"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
Poland is a popular destination for UK travellers – 851,000 visitors came from the UK in 2018. Well known for its picturesque cities like Krakow and Warsaw.
However, on Friday 24th January 2020 the college community was delighted to receive a visit from Alina Maciag, the Polish Governor of the English Speaking Union.> Alina had been invited by Bruce Hicks, the college’s Public Speaking Co-ordinator to come to Liverpool to judge at the Branch final of the Liverpool Merseyside ESU Branch. (Mr Hicks had recently attended the International Council Meeting of the ESU in St Petersburg where a number of contacts were made).
This was in fact the 60th Anniversary of the Churchill Public Speaking contest. As Churchill himself said "The Polish people and nation will forever hold a warm place in British hearts. It was in defence of Poland’s freedom and independence that Great Britain drew the sword against Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939, within forty-eight hours of the German invasion of Polish territory."
The PSC. Bruce Hicks said, “We were determined to do something very special for this year”. Mr Hicks gained sponsorship for the event from Connards Jewellers, Lord Street, Southport and from Morgan Sindall Construction. This allowed the local committee to have many awards and prizes for this very special competition. The event was held at Hope University, Liverpool with the kind permission of Vice Chancellor and Rector Professor Gerald Pillay.
A new feature of the competition was the involvement of Longmoor Community Primary School who presented a debate using the MACE model.
Mr Hicks had arranged a busy programme for Alina's three day visit. Not all was hard work, as we managed to go to the Burns Night Celebration at the Athenaeum in Liverpool.
Speaking on her return to Poland, Alina sent a message to the college, “thanking them for their wonderful hospitality and saying how impressive the atmosphere from staff and students was in the college during her visit.”
Alina also had the opportunity to spend some time with our own “Polish community” in the college as both Head Boy and Deputy Head Boy came from Poland a number of years ago.