Meeting report

31 July 2017

John Hicks

“How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?” David Preston’s valiant answer to this eloquent conundrum, set by TTM Carolyn Skerrett/Bob Dylan, was that no numerical value could be placed on experience – basically, the more roads the better. But his closing sentence was the defining moment of last night’s meeting, one that left us all pondering: “How many roads must a woman walk down before we can call her a man?”

Carolyn had other lyrical topics. Among the more memorable were Adrienne Malis’s “six months in a leaky boat”. This commenced when it hit an iceberg and, less than a minute later she ended up in Africa, as you’d expect. Nicola Powell (“I stayed up too late…”) exhibited her unhealthy knowledge of Taylor Swift’s not-so-private life. Michael Shand (Knock, knock, knocking at heaven’s door) must have been influenced by recent coverage of the Passchendaele centenary. He movingly enacted a soldier’s farewell, his time ended - helmet off, mud creeping up his sides – a beautiful song for a sad end.

Back into sequence ... The first major item of the evening was an excellent talk by Simon Mortimer entitled “I really should …”. By the time he had finished he had probably convinced all of us that we really should become blood donors. Our blood can even be separated into useful components: plasma, red cells or platelets. Unfortunately, I discovered there was only one reason why I could donate (I haven’t had a baby in the last six months), I failed most of the other criteria – especially with being over 65 and having spent more than six months in the UK in the 1980s and being a Mad Cow Disease risk - but some have already guessed that. So, as for the rest of you – go for it. You will get a free cup of tea and a biscuit, just as you would at Toastmasters and, in my experience (yes, I have donated in the past), it is far less painful than doing a Table Topic.

If you have a spare $700,000 Ryan Chappell “Investing in the Future of our City” may have persuaded you to buy a condominium development in which he is involved … within the four avenues, just off Madras Street, an opportunity not to be missed etc. His illustrated speech certainly met the objectives of Project 9 (Persuade with Power) in the CC manual.

New member Craig Hickford was Bard for the night and created yet more food for thought with an extended reading from a biography of Steve Jobs.

I handed a note of thanks (given to me by ex-member Terelle Hegarty) to our President, who owing to our over-extended meeting, did not have time to share it with us. Since Terelle told me that she and Peter log on to our brilliant website to read this report I would like to acknowledge it here.

Finally, VP Education, Emma Garlick, reminded us that she has set the club competition night (Humorous Speech and Table Topics) for the 21st August, i.e. quite soon. A warning to polish up those speeches (so you will be judged) or prepare yourselves to judge (so you will be not judged) etc. Check into EasySpeak!