It is always a pleasure to see new faces at our meetings and I hope our guests - Kirstin; plus Jess, Paula and Ben from the Comber family - decide to follow in the footsteps of Vita Tasman who was attending her first meeting as a new member.
Last night none could have failed to have been both moved and entertained by speeches from two of our more experienced speakers.
Helen Peate, in "One of God's Angels" delivered a moving tribute to her nephew, Richard, who was brain damaged by measles at the age of six. She opened our minds to the world view of her dearly loved relative: of marriage, death and - particularly poignant - his vision of a glorious heaven where he would meet up with - not only Grandpa and Grandma - but Davy Crockett and Robin Hood.
Later in the meeting General Evaluator, Lloyd Bathurst, deviated from his required schedule to point out that talks that tackle personal issues, such as Helen's, help us to know and understand each other, and are an important part of Toastmasters. Helen also received a thorough and sensitive evaluation from Carolyn Skerret.
I was given the task of evaluating Buck Buchanan's highly entertaining speech: "Fifty Years with an Incurable Shopaholic". The shopaholic in question is Buck's wife, Bindy. Taken literally it would have been an outrageous slur on her character. Why, he was more frightened by her out-of-control spending while he fought in Vietnam, than he was of the Vietcong! It was a pleasure to be in the hands of our master raconteur, once again. This was a first class demonstration of all the tools we are encouraged to adopt at Toastmasters. Buck's use of hyperbole, vocal variety, gesture, body language and the floor space were first class. My recommendation for Buck was to rehearse his speech and try to keep it within the allotted time limit: but not in front of Bindy!
Space precludes me mentioning everyone in these reports. Suffice to say Ryan Chappell, TTM for the night, was congratulated for encouraging three of our guests to front up and speak to us. There were also worthy contributions from Sergeant at Arms, Lillian Meng (performing this task for the first time), and Toastmaster, Lisa Todd. The meeting was beautifully wrapped up by Lloyd's perceptive and warmly encouraging General Evaluation.