Meeting report

29 October 2018

Rituals, History and Crazy Scenarios

Mark, after a weekend involving a half-marathon and shifting house came straight to the meeting from a ballroom dancing lesson, in his shorts, and doubled as Sergeant-at-Arms and Toastmaster. Men can do anything!

Maria, our Spanish anthropologist, was stunned and elated by the news that she has been accepted to do a PhD at Canterbury University on Human Robot Interaction. She gave her second Pathways speech rituals in our lives which maintain our group identity and restore harmony. On the anniversary of the day her family arrived in New Zealand five years ago their family ritual is having a party. Last year on the hundredth anniversary of Alice in Wonderland her children dressed up as the white rabbit and as the march hare, she as the Queen of Hearts and her husband as the mad hatter. She encouraged us to develop our own family rituals.

Simon's 4th Pathways speech involving research - "A History Lesson" on Toastmasters. He covered the years from 1924 when Ralph C (Chestnut!) Smedley founded the first club in California, to 1974 when women were admitted (and a listening programme was introduced), to Toastmasters starting in  New Zealand (in Dunedin) in 1961, to the present day with nearly half a million members (52% are women) in more than 100 countries. The Flying Squad story is worth telling again!

Oxana's Table Topic session of weird scenarios stretched imaginations. Michael said that Godzilla crushing Hamilton was a good idea and further destruction of the whole North Island would be a triumph for us. Vita thanked God that the Beehive had been vaporised and all the MPs could go to the beach. Wendy explained that she'd had a busy day when she drove her car through the garage door and said it needed replacing anyway. Michelle's preferred ring tone on her phone is silent or vibrate. A ding is more than enough. Adrienne is well-organised, but had to go home from the airport when her husband not only forgot his air ticket, but forgot to even make a reservation. Helen was fly on the tail fin of a travelling Boeing. She managed to hold on with six blood-soaked feet, arrived at the destination and made new friends. Mark said that the NZ attraction everyone should see is Jack's Point, south of Timaru, and only accessible by boat.

Wendy was the bard and read another motivational piece by the same author Dr Renee Brown, who wrote it after a nervous breakdown. It was on the subject of vulnerability. We should recognise it,and don't try to be perfect. She recommends mindfulness.

Lloyd and Michael introduced Maria and Simon respectively and Adrienne and Helen evaluated their speeches. Both got lots of praise and the same suggestion, that slowing down and pausing would improve delivery. Sarah gave helpful evaluations of the table topics finding recommendations for all. Lloyd stepped in as general evaluator and delivered one of his best presentations. He emphasised the need for more organisation in programming and questioned whether Easyspeak was working.

Helen reminded members that the Area Contests were on in 2 days time - Wed 31 Oct - at 270 Barrington St starting at 7pm. The other important notive was that our club International and evaluation Contests are on 19 November. A new or an old 5-7 minute speech can be used for the International contest.