Veterans at the Baron Byng and Dawes Road legions recently met to recognize achievements by two local high school students.
Zara Ahmad, a Grade 10 student who lives nearby the Branch 11 Royal Canadian Legion on Dawes Road, received awards and a bursary in a June 4 ceremony at the branch for winning silver in an Ontario public speaking contest.
Ahmad’s speech was about violence against women.
“A lot of people think women have equal status to men, but that is ridiculously untrue,” she said before the ceremony.
“It is still a problem.”
As a young Muslim and a leader of the women’s empowerment group at Bloor Collegiate, Ahmad said she wanted to do what she could to highlight the issue.
“It’s not just in Muslim society,” she said, adding that some extremists misinterpret the Qur’an to advocate violence.
“It’s all over the world really.”
At the Baron Byng Beaches branch, Christine Devine, a Grade 9 student at Notre Dame High School, was recognized June 11 for winning a national prize in the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual poster contest.
Devine’s poster features two hands passing a poppy with the words, “Remembrance, Pass it On.”
“I just wanted to convey the path of remembrance, from the older generation to the younger generation,” Devine said.
Sandra Slosel, who teaches visual arts at Notre Dame, said the school has come close to winning provincials before, but never the national contest.
“It’s not always the most technical pieces,” she said. “It’s the ones that resonate emotionally.”