Meeting report

22 February 2016

John Hicks

Last night was competition night and we held our club's International Speech and the Evaluation competitions. 

The club owes a lot to president Stephen East who together with our Contest Chair(woman), Carolyn Skerret, did so much to make this night a success. Both received well deserved praise for their organisational skills and the way they managed the meeting from Bernard Darnton, one of the four visiting judges. He also praised the standard of the contestants in both competitions and, being one of them, who am I to dispute that?

There were four contestants for the international Speech Competition. Helen Peate, filling in with very little warning, gave a moving tribute to Shoreline members who have died over recent years, many of them, sadly, at relatively young ages. We are the lucky ones indeed. Stephen East delivered a thought-provoking speech on the topic of street beggars and invited us to walk in their shoes - a very effective guilt-trip for us all. Adrienne Malis tackled light pollution at night, it's effects on wildlife, the efforts being made to reduce it and the tourism benefits to places like the Mount John Observatory. The person wearing my name tag put up an argument for healthy cynicism and cynically slagged off the advertising industry. With four very different speeches it must have been a difficult competition to judge but in the end cynicism triumphed over beggary. (With four contestants, only two are placed)

There were six contestants for the evaluation competition. Their task was to evaluate an interesting speech given by a member from another club, Johanna King. Helen Peate, the eventual winner, was last up. Evaluation is her forte and, basically, she showed us how it was done. So: first = Helen, second = Michael Shand, third = Ali Scott.

Thanks to the organisers, the competitors, those who attended and thanks to the visiting judges (Bernard Darnton, Beth Bradly, Stephen Roberts and Beryl Williamson).