Richard Wilson McDonald Memorial Literature Contest

October 25, 2017 at 3:43 PM

Saint Kentigern is filled with talented playwrights, poets and short story writers – we see it every day in our students. The Richard Wilson McDonald Memorial Writing Competition is held annually to harness that creativity and select the best entry in each genre from those who have a passion to write.

The annual competition commemorates a former student who was tragically killed in 1979 at the end of his 5th Form year at the College. The prizes for this competition were endowed by Richard’s parents in memory of their son. Richard was a writer and since its inception, the competition has inspired students to strive for their very best in poetry, prose and the art of storytelling.

Richard is remembered as a happy-go-lucky young man with exuberance and a joy for life whose legacy lives on through this contest. Like so many before and since, he had particularly enjoyed Field Centre during his 4th Form year and at the conclusion of that year, he wrote this for the 1978 School Magazine. 

Richard M Wilson, 4B1, 1978

A mountain is useless

Some people say

Just a mass of stone

That gets in the way

Of progress, roads

And even dawn,

That starts the day.


But that is the reason

That God put it there

To serve as a challenge

And raise up the hair

Of those who think they ought

And those who think they dare.


Man needs something to live for

Just out of reach

For man needs to learn

What God wants to teach –

That life is too easy

Down on Earth’s vast floor


So go on if you dare

Take up the challenge

And see how you fare;

Go climb to the summit

But when you reach the top

Promise Him to keep going

Promise Him you’ll never stop.

This year has seen a wide range of writing voices and subject matter.  Those who have placed in this competition have written in a way that lifted off the page and commanded attention from the reader.  Across the board, students have produced some imaginative narratives that showcased strength in their writer’s craft. 

The annual literature competition is open to all students in three age categories to submit an original poem or short piece of prose. Congratulations to this year’s winning students:  

Year 7 Poetry
1st         Jacob Johnston                The Night Sky

Year 7 Prose
1st         Kate Thibaud                    (Untitled)

Year 9 Poetry
1st         Nathaniel South               Snowfall
2nd        Oscar Salmond                 Winter in Taumarunui
3rd         Luka Borland-Lye             NZ Beach Time 

Year 9 Prose
1st         Danielle Mayer                 I am a Stranger
2nd        Samantha Street              Autumn Forest
3rd         Alicia Lynn                         Number 22

Year 10 Poetry
1st         Ella Shirtcliffe                    Opium 1977
2nd        Heeju Rho                          Fear
3rd         Kristen Hansen                 The Definition of Our Love 

Year 10 Prose
 1st          Tayla Smith                        Who wouldn’t want to be that girl?
2nd          Nicola Stewart                  Reunion
3rd          Holly Simmons                 Having Children

Year 11 Prose
1st           Caleb Atkinson                  The Sound of Silence
2nd          George Kozlov                 The New Student
3rd          Jack Horsnell                     Do You Remember the Vietnam Jungle?

Year 12 and 13 Poetry
1st         David Thibaud                  Beneath the Delta 

Year 12 & 13 Prose
1st         David Thibaud                  The Fall
2nd        Anna Todd                         The Social Worker

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