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ESC Meeting 1st April 2019

So much has happened in such a short time! Here is a reminder of our last club meeting – full of energy, it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of our members better.

John Drinkwater, our Sergeant at Arms, gave an inspirational introduction to the meeting, in true Toastmasters style (‘It’s not where you start, it’s where you end up’).

Our Toastmaster for the evening, Paul Hickson, then introduced a full and carefully organised program of speeches, evaluations and impromptu speaking. He was assisted by John as Timekeeper, Tom Hendra as Ballot counter and Paul Dowdeswell as videographer.

The Warm-up gave everyone a chance to contribute. Gary Argent encouraged us to speak on ‘Happy memories or April Fool’s jokes’, a wonderful, lively beginning.

Moving on to the prepared speeches, first speaker was Matthijs Houweling, sharing with us the history and delights of his home city, ‘Haarlem’. We now know the meaning of the Dutch word ‘Gezellig’ (a little like the Danish ‘hygge’?) – sounds inviting, anyway.

New member Philip Smale followed with his Icebreaker speech ‘What have I done to make my ancestors proud?’ This was a lively speech showing wide interests and revealing Philip’s ambition to become ‘the best version of’ himself that he can be. I agree with the Toastmaster, this was a trailer for at least 10 future speeches!

Willorna Brock spoke on ‘Obsession’, the name of a famous perfume, appropriately describing Willorna’s keen and lifelong interest in all things girly and glamorous.  What lovely images she conjured up!

Julia Belling shared her experience as a parent in ‘A lost age of innocence’ – playground knowledge will influence our treasured offspring. (Do they REALLY know THAT WORD??) Education itself can generate a conflict between thirst for knowledge and hearing about the evils of the world. Much food for thought.

Some excellent, well-considered evaluations of the speeches followed, from Matt Tuff, Phoebus Apostolidis, Patrick Ebbs and Dave Goodman.

In the second half of the evening, Zane Vaisla led the Table Topics session with the theme of Quotations. Members and guests were invited to consider quotes from Henry Ford, Thomas Jefferson, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson and many others. Experienced Toastmaster Anjana Roy had the challenging role of Topics Evaluator, telling us what was great about the session, and finding maybe, one or two possibilities for improvement.

Finally, Penny Williams was General Evaluator for the evening, sharing her experience for the benefit of the whole club.

Winners were:

Best speech:                      Philip Smale

Best Evaluations:             Phoebus Apostolidis and Dave Goodman

Best Topic:                          Kathy Addison (new member!)

On Sunday 7th April the Division H Contests were held, won by our members Dan Magill (International Speech contest) and Amanda Zwarts (Evaluation)

Many Congratulations! Both go on to the District 91 Contests in early May, and we wish them the very best of luck.

The date for our AGM has been agreed by the committee. It will be held at our club meeting on May 20th (we have two meetings in May, on the 13th and 20th, avoiding Bank Holidays!)

 We are looking for new committee members, so if you are interested, please talk to any of our current wonderful committee to find out more, and I will be in touch soon with details.

Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you very soon! Our next meeting is Monday April 15th, with Patrick Ebbs as Toastmaster.

Gillian Prior


Photo by Ren Wang on Unsplash