we have only one school and that school is not good at all. To start with. one of the topics was “You have been accepted to an important position in your school or community. I would also send for the waste management council to come to our community every week to clean there and also make sure that we have a place for dumping our refuse so that the community would always be clean. They are also likely to get some coughing diseases like tuberculosis. Last and not the least. the bridge that we have on the River Waya is not strong. the elders. they can get skin infections like rashes. chicken pox. the chairman of the town development committee. whooping cough etc.Gha na Teenagers as elected representatives In Class C. Therefore we must educate them well to a very high standard under suitable conditions. we would become sick. As it is a small school. informative and informed answers. there is no safe drinking water in this community. none more so than this speech by Rejoice Ntumy. But I need your hard work and co-operation. small pox. Write an acceptance speech thanking your supporters and explaining what you will do.

slowly and stately. can Co adeline M n Angli oreto West M lia Austra ss D e in Cla nd Priz 2 d eenslan and Qu r inne Prize W 10 Review 2006 . fresh catches from dawn. The variety of noises. with cumulus clouds that refused to rain on Market Day. It was Saturday. ranging from the small sardines to the huge tuna from the warm seas of the Indian Ocean. A few stalls had a beach umbrella to protect the vendors from the oppressive heat of the tropical sun. in a tiny island in the Indian Ocean: Seychelles. Nandita Nair International School. There were huge slabs of concrete. I shouted to my good old friend. I then went towards the fish market. heavy footsteps. waiting to be served. Seychelles Runner up in Class D and Seychelles Prize Winner gers J. The bouquets of dahlias and roses for sale added to the diverse aromas. Victoria Market. with an assortment of noises. I could see an old man at a stall. it was all there. farmers and fishermen. even the smell of curries. “Bonjour Noeah”. birds twittering. it happens every Saturday. Shoemaker. as if they did not have a care in the world and nibbled on the remains of the fruits and vegetables that were on the ground. the mixture of sights. spices and all kinds of tropical vegetables scattered like a rainbow of colours. It was all a huge jumble and a welcome sound to my ears as I tried to absorb it all in. It was crowded with people from all walks of life. From the corner of my eyes. the market was as full as ever and customers were huddled together. Fish. A woman with stuffed shopping bags pushed past me and made her way towards the fish market through the bustling crowds. They were mostly make-shift stalls. a sturdy piece of wood laid over crates and boxes. mothers and youngsters. at the Victoria Market. coriander. people talking and gossiping in Creole.Local Prizes Two of our Local Prize winners chose the Class D topic “Write a poem or description of your local market”. White cranes sauntered around. in front of the stalls. regardless if they knew each other or not. others stood in shaded areas. Rod llege. grilled fish and burgers as there were eat-outs nearby. as I made my way to the oldest market seller. Nandita Nair vividly brings to life the sort of market you can encounter all over the Tropics while Madeline Rodgers skilfully captures in the opening three verses of her poem the feel of a market where second-hand goods endlessly circulate via car boot and jumble sales and flea markets. A medley of sounds seemed to greet me as I walked through the market. mangoes. the atmosphere of the one and only market in Seychelles. smells and sights assuaging my senses. The vegetable market is the area where most of the stalls are and there were dozens. There was a diversity of smells that one could not identify all at once. The enormous palm tree in the middle of the market rustled when the occasional wind blew. Although it was early morning. so pleasing to the eye. and the distinct smell of fresh fish wafted across the early morning air. was vibrant as usual. scattered across the cobbled streets. vivid greens. All my senses were alert and working in full mode! The sky was always a bright blue. spinach. thyme. Shark. laughing and giggling. papaya. They greeted each other cheerily. and on them was a variety of fish. the bang of the heavy five rupee coin hitting the wood. peppers. dazzlingly colourful. so prominent with his cowboy hat and his loud piercing voice. the range of smells. “Bonjour”. enticing customers to stop by his stall. with an array of herbs. all in their own world. cinnamon. It was humid weather in spite of the wind but that didn’t stop the Seychellois from being as exuberant as they could be. doing different things. Saturdays at the market are always lively. green chillies. selling an artist’s palette of vegetables. vivacious and effervescent. a motley gathering of parents and children. Red Snapper. vendors advertising out loud.

