Sergeant at Arms, Lloyd Bathurst greeted us warmly. We were touched to realise he had been suffering withdrawal symptoms after missing his fix of Toastmasters the previous week (Waitangi weekend). He invited us to empathise with our Toastmaster's (Carolyn Skerret) house building woes - that she and husband Andrew were camping in the house of an older relative hemmed in with doilies and other elderly clutter.
Carolyn, as TM, emphasised the family theme, announcing the birth Matt Dodson's daughter, Carys Elizabeth. I could not fail to record the feeling of the meeting: best wishes to Matt and his young family.
There were two excellent speeches. We were thoroughly entertained by Steven East's "Nightmare Trip", which showed just how the wheels can fall off when you are on a caravaning holiday ... literally. Yes, the wheels of his caravan fell off three times on a trip back from Kaikoura. It sounds hard to believe, but this was a true story told with great flair and humour.
David Clarkson's spoke about "The Flag". This was an extremely well-executed illustrated talk about a very topical issue. David argued the case for a new flag for our country with passion and logic.
Logic (supposedly) came into Buck Buchanan's Table Topics all of which started with "There is a perfectly logical explanation as to why I was ..." " ... on a seabed in a Russian submarine"/ " ... covered in strawberry yoghurt at midnight on Sumner beach"/ " ... sitting in the back of a police car in Olamalutu" etc. Alison Scott has an amazing ability to extricate herself from anything a TTM throws at her, but her love affair with Dimitri in the Russian sub sounded as though it more likely ended on a water bed than a seabed. Adrienne Malis cavorted in her vat of strawberry yoghurt. Helen Peate's acid trip accounted for her brush with police. Carolyn Skerret was shoeless in Whanganui and David Clarkson was totally, barking mad whilst pursued by a giant haggis - who wouldn't be? All these depictions were so convincing that I am forced to look on their portrayers (and the TTM) in a new (and wary) light.
President Stephen East ended the meeting after a discussion about next week's competition.