Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Born To Run"

This week, as Contest Chair Tony O' Regan explained, the International Speech and Evaluation Contest draws all Toastmaster Clubs together. Members who participate in this contest in clubs all over the world, follow the same path. If they get through the club contest, they go forward to the Area final and then the Division Final and then the District Final until finally they could be heading to the United States to the World Final!
After that introduction the audience did indeed settle in with great anticipation to hear the four Speech Contestants and five Evaluation Contestants. They were not to be disappointed.
Liam Flynn was first up with an excellent speech on the nature of self sufficiency. Liam encouraged us all to look to our own ability in terms of self sufficiency to get through the present day economic crisis, but most importantly ,-to help others. He cited local strengths, our agriculture, our tourism potential and most importantly, our youth, who could lead the way forward to a return to prosperous times.
Our President, