I was in London yesterday for the Commonwealth Awards evening ,I have been a judge for the essay competition for some seven years,and have considered it to be the greatest privilege of my life. It is so uplifting to read the thoughts and ideas of the coming generation from across the world. From Africa,Asia,the Pacific to the Caribbean, from Europe to North America and Canada, this competition gives the young a voice.Among the 2.2 Billion of the Commonwealth ,half of them are under 25. So by giving them a voice the RCS gives a voice to the coming generations of this world.
We as judges are not paid ,but i get huge satisfaction and consider it an honour.
The Competition started in 1883.
Anyway the evening was hosted by the New Zealand’s High Commission in London,as the senior category is won by a 19 year old. A most talented,articulate young lady.
You can see the photos here.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48001336@N08/10961262116/in/photostream/The Penthouse suite of the NZ House in Haymarket in London is an amazing place. Equipped with a great bar and the views to die for, I stood mesmerised as the whole of London glittered in front of us.
The Ambassador himself,the H.E. Rt Hon Sir Lockwood Smith,a most charming man if I ever saw one. He told us that he had been the education minister of his native country, a writer and he even indulged in singing and has campaigned to improve the rights of dylexic children.
He has a great sense of humour and a huge twinkle in his eyes. When I said to him that how full his life has been,he replied with a very engaging smile that “life is for living”!
I met some wonderful people,the lady from the NZ society who was so engaging and suggested that I should visit NZ,we chatted for a long time,and another distinguished guest ,charming and full of enthusiasm for the young of this world.So far I have only known Tony D here from NZ, I have just found out ,how friendly and warm the people of NZ are.
Here are the winners with the Rt Hon Sir Lockwood Smith.
It was an amazing evening, we were treated to a live Maori dance and a “Hiku”. This was another first for me! Seeing the talented dancers so close.
What I found rather refreshing is ,though the Maori ladies were well clad,the men were very scantily dressed. They had the bodies to die for!! Tall,strong ,muscular and oh ever so graceful!
I will have to visit NZ! Have to add to the list to do things before I die!