Wednesday, December 16, 2009

41st District Interact Conference

On the 10th of December 2009, 9 Interactors went to Nilai University College, Negeri Sembilan to attend the 41st District Interact Conference. The conference was hosted by the Rotary Club of Klang and over 700 Interactors from 111 schools attended the event.

Low Zhi-Yang, Lau Yen June, Esther Foo, Anisha Passcuran, Lim Qing Wei, Jonathan Lee, Giselle Soosay Nathan, Ong Kar Jin, San Peggy and Teoh Pei Ji all attended the conference. We weren't sure what to expect as we had never been to such a large-scale Interact Conference before.
After registration, the girls headed off to their dorms and the boys went to theirs. We got changed into our conference T-shirts and went downstairs to the Multi-Purpose Hall, where most of the talks would be taking place throughout the conference.
The conference featured many talks from several professionally-trained, distinguished speakers. We later learned that none of them were paid to speak at the event.

Us Wesleyans were really excited to see Mr A.R. Peter, our former principal. We went up to him and were glad to find that he is still as amicable as ever. As Past President of the Rotary Club of Klang, Mr Peter (or Master Peter as he was addressed by Rotarian Anthony Dass) laid down the house rules. Later on he gave one of his trademark speeches on 'Patriotism towards the Country'.

After dinner the Rotaractors of ATC conducted a session that highlighted our constitutional rights and the rights of the child. After that, Rotarian Gerard Lazarus, an accomplished lawyer, gave a hilarious speech on 'Crime-Related Problems in School'. After supper we went to bed and had a good night's rest for tomorrow.

On Day 2 the official opening ceremony was held, where all the Interactors had to wear their official Interact uniform. The Wesleyans stood out as one of the few groups that were not clad in black, but purple! After the opening ceremony we got a chance to properly mingle and get to know the other Interactors, which was one of my favourite parts of the event.
After the opening ceremony, more talks were held- however, the most inspiring talk was conducted by Datin Paduka (Dr) Hajjah Sharifah Mazlina. She talked about her journey all over the South Pole and the North Pole, all for the love of her country. In preparation for her trip to the South Pole, she underwent rigorous training to build up her strength and endurance. After becoming the fastest person to cross the South Pole, she injured both her kneecaps yet refused to undergo surgery, as advised by her doctors. Instead she trained even harder, became a sharp-shooter and went to conquer the North Pole. She became the first Muslim to cross the South Pole and the first Asian woman to conquer both. After completing her North Pole mission, she said, "This is for all of us Malaysians; Malaysia boleh!"

After that there was a talk on how Interactors could use social media to their club's advantage- a move which we will be taking in the future. After that was formal night, where everyone got dressed up to watch performances. Everyone was having fun, but due to strict time constraints, we had to return to our dorms.

Our president Zhi-Yang and vice president June.

Day 3 was full of talks, some less engaging than others. There was also a huge treasure hunt. The highlight of Day 3 was the Talentime competition, where unfortunately the judges were very strict on time.

The next day Past President Rotarian Dr. Siva Ananthan spoke on 'The Leader in You', which was amusing and thought-provoking at the same time. Then there was a workshop, where all the Interactors sat in their respective groups and discussed several topics with their Rotarian representatives. Issues such as the problems faced by our Interact Club, conference pros and cons, and Rotary participation were all dealt with, and later on we were given 1 minute to present whatever we had discussed. A question-and-answer session followed. Certificates were given out to the Interactors, and we returned to our dorms to get things sorted out before making the journey home.

Zhi-Yang receiving the certificates on behalf of the WMS Interactors.

All in all, it was an eye-opening conference and we certainly learned new things that could help us as Interactors in the future.

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