Eleven-year-old Harmon Cornish of Elim Christian College Middle Years is the 2020 winner of the Auckland Intermediate Schools Cook Island Reo speech Competition.
Harmon’s speech honoured the legacy of his grandfather and the perseverance of his mother Judy to honour and keep the ancestral language alive.
“At first I thought that I am nobody in some else’s language but then I learnt the language of my ancestors. I want to display this around my neck, a reference from proverbs, and encourage others to know the language of their ancestors. This is our cultural identity,” said Harmon.
Mandy Heim, middle school lead at Elim Christian College, says the school is so incredibly proud of Harmon “who is a brilliant young ambassador for his people”.