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The Golden Gavel Speech Contest is an annual event sponsored by the Golden Gavel Committee. The purpose of the contest is to encourage people to become involved in public speaking through friendly competition. The contest is open to any resident of Vancouver Island who is 17 years of age or older, whose training and experience in public speaking is limited to the 18 months immediately preceding the contest and who has not entered a Golden Gavel speech contest before.

The Golden Gavel contest was first sponsored and started in 1946 by members of the Union Club in Victoria, BC.

The Golden Gavel trophy is, in itself, an historic object. Crafted immediately after the Second World War, the materials came from the ship, "Prince Robert", a decommissioned troop carrier. The craftsman, Harvey Phillips, used mahogany from one of the ship's cabins to form the case, or "casket". The gavel itself is turned from lignum vitae, the "wood of life". Being extremely hard, and containing an abundance of natural oils, this wood was used to form the steering bearing casings on ships. These materials have been beautifully crafted to form the Golden Gavel trophy, honoring past and present winners of this contest.

Learn more about HMCS Prince Robert.

HMCS Prince Robert Photos with permission of Bill Hillman.
 Revised October 2016


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