Meeting report

14 November 2016

John Hicks

It was a pleasant surprise to note that fourteen Shoreline members turned up for last night's meeting after the big earthquake the previous night. Some were sleep-deprived tsunami siren evaders, but there was no fall-off in the quality of their contributions. 

Our venue felt a bit exposed in more ways than one. Thanks to the moon orbiting closer to us than sometime in the 1940s there was a very full tide.  At one stage Carolyn Skerret was caught peering nervously over the estuary and was duly appointed tsunami warden for the evening. She rallied later to deliver a very humorous evaluation of Table Topics.

Emma Garlick, in her first Toastmaster's role, adroitly managed the last-minute changes to her agenda. Consequently, we had two Bards. 

The first of these, Lloyd Bathurst, read a thought-provoking Peter Singer essay about the importance of the humanities in which he (Singer) observed that the world's top thinkers were philosophers. Eschewing all modesty, Singer brazenly - in my opinion - included himself in this analysis. By contrast his admirer, Lloyd, was later given the Table Topic: "Life is a long lesson in humility" and claimed great competence at making a fool of himself and that Humility was his middle name!

The second Bard was a local author who tried to convince his audience of the importance of classical music. Following Lloyd's professed self -valuation I have too much humility to reveal his name. For the record Mrs Campbell's quote, to which there was a brief allusion, reads: "I don't mind where people make love, so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses". 

Adrienne stepped up to give us an overview of the recent clown phenomenon. In her dead-pan style Adrienne soon had us laughing. Her speech was peppered with chilling phrases: malevolent clowns / hateful clown events / evil clown activity / threatening clown behaviour etc.. She surprised us with information about the counter-group "Clowns Matter" set up by outraged professional clowns. Can you believe it? Adrienne concluded by giving some useful tips to avoid "criminal clown activity". These seemed to involve completely isolating yourself from society, locking all your doors and procuring guns, tasers and large vicious dogs. Don't trust anyone!

Helen Peate saw the potential for Adrienne's speech in a future Humorous Speech Competition and gave her a glowing evaluation. 

In the spirit of the evening a prospective member, Simon Mortimer, was inveigled into being our TTM. He managed very well and, in addition to Lloyd's declaration of humility, he also extracted great contributions from Vita Tasman, Helen, David Preston, Emma and Michael Shand. I particularly enjoyed David's interpretation of "I'm kind of jealous of the life I'm supposedly leading" and which he terminated with a sinister warning: "Be careful what you wish for".

Another entertaining evening, Shoreline Toastmasters. You have some very talented members. Thank you.