Meeting report

15 August 2016

John Hicks

For Monday's meeting TM Adrienne Malis chose the theme "National Holidays". She was concerned that NZ has a long wait till our next public holiday (October 24th) and throughout the evening she gave examples of holidays we could adopt. Monday, for instance, was officially "International Lemon Meringue Pie Day".

After a careful introduction by Ryan Chappell, Lloyd Bathurst gave an interesting speech in which he attempted to tie together three very disparate topics: the KKK, euthanasia and economics. I was beguiled by Lloyd's smooth delivery and flamboyant body language, won over by his positivity and the good-humoured way he delivered his paean to the wonderful country we live in. I was sold on his responsible citizen message and how we should all strive to make it even better. However, I remain unconvinced that the links between the KKK, euthanasia and indices of New Zealand's national well-being are anything but tenuous. Nice try!

Stephen East as Bard  read from "The Power of us: New Zealanders who dare to dream". Appropriately, Stephen chose a passage about Mahe Drysdale - a man driven by fear of failure. I'm sure most Toastmasters would identify with that!

TTM Helen Peate gave each of her victims the choice of two topics. None proved easy. David Preston bravely denounced the proposition "You can't be a hero without taking chances" with brevity and clarity for a full 30 seconds, at which time his thesis abruptly ran out of steam. Not so Vita Tasman who spoke elegantly and persuasively to "Is New Zealand's clean green image a reality?" Her commanding stage presence and sweeping gestures had me convinced, but about what I remain unsure. Adrienne Malis's "Greatest pleasure in life" was as a child when she biked to the library and took home a bunch of books. In doing so she trod on one of the TTE's pet hates and I'm afraid I'm going to have to confess to a blinding attack of old-fashioned pedantry. However, Adrienne's contributions are always intelligent and wry and this tribute to her love of reading and cookies/biscuits was no exception. There were other thoughtful and/or entertaining TTs from Terelle Hegarty, Lloyd and Stephen. 

Doreen Bestman gave a competent performance as GE, especially since this was her first time. She topped this by bringing a slab of smoked salmon for supper which rounded off another entertaining evening very nicely. 

You had to be there, or where you at Rio?