Seeking stand-out southern rose
Calling all Rose of Tralee hopefuls.
The Invercargill Irish Society, which covers all of Southland, are searching for a lass to represent the province in the national Rose of Tralee competition, in New Plymouth in May.
The national winner will be crowned the New Zealand Rose and travel to County Kerry, Ireland, in August - and that victor could be here in eastern and northern Southland.
The contest is to open to unmarried women with Irish heritage, between the ages of 18 and 28, and they must have lived in the New Zealand for at least two years.
Entrants will be judged on their confidence, personality, presentation, and overall suitability to represent New Zealand on the international stage.
Invercargill Irish Society president Lynne Ferguson said the ultimate goal was to send the Southland Rose to represent their region and New Zealand in Ireland.
The event has been an institution in Ireland for the past 54 years and it is where women of Irish descent compete to be crowned the Rose of Tralee.
"We are looking for friendly girls with a nice, bubbly personality and a sense of humour, who will stand out.
Ideal candidates would know about Southland and be able to speak confidently in public about the region and their heritage, she said.
The Irish Society regional Rose of Tralee competition will coincide with its St Patrick's Day celebrations at the Invercargill Workingmen's Club this Saturday.
Irish Society secretary Mary Rae said the celebration would be an informal evening with traditional dancing and music.
"It will be an old-fashioned family, Irish shindig [party] and we hope everyone wears a bit of green," she said.
CALLING ALL ROSES
What: Rose of Tralee Southland competition.
Where and when: This Saturday at the Invercargill Workingmen's Club.
Cut-off entry: Entrants must apply before noon on Friday, March 15.
The Southland winner: Will compete in the New Zealand final, in New Plymouth in May. The national winner will travel to Ireland in August for the world final.