Westmount kids
chase their dreams / 5

Local students show off their literary stuff
in Westmount schools Writing Competition.

Introduction by Wayne Larsen.

In what has become an annual tradition in Westmount schools, the McEntyre Writing Competition always attracts a wide variety of thoughtful and creative entries, and the 2015 edition was no exception.

Endowed by the late Peter McEntyre, mayor of Westmount from 1969 to 1971, the competition encourages young writers to express themselves on a designated topic, each designed to get the creative juices flowing. It is coordinated each year by the Westmount Public Library.

This year, “Chasing a Dream” was the topic assigned to students in grades 1 through 11.

While local newspapers have printed the names of the winners each year, space restrictions made it impossible to publish all of the winning essays. Now, for the first time, Westmount Magazine presents the full texts of the first-place entries in each grade category, as supplied by the Westmount Public Library.


Grade 8

Gabriel Khanna of Selwyn House

We never like cold winter days, Jake’s dad always complains about how cold it is. He keeps saying that he’s had enough and is going to pack up the family and move to Florida. Jake however loves living in Montreal. He is just a regular kid, like everyone else in his class. He always comes up with crazy ideas, and new adventures to go on and explore the city. He’s lucky enough to live in a neighborhood that has a lot of different shops and restaurants. When his grade 6 classmates come over to work on school projects, Jake always thinks about what to eat as a snack. He definitely has a favorite, and all of his friends know about it. It’s almost an obsession! Jake happens to live close enough to Fairmount Bagel shop; he can get there quickly on his trusty skateboard. Some of you may know that this is a Montreal institution, making fresh bagels 24 hours a day since 1919. Jake has convinced his friends that he can smell the scent of bagels being baked by the wood burning ovens from his bedroom window if the wind is in his favour. When he gets that smell, there is no stopping his from racing to get a beautiful, fresh, warm sesame bagel.

Over the years, Jake has come to know the store owner, the bakers and the cashier. They all think he’s a cool dude. They’ve taken the time to show him how to make the perfect Montreal bagel.

One day his mom told him to go there less often, it was taking too much time out of his busy day. His mom asked him: “instead of going every day to the bagel shop, can’t you just buy one huge bagel that would last you the week?” His mom said this as a joke, but it wasn’t a joke for Jake. He took it quite seriously. At that moment, he came up with the craziest idea. He told his amazing idea the following day at school during the lunch break. “My mom told me that I should get one huge bagel, so I won’t have to buy so many”. We sat in silence, wondering what he was going to say next. He told us that he wanted to convince the owner of the bagel shop to make the biggest bagel in the entire world with him. We thought that it was the craziest idea that he had ever come up with. “I am going to organize everyone to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. Montreal, the city that made the biggest bagel ever created!” He told us that it would be a dream come true to be in the World Record Book.

Summer time is Jake’s favorite time, because he can easily go to the bagel store down the street with no snow blocking his way. Today is a glorious summer day, even though there are a few weeks of school left. Jake and his group of close friends are at his house working on a science project. After a few hours to work, they decided to hop on their skateboards and go down to the bagel shop and pick up a dozen for their snack. He was full of energy that day as he was going to pitch his idea for the Guinness Book of World records to the owner of the bagel shop. Jake was going down Fairmount Avenue very fast, too fast. Then it happened, the terrible accident. Everyone was in shock as the ambulance took him to the hospital. Jake was going to be okay, but he was going to spend the last weeks of school in the hospital.

Classes were weird without him. We kept thinking about his amazing idea, his dream for his friends, family and neighbours to create the world’s largest bagel. Then his friends got an amazing idea. They were going to contact the Guinness Book of World Records and the bagel owner to carry out his dream. After school the next day, some people from class went to talk to everyone around the neighbourhood while we went to the bagel store to talk with the owner about the idea he never got the chance to hear. He was shocked and excited at the same time. We gathered a lot of people to come and help with the giant bagel, the community rallied around the idea and did their part in making the dream a reality.

We wanted to keep it a secret, to surprise Jake. A couple of weeks later, Jake’s mom went to pick him up at the hospital and bring him home. While his mom was driving Jake asked: “where are we going? Our house is that way!” Jake’s mom was driving up Mont Royal. Then he saw something odd. He saw an entire parking lot full of people, firemen, and policemen on horses gathered around a huge fire. On this fire, a giant bagel! When he got out of the car, he was amazed to see his dream of creating the world’s biggest bagel in front of him. When he came to thank us, we had to thank him because he was our inspiration. We told him that we couldn’t do it alone, so we gathered everyone in the neighbourhood to help us. It was a great day for the Montreal community. We captured an amazing picture of our giant bagel; it was all over Facebook in no time at all!

A few months later, Jake was as good as ever. One day we were all sitting in front of the bagel store waiting for Jake to come on his skate board. That day was also a special day because he showed up with the new edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and there we were with our giant bagel. Now that is a dream come true!

Read Grades 1 through 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7

Photo By Sean via StockPholio.com

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