It was a beautiful day in the year 2022. 6th of November to be exact. Coincidentally it was the second day of the Gavel Conference ’22. It was D – Day for gaveliers all around the country as it was the most prestigious event organized by the Association of Gavel Clubs in Sri Lanka. Apart from being all that even more preparations were needed as it was more than just a meet and greet. The second day of the Gavel Conference was the day that the Finals of the All Island Best Gavel Speaker competition was held as well.
Some insight about the All Island Best Gavel Speaker competition, it is the ultimate contest for daring and passionate public speakers who are born to shine the brightest in the spotlight. The preliminary round, semi-final round and final round were held in three speech categories as prepared speeches, impromptu speeches and speech evaluations. The preliminary round was held on the scale of individual Gavel clubs. The semi-finals were held after selecting two contestants for each category from a gavel club. The finals were held with six members per category.
Getting back to the day of the finale, indeed, I was there representing Gavel Conference. But I’d be lying if I say I wasn’t rooting for the home team. I had every reason to. Two of the most outstanding gaveliers in my club were among the finalists for the prepared speech category and impromptu speech category, which I think is reason enough. It is well-known fact that Japura gavel on its own has earned its place among the gavel community as one of the most prestigious Gavel clubs. So I had no doubt whatsoever that we were going to win the title today as well. It was just a matter of listening and enjoying all the remarkable speech sessions done by a number of talented gaveliers in the spotlight until the moment came that had every single person in the room feeling their heart beating on their hands. In the eyes of the spectator, the speeches were done to perfection but the speaker has his or her doubts until it’s the very end that he or she did their best. Of course, they did. That’s why they were there at Seven Say Reception Hall in Veyangoda hoisting the colours of their prestigious gavel clubs. After one of the most mesmerizing and outstanding set of performances that made me proud to be a part of as a role player, that most awaited decisive moment came when the best amongst the best were announced out loud to the most hyped-up audience.
Just as it was her own voice saying “Don’t be afraid to let them show because true colours are beautiful for you”, showed them true colours you did Gavelier Mineli De Croos claimed the championship for the best speaker in the prepared speech category. And yes. The itsy bitsy spider went up the sprout as the sun came out and washed out the rain. Gavelier Asfaaq Sheriffu claimed the championship for the best speaker in the impromptu speech category.
It was a sight to be reminisced as the winners marched up front to receive the award for their valiant efforts in the presence and enthusiasm of all those they loved and cared about.
The gavel club of the university of Sri Jayewardenepura has once again been crowned as the sanctuary for nourishing those who shine on the public speaking platform with their hearts and souls came pouring out through their voices to raise the prestigious club to even greater heights and the outstanding public speakers, Mineli De Croos and Ashfaaq Sheriffu to be held forever in the hearts of those who are yet to shine in that bright light that now, they held the claim to.