Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dolphin Do Pictures and Contest Results

Dr Gianna Minton engaging the participants with dolphins.

WOW! That would probably be the most appropriate word for this event a couple of Saturdays ago if ever we needed a label for such a thing.

Through it's extensive network with the Miri community, PUSTAKA Miri managed to draw the crowds in droves. We had children from all ages gathering at the lobby as early as 10 am. Some schools even sent in teams of their best artists to participate in our Coloring and Drawing Competition. Several good things came out from the event: we recognised the fact that we have some very talented young artists in Miri and they were very interested to hear about dolphins and the marine environment in general. The children's beautiful depiction of dolphins and life under the sea didn't make the judging any easier for the judges though.

As for the talk, Dr Gianna Minton didn't have any problems keeping the children occupied and entralled with the subject of dolphins. Competition started around 12:30 and participants had about 2 hours to complete their coloring and drawing using their own preferred tools. Some very quickly get into the business of producing masterpieces while a few took time to get inspired. All participants took part in the talk and slideshow that followed. Admittedly Dr Gianna has a relatively hectic time trying to answer some of the brilliant questions posed by the floor. It's encouraging to see such enthusiasm filling up the auditorium.

Most were very surprised that Miri and it's surrounding marine ecosystem support pods of dolphins all the way from Kuala Baram to Similajau. Though the survey season has just started again this season, numbers of dolphin sightings made as well as newly surfaced isolated reports from fishermen and recreational fishermen suggest that the numbers are not insigficant. There may be more dolphins out there than we are aware of.

Through the work carried out by Project Dolphin and suppport from it's sponsors (Shell, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, UNIMAS), it is hoped that the concerted effort on the part of Project Dolphin will produce some strong recommendations for dolphins to continue to enjoy protection within our waters. Ultimately perhaps even have these creatures enjoy special protection under a designated reserve or sanctuary.

MNS Miri, Pustaka Miri and Project Dolphin would like to take this opportunity to announce the winners of our Coloring/Drawing Contest recently held in conjunction with our Dolphin Do at Pustaka Miri 07th February.

The winners are:

First : Yoyo Tiong Xin Yue - SJK (C)Chung San
Second : Tiong Yong Tung - SJK (C) Chung San
Third: Lawrence Kong – Sri Mawar School

Coloring Contest
First : Stella Tan Wen Jia – SJK (C) Chung Hua, Miri
Second : Chai Li Yin - SJK (C) Chung Hua, Krokop
Third : Azzura Indra Kusuma - Sri Mawar, Miri

All winners won one year Family membership to the Malaysian Nature Society worth $120/year as well as other prizes sponsored by MNS Miri, Pustaka Miri and Project Dolphin. To the winners, congratulations! A special thank you goes to Pn Salina Hj Zawawie, Regional Manager Pustaka Miri and Dr Gianna Minton, Lead Researcher Project Dolphin for agreeing to give away prizes to the children at the conclusion of the talk.

To all our partners, thank you again for a fruitful and successful collaboration. Here's for more to come!

[All photos from MNS Miri unless specified].

Registration of participants, Pustaka Miri crew doing what they do best.

Parents queuing up getting the kids ready for the competition. Photo by Musa Musbah.

The young team from St Joseph School ready for the day's action.

Young artists in action.

The biggest school representation in the drawing/freestyle segment.

Our young participants in the coloring segment. Photo by Musa Musbah.

Young artist in full concentration.

Our free-hand specialist, he has the making of a potential Pixar artist!

A segment of our audience in the well-equipped auditorium at Pustaka Miri.

MNS Miri/Feb2009

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