WE may read about the creation of humankind in the Bible and about true love in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but what is the link between the two? At the 45th Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival's ''Thematic Group Speaking: Senior - Forms IV to VI'' held recently at Island School, the Island School team answered this question with its story entitled New Beginnings. The 16 teammates wove together many divergent stories of new beginnings - in life and love - to take first place with an impressive mark of 92. The first runner-up was the Chinese International School team which performed Life is a Dream for 91 marks. The other teams fielded by these two schools tied for third place. The Chinese International School performed In a dark time and the Island School presented Freedom From ..., both gaining 90 makes. Adjudicator, Ms Hilary Clulow, said it was extremely difficult to select a winner since all four participating teams were very good indeed and all scored honour marks of 90 or above. ''I've never seen such a high standard of performances at this or any other festival. ''I thought that perhaps New Beginnings was slightly more balanced than the other entries, so it picked up first place,'' Mrs Clulow said. She explained that the winning group worked with complete commitment and concentration and said that their selected material was appropriate and well balanced and that every member of the group deserved congratulations. Lisa Holmes, a Year 10 student, said that although the team had worked very hard, they did not expect to win because they knew the competition would be strong. Lisa, who is studying GCSE drama, said: ''What we wanted to convey was that everything in the story was linked to new beginnings and we worked hard to stick to the topic.'' Lisa revealed that the other GCSE team from her school had chosen to perform the Freedom From... story, leaving her group with New Beginnings. She explained that preparation for the contest began in September when students, aided by their teacher Mrs Lacey Vittachi, tried to compose a story which bought together a lot of different material. ''After the writing was finished, we started practising right away. We encountered some difficulties, but nothing that strong team spirit could not overcome,'' Lisa said.