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Community & Business

18 November, 2022

Lachie Crighton is Lions Youth of the Year

Staying ahead of the curve, Pittsworth Lions Club hosted its 2023 Lions Youth of the Year competition.

This is the third time the local round has been held in November of the prior year, as a means of avoiding the pressures on students in February as they begin their Year 12 assessment tasks.

Five entrants were interviewed by the judging panel at the school ahead of the traditional dinner and public speaking segment at the bowls club in the evening.

This year’s winner, Lachie Crighton will now compete at the regional finals in Toowoomba in March.

The evening’s public speaking award, judged on impromptu talks and prepared speeches, went to Samuel Lightfoot. 

The other entrants were Bree Crighton, Patrick Quinn and Lincoln Seagrott.

The judges complimented all five students on under-taking so admirably the challenge of the competition, a rewarding learning experience in its own right.

Last year’s winner, Emma Collins attended the evening function and gave a brief talk of the benefits she’d gained from Youth of the Year participation through greater confidence in public speaking and increased ability ‘to think on the spot’.

She thanked the Lions Club, James Evans and Wilma Proudlock in particular, for their support during the experience.

After the evening meal, the students entertained the 30-strong audience of Lions Club members, family supporters and the judges, speaking on a wide spectrum of thought-provoking topics, viz. passion, pandemics, suicide, nihilism and accidents.

Although retired, high school teacher and Lions Club member James Evans has continued as the event organiser and MC of the evening function, his 16th year in those roles. 

David Olischlager acted as timekeeper and Mr Evans presented judges Kerry McIntyre, Alastair Silcock and Jane Silcock with pens afterwards, thanking Mrs Silcock for helping out at the last hour when illness struck down the third judge.

Lions Club president Stephen Johnson congratulated the students on their initiative, personality and engagement within the community.

The Lions Youth of the Year event has a proud tradition, nationally and locally. The competition began in Australia 60 years ago and has been held annually in Pittsworth since 1966, bar a few ‘gap years’.

Along with the school’s Senior Wellbeing and Engagement Co-ordinator Tiffany Hirning, Pittsworth High School principal Daniel Lindenmayer sat at the students’ table supporting them at the evening function.

Quite possibly it was the same table at which he’d eaten more nervously 20 years earlier, when he was school captain and a Lions Youth of the Year entrant. The year 2003 saw joint winners go on from Pittsworth to the regional finals in Dalby. They were Daniel Lindenmayer and Robyn Silcock, daughter of this year’s judges.

Forty years ago, Pittsworth’s 1962 Lions Youth of the Year winner was Ben McIntyre, husband of third judge Kerry McIntyre.

It’s 10 years since their daughter Kate McIntyre won the 2013 competition.

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