Meeting report

19 February 2018

John Hicks

Your scribe has been remiss in failing to report the first few meetings of the year but, with this scintillating report, he resurfaces to ensure that all those members (or potential members) perusing the Shoreline website are re-assured that the club is alive and kicking:

I am pleased to record a good attendance with four guests, including our Area Director, Stephen Moore.

Last night was a tribute to two founding members of the club and their expertise helped to shape what turned out to be a varied and very interesting evening.  Helen Peate, who has been an active member of Shoreline for twenty-five years, was our Toastmaster, and David Clarkson - who joined at the same time as Helen - evaluated Carolyn Skerret’s speech.

The first speech “25 Years of Talk” was Stephen East’s respectful tribute to these two members and he gently poked fun at them and other longstanding members of the club. In a surprising twist, we learned that this was a valedictory speech – Stephen will be taking a break after seven years with Shoreline. His contributions as past president, his sense of humour and his ability to think on his feet and construct outrageous lies at Table Topics will be sadly missed – perhaps even with a tinge of nostalgia.

I was impressed with the way Carolyn tackled her assignment from the “Facilitating Discussion” manual. Her objective was to conduct a brain storming session, and her topic “Solving Child Poverty” brought out some challenging (and some downright alarming!) solutions from an attentive audience. One mark of a civilised society is that it can debate potentially divisive topics (e.g. politics or religion) freely and without rancour. By these standards Shoreline is, in my admiring opinion, a microcosm of civilisation and a complete contrast to the internet world of ignorant, intolerant trolls. Well done Carolyn! Well done Shoreline!

Table Topics Master, Simon Mortimer, provided some light-hearted relief with a Valentine’s Day theme. Stephen Moore adroitly toyed with St Valentine the saint who, if “a bit of a lad”, perhaps could not have been a Saint. Our other guests (Wendy, Bernie and Jed) all gamely took up the challenge to address the meeting and talk about red roses, chocolates and cryptic messages in French – the language of love.

I know you didn’t ask, but for the record the Grammarian’s word of the day “nostalgia” was provided courtesy of “Fowler’s Modern English Usage” (Second Edition. Revised by Sir Earnest Gowers and Completely Reset with corrections in 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1970).

You learn so much useful information when you attend Shoreline Toastmasters!