And the rest wasn't history

Columba College pupil Georgia Wong receives a prize from New Zealand Holocaust Centre director Chris Harris after winning the Paul Seideman Annual Composition Prize. Photo: Linda Robertson
Columba College pupil Georgia Wong receives a prize from New Zealand Holocaust Centre director Chris Harris after winning the Paul Seideman Annual Composition Prize. Photo: Linda Robertson
When Georgia Wong submitted an essay in a national history competition and heard nothing back, she assumed someone else had won, and the rest was history.

That was until yesterday, when she was sitting in the middle of a history class, and New Zealand Holocaust Centre national education director Chris Harris walked in and announced she had won the junior category of the Paul Seideman Annual Composition Prize.

To say the 15-year-old was surprised, is an understatement.

''Entries closed in July and I hadn't heard anything, so I didn't think it was me.

''I had no idea I had won.''

Her essay was about the Holocaust, injustice and standing up for others.

The essay was praised by Holocaust survivor Mr Seideman.

''It's really cool to hear that something that I've written and put a lot of effort into, has been read by so many people - that it touched a Holocaust survivor.''

Mr Harris said Georgia's success was extraordinary because the essay was good enough to win the senior (year 11-13 pupils) category of the competition.

''When we saw the calibre of the writing, she was way up there.''

Columba College principal Jenness Riethmaier said the school decided to keep Georgia's success a secret until Mr Harris could visit the school and break the news.

She will now travel to Wellington in January next year, to read her essay at a Holocaust Remembrance Day event in Parliament.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment