Woodturner Ken Broadland is featured at the Imagine That! artisan’s co-op in Duncan this month. (Submitted)

Woodturner Ken Broadland is featured at the Imagine That! artisan’s co-op in Duncan this month. (Submitted)

Lexi Bainas column: Public speaking, woodwork, and a chance to meet a Cuban baseball team

Valley Rotarians are celebrating the finalists in this year’s Hector McIntosh competition.

Valley Rotarians are celebrating the finalists in this year’s Hector McIntosh competition.

For those of you who don’t know, the event showcases some of the best young public speakers in the Cowichan Valley, in this Rotary Club-sponsored event. These students speak on varied, creative and current topics, and these finalists had to come with a new speech for the finals event!

While public speaking may not be, in essence, entertainment, it is still an art form, in my opinion. And, like success in every other kind of art, speaking well before a crowd requires discipline, attention to detail, and a knowledge of the tools of the trade.

In other words, you need more than just a good voice or a charming manner. I remember seeing some Hector Macintosh speakers at a Toastmasters meeting, and we were all blown away by their poised, well-presented, interesting speeches. And there is no gender advantage in public speaking. Like equestrian competition or selling real estate, males and females duke it out equally in the same arena.

This year, Category 1 (Grade 4-6) was a sweep for Queen of Angels students. The winner was Roman Cornish, with Cardin Benham second, and Sedona Bond, third. In Category 2 (Grades 7-8), first place went to Noah Bird (Q of A), second place to Evan Maher (Q of A), and third place to Annika Harrison (Bench Elementary School). Category 3 (Grades 9-10) competition saw Kennedy McDiarmid (Brentwood College) finish first, followed by Frances Kelsey Secondary School’s Spencer van der Linden in second, and Maya Weckesser in third. In the senior Category 4 (Grades 11-12) the winner was Jaylynn Barth (Brentwood College), followed by Emma Mandziuk (Brentwood College) with Fara Fola-Alada (Shawnigan Lake School) taking the bronze.

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Katie Daniel has sent me the latest news from Imagine That! on Craig Street in Duncan.

“On display in our windows through to June 28 is Wonderful Woodturning by Ken Broadland. He worked as a Conservation Officer on southern Vancouver Island for 29 years before retiring in 2002. He started woodturning as a hobby in 1991. His main goal in turning wood is to present the wood’s beauty in a useable form. His specialty is large salad bowls and servers, with a supporting cast of other creations such as cutting boards, kitchen implements, small bowls, coasters, cremation urns, artistic bowls, and whatever else catches his interest. Designs are simple and practical. The wood Ken uses is salvaged from around the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island,” she says.

The co-op’s gallery is also featuring Boxes & More.

“Robert Andrews creates beautiful hand-crafted boxes from selected hardwoods found on Mayne Island. His boxes have a smooth velvety touch on the exterior, and his interiors often feature nested shelves. From the tiniest of boxes which might hold one precious piece of jewelry to larger boxes which could corral all of your electronic devices, his boxes are a treasure,” according to Daniel.

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I usually leave the sports stuff to my far-more-qualified colleague, Kevin Rothbauer, but today I get to include a cool item about baseball.

Berry Music Company is presenting a unique “meet and greet” dinner and dance. It’s being held Sunday, June 9 at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton. You get to meet the members of the visiting Cuban baseball team from Union de Reyes, enjoy a meal, and enjoy music performed by Doug Towle, lead singer for Supernatural Santana Experience. The fun all starts at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $20 each. Get them at the pub of call Rick Shay at 250-709-7524.