St Hilda's Collegiate School pupil Ihlara McIndoe after
winning the ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Otago and Southland
speech competition in Mosgiel yesterday. Photo by Peter
The possibility of attending Anzac Day commemorations in
Gallipoli this year have moved closer to becoming a reality for
The 16-year-old St Hilda's Collegiate School pupil won the
RSA Cyril Bassett VC Otago and Southland speech competition
in Mosgiel yesterday and is now in the running to win the
trip by representing the southern region at the national
final at Government House, in Wellington, in April.
The annual competition for years 12 and 13 pupils aims to
promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of the
sacrifices made by those who served New Zealand in armed
Ihlara's heartfelt and moving speech yesterday encouraged
secondary pupils to honour the sacrifice made by New Zealand
soldiers by living according to their morals - courage,
commitment, comradeship and integrity.
In winning the regional final, she showed humility by paying
tribute to the excellent speech by runner-up Jacobi
Kahu-Morris, of Logan Park High School.
''I really didn't think I would get through,'' she said.
''It will be quite an honour to represent Otago and Southland
Ihlara said she had been to Gallipoli once before when she
was 12 years old, and was eager to return.
It had been a thought-provoking experience and much of her
winning speech was inspired by the trip.
''If I were to go back now, five years later, it would be an
even greater eye-opening experience.
''It would be amazing.''