City of White Rock picks spicy entries

Limerick contest concludes month-long Irish celebration.

Doreen Tadros (in blue) and Rod Booth are congratulated outside White Rock Library by staffers Jean Smith (far left) and Robin Braidwood.

Doreen Tadros (in blue) and Rod Booth are congratulated outside White Rock Library by staffers Jean Smith (far left) and Robin Braidwood.

Both the winner and runner-up in White Rock’s fourth-annual limerick contest still have a wee lilt to their voices, but neither Rod Booth nor Doreen Tadros can credit their victories to an Irish heritage.

Booth, 82, originally called New Zealand home; 74-year-old Tadros’ roots are in England.

And while Tadros – who claimed the runner-up spot for the second year in a row – has past wins and future competition plans for her writings, Booth says his first crack at a contest title is likely also his last.

“This was a one-time effort,” the South Surrey senior quipped. “There’s nowhere to go but down now.”

The limerick contest challenged those interested to pen one of the five-line verses for a chance at prizes sponsored by the City of White Rock and the White Rock Library.

Entries were judged on limerick structure, wit, originality and references to White Rock and Irish culture.

Booth said he was encouraged to enter by a Kent Street Activity Centre staffer who had taken note of poems he writes for fun about other centre members.

Sitting down over breakfast one morning, “it took me about 15 to 20 minutes, I had it done,” he said.

“I had no idea I’d win.”

His winning rhyme was inspired in part by the community’s growing diversity, he said:

There was a young man from South SurreyWhose lack of “The Irish” caused worry.He tried and he triedAnd very near died,But could not survive without curry.

Tadros wove the city’s waterfront into her winning entry:

A young Irish lass with red hairSat on White Rock pier, in fresh airWhen painted all greenShe felt like a queenBut, apart from the paint, was quite bare.

Tadros, who submitted three entries, said the hardest part was working “White Rock” into the rhyme.

Barbara Cooper, a member of the Irish Festival committee, said judges received all manner of words rhyming with “ock.” The 15 submissions that came in, however, were far fewer than those seen last year – a response she attributed to lack of media support.

The limerick contest helped launch White Rock’s Irish Festival, which featured more than two dozen Irish-themed events, performances and activities throughout the city during the month of March.