Meeting report

11 April 2016

John Hicks

There was no word for the day, but "pride" kept cropping up throughout this meeting.

Sergeant-at-Arms Carolyn Skerret, opening the meeting, spoke with pride about Shoreline Toastmasters' support of Ali Scott's fund raising efforts (to take her son Oskar for specialist treatment in Jerusalem). Carolyn then modestly alluded to "her" Shoreline team winning the quiz night fundraiser the previous evening. (This was against almost insuperable odds, it must be mentioned, because there was another Shoreline team competing which contained no lesser intellects than president Stephen East and Lloyd Bathurst). 

Carolyn then warmly introduced Buck Buchanan, our Toastmaster for the evening, and he was, as we have come to expect, suave and accomplished in the role. 

David Preston, originally scheduled as a speaker, opted for the role of Bard and read, with pride and conviction, from David Lange's anti-nuclear speech during the Oxford Union debate. 

Our second speaker, Lloyd, did not opt out and, considering he did much of the preparation for his talk on kakapo during his drive in from Rolleston, this was a well structured, quirky and interesting insight into the fight to save our rarest bird from extinction. He incorporated a version of the Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch, expressed his pride in the quality of the pioneering New Zealand research (which has lifted numbers from 51 to 123), and touched briefly on "last male sperm preference". [News hounds will note that this failed for the Archbishop of Canterbury's mother- Ed]

Next, David Clarkson rehearsed his speech "Wonder Full", with which he won the International Speech Contest at the Area competitions. David is steeling himself for the next level. He will be competing at the Division Conference on 16th April (next Saturday). David is a skilled performer and this was a wonderful example of the art of speaking for our visitors (Kirstin, Lucy, Emma and Vita). David was given a useful and exacting evaluation by Helen Peate and, no doubt, will be further advised by his wife Margaret - another welcome guest of ours - in due course.

It was good to see newer members stepping up into more demanding roles. Terelle Hegarty had some interesting table topics, Peter Hegarty gave David Preston a glowing introduction, and Lillian Meng did likewise for Lloyd Bathurst.

Stephen East, well recovered from his quiz-night pounding, delivered a thoughtful and thorough General Evaluation.

The final words went to Ali Scott. She thanked us for our support and was effusive in praise of Toastmasters and the skills she had acquired that had enabled her to tackle her massive fund-raising effort. (She also mentioned how proud she was that one of the Shoreline teams had won the quiz-night - especially since it was out of a field of 120 players - but I am putting this in brackets because I do not wish to offend anyone by mentioning it too often.)

Ali and Oskar fly to Jerusalem in 2 weeks. We wish them well.