Congratulations to our 2006 local prize winners! Australia. Western Australia Jenny Nguyen Annalisa Filippone Jessica Warriner Okara Bannis Marita O’Sullivan Katherine Cubbage Arinteiti Francine Baaro Rayda Aaishah Joomum Kiran Apsarah Mahadeo Arvind Luximan Yashna Devi Ramjeet Rebekah Ilave Kirsten Napier Nandita Nair Louisa Francis Calvin Duggins Silas Hawa Class B Class B Class C Class B Class B Class D Class B Class Class Class Class A B C D Dominica Falkland Islands Jersey Kiribati Mauritius Papua New Guinea Scotland Seychelles St Helena St Kitts & Nevis Vanuatu Class B Class C Class D Prince Andrew Community High School Class C Basseterre High School St Patrick’s College Class B Class A 11 Review 2006 . Queensland Jacqueline Burgess Rosemary Skerman Madeline Rodgers Makeely Blandford Caillum Coleman Bessie Doran-Smits Tobias Locke Australia. Flacq Forest Side (Girls) SSS Port Moresby International School Sandwick Junior High School International School Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class A B B B B B C C D D B C D D D D D Australia. South Australia Benjamin Mylius Camilla Birch Laura Goodwins Lucey Graney Caitlin Morrison Sebastian Tonkin Joanna Palmer Alexandra Walters Emma Becroft Caithlin O’Loghlen Faith Lutheran School Pembroke School Pembroke School Marryatville High School Marryatville High School Marryatville High School Pembroke School Pembroke School Sunrise Christian School Lenswood Primary School St Teresa’s College Dalby Christian School West Moreton Anglican College Sunshine Beach State School St Maria Goretti School St Joseph’s Primary School St Elizabeth’s School Mirrabooka Senior High School Mirrabooka Senior High School Applecross Senior High School Convent High School Falkland Islands Community School St Michael’s Preparatory School Moroni High School Loreto College Port Louis Loreto College Curepipe Mahatma Gandhi SS.

ndman.o Em Facsimil y@rcsint rg ail: essa t. llege Isla nka Mattie La Inter Co ol. Front co nce Tong on Persevera Camero . died last year. Colom Saklayen Nabiha ve) is fro m Durba n Girls’ edits: Photo cr a uth Afric So College.The Royal Commonwealth Society wishes to acknowledge the kind generosity of all those who gave their support or made donations to the Commonwealth Essay Competition 2006. y h Societ onwealt l Comm a Avenue The Roy berland Northum 25 AP WC2N 5 London UK 0 6733 ) 20 793 e: +44 (0 9705 n Telepho 20 7930 : +44 (0) e . Sri La at Fazaia nal Scho ternatio Students bo In . oundere apore ool Nga ary Sch ary). 2006 Local Prize Sponsors Prize Sponsors Other Supporters Barclays Bank (Mauritius) Bob and Betty Thorp Endowment Mr George Charleston (co-ordinator of the Mary Jackson Memorial Prize for Scotland) RCS Bath and District Branch RCS Bristol RCS British Columbia RCS Jersey Branch RCS Montreal RCS Queensland RCS South Australia RCS Western Australia British Council Association Cambridge University Commonwealth Society Margaret Best Endowment Stephen Kemp Memorial Sheila Ramsay Lochhead Memorial Commonwealth High Commissions in London Commonwealth Ministries of Education Commonwealth Secretariat English-Speaking Union. Sing gual Prim ool (Prim frica ent Bilin inese Sch South A Governm nglo-Ch School. We remember his contribution to the Competition with gratitude. A ng Tan. a former Examiner in Class A.rcsin ebsite: w W 6748 mber 22 harity nu C The (abo hat photo top left): wise from ver (clock hwoh. Designed and produced by Quattro. tharine’s akistan P St Ka Hua Ya mabad. Tel: +44 (0)20 7766 5225 . Mauritius Looki ng fo rwa 2007 rd to In Remembrance Stuart Mason.