Junior Preparatory |
Throughout my 13 years at St Benedict’s College, the Cultural department has always been of an exceptional standard and the debating team is a prime example of just that.
In December 2014, a number of milestones were reached, a select 5 of us were chosen to participate in the week long Young Leaders Conference at WITS as a reward for the outstanding work we did at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Model United Nations conference where we won a myriad of awards from Best Delegates to Best Speakers.
We also broke new ground at the Johannesburg Model United Nations Conference hosted by the American International School. The goal was set to better the last year’s results, a seemingly impossible task, but throughout the year the debating team had sparked a new interest adding over 10 new members. An after-school debating work shop had over 25 hopeful young debaters.
Despite the fact that the matric students were unable to go to any debates due to various other schooling commitments, St Benedict’s sent three full team to SAIIA and 5 debaters to JoMUN. Novices to JoMUN, Michael Efthymiou, Jared O’Reilly, Rhett Flanagan, Michael Bertasso and Dylan Greenstone acquitted themselves well. An administrative error at AISJ meant that Jared had to represent a different country at a moment’s notice: he went on to be awarded Best Delegate in the General Assembly 3 Committee. Michael represented Nigeria in the Advisory Panel on the problems facing that country and was given a delegate commendation for his skills. Further, he led the resolution to the Security Council and broke tradition when he ensured the resolution was passed.
Debating at St Benedict’s is sure to keep growing in the next few years, particularly with the proposed Catholic Schools League, based on World School’s style of debating, being introduced in 2016. Whether it is fuelling a boy’s passion for politics or simply giving him a platform to voice his opinion, in the time I have been a part of the prestigious club, the debating team has only matured and will continue to do so in years to come.
2015 Debating Captain/Head of Culturals