FOLLOWING ON the heels of a local girl winning the local, zone and provincial levels of the Legion poster and essay contest last year, this year’s contest is underway for students.
Peter Crompton from the local Royal Canadian Legion Branch 13 says it’s a great opportunity for students to enter and doesn’t have to be a class project or even a school project.
Students can enter on their own time in the poster or literary contest; the posters can be either colour or black and white and the literary contest gives the choice of writing an essay or poem.
Last year’s local, zone and provincial junior winner was Emily Barron with her poem Soldiers.
Crompton believes she came in fourth place at the national level.
In the 1990s, the city had several provincial winners and a national winner, he says.
“There’s talent out there,” he says.
In the past, he remembers receiving about 600 entries in the contest, so many that legion members had to form a committee of about 10 to 12 people to go through all the entries to choose the branch winners.
They would whittle the numbers down to about a dozen and choose the winner from there.
Last year, and in recent years, the legion only receives about 128 entries and two or three people can look at them and choose the winner.
But he’d like to see the numbers of entries rise again.
There is a cash prize for branch winners, zone winners and provincial winners.
National senior winners, Grades 10 to 12, also get a cash prize and a trip to Ottawa to represent young people at the national Remembrance Day ceremony.
Contest packages have been mailed out to schools already – they’re sent out at the end of August, in time for the beginning of the school year, to give students a chance to work on entries before they’re swamped with schoolwork and homework.
Crompton says the legion hasn’t received entries from senior students, Grades 10 to 12, for several years now.
He’d like to see all the schools put up the poster advertising the contest so students can see it and decide if they want to enter.
And if they’re going to enter, he advises students to follow the rules exactly to ensure their entries will be considered.
For example, the poster contest states that the finished product cannot be more than 56cm x 71cm (22 inches x 27 inches). The literary contest allows only a certain number of words for essays and a certain number of lines per poem that can vary depending on the age category.
The poster part of the contest is open to students Grade 1 to 12, and the literary part is open to Grades 4 to 12.
The deadline for entries to get to the legion here is Nov. 15.
Anyone with questions can call Crompton at the legion and leave a message.