The pen truly is mightier than the sword, and what better way to commemorate the fallen heroes of ANZAC than to pen a tribute in their honour.
As Samoa joined the commemoration of ANZAC yesterday, the winners of the ANZAC Essay writing competition were congratulated at the Office of the New Zealand High Commission in Apia.
The winner of the competition was Aunoa Uele from Samoa College. The writer will be representing Samoa this September at the Somme Commemorations in France; joining other winners from Cook Islands, Tonga and Niue. The two runners up were Romario Pose from Samoa College, who wrote a letter and Layton Lolo of L.D.S College, who penned a poem.
“Today the 25th of April 2016 marks the 101st anniversary of the commencement of World War I,” said New Zealand High Commissioner, Jackie Frizelle.
“This war was meant to be the war to end all wars, but history shows it was not meant to be as so with another war to follow, it is also one hundred years since the first ANZAC day ceremony was held.
“A day of mourning for the loss of so many good men at Gallipoli as well as a day of thanksgiving for those who survived.
“It is important that we all remember the horror of war, the sacrifices made, and those who did not return.”
For the competition to commemorate the fallen, the sacrifice and the victorious, senior students were asked to write a 1,000 word essay, poem or letter on the sacrifices by Samoans and allied servicemen and women during the First World war and what it meant to them.
“The three winners that we are recognizing this afternoon were judged in expressing the theme best,” Ms. Frizelle said.
“All three of these students touched the mind, heart and soul with their ideas and observations; I really enjoyed reading their work which left me inspired by the thoughtful and talented leaders that are developing in Samoa.”
Ms. Frizelle added: “I also want to give light to the invaluable assistance of Marj Moore and Samoa Observer; Silafau Dr. Sina Va’ai of the National University of Samoa who continued to cultivate the art of creative writing here in Samoa.
“The essays were all marked independently and ‘blind’ which means we took off the students names to ensure absolute fairness.”
Ms. Uele said her inspiration was her mother.
“I was really inspired by my mom and also the study centre which was established at Malua with the aim of encouraging kids to practice writing,” she said. “I also want to thank all my teachers in Samoa College who pushed us to do more writing so that we may improve academically.”
Winning the competition came as a shock to the young writer.
“I am overwhelmed, I didn’t expect to win anything and when I joined this competition I was just doing it for the love of writing,” she said.
“A message for young writers out there is when it comes to writing there’s no secret, practice makes perfect."
"Just keep going and you will gradually improve.”