Meeting report

01 October 2018

We were pleased to welcome our Area D3 Director Alex Davies and his wife Raquelle and a guest, Tania Gibb, a member of Kaiapoi Toastmasters who wants to become a joint member in our club.

Daylight Saving started yesterday and Simon Mortimer as Toastmaster told us that it was a New Zealand beekeeper who first suggested the scheme. Although it was introduced in England and Scandanavia it wasn't until 1927

 that we got an extra half hour. It eventually leapt to one hour in 1971. Two strong speeches were the highlights of the meeting.

Maria Ayala, our Spanish member,  gave her Icebreaker "My Language Story." It was a beautifully structured  speech with lots of amusing stories. She was born in South America, a country of 300 languages, forests and mosquitos.  She said she is a quiet person and loves languages, her mother tongue being Spanish.  She learned Italian and French from listening to opera with her grandmother and had an imaginary friend who spoke to her in French and English. After college she went to France and amused a taxi driver my asking to go to la guerre (war), instead of la gare (station). On her travels she learnt Catalan and Portuguese. Then she came to New Zealand. English was a difficult language and she resorted to pointing at what she wanted to eat.

Wendy Christie gave an inspirational speech entitled "Comparison is the Death of Joy" (Mark Twain). She said that a perfectionist culture is destructive to young people. People should not be defined by their job, qualifications or performance but by who they are as people. She quoted research into the  brain and mind. Genetics affect our brain development, but our minds can reverse adverse expressions. Our brains are not fixed. We can choose to think positive thoughts to eliminate negativity. Our thoughts can shape our brains.

Sarah Guy, our French member, said one of the most difficult things in English is understanding our idioms. She challenged seven of us with French idioms, before kindly translating them literally into English. It was great fun and with one exception we all blew it!

"When chicken have teeth"; "Don't push Granny into the nettles"; "Finger in the nose"; Doesn't break the legs on a duck"; To make old cheese"; Mind you onions"; lead to some very creative, incorrect explanations. 

Penn and Josh introduced the speakers, Helen and Vita evaluated their speeches and Lloyd did his best as timer with a few approximations! 

I'd like to make special mention of the excellent evaluations given by David Craig (table topics) and Nicola Powell (general evaluation). Both gave helpful, positive feedback sticking to the C R C formula.