Coming up roses

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Rose of Tralee 2017 Southland winner Brooke Thompson.

SOUTHLAND is looking for its next Rose of Tralee.

The competition, run by the Invercargill Irish Society, will be held on Saturday, May 12, at the Ascot Park Hotel.

Entries are open for single women of Irish heritage who in August will be aged from 18 to 28 and who have lived in New Zealand for at least 12 months.

Last year’s winner, Brooke Thompson, an apprentice electrician, said taking part in the competition was a great opportunity for her and her grandmother to bond.

“I had no idea about my background before I did it. When I entered me and my grandmother chased it up. It was great to find out where I’m actually from. It was a cool experience and I’m glad I did it.”

Being Southland’s Rose of Tralee was so much fun, Miss Thompson said.

“I’m very excited for the next girl. My advice to her is to be honest and truthful to herself and to have fun.”

The Southland winner will represent the region at the national competition in New Plymouth in June, and the national winner will travel to Ireland in August to represent New Zealand.

Invercargill Irish Society secretary/treasurer Mary Rae said the competition was an opportunity for young women to showcase their family history.

“Contestants have said it’s been a great awakening of their curiosity about their background,” she said.

To enter the Southland Rose of Tralee competition, or to buy tickets, email inversirishsoc@gmail.com. Entries close on April 30.

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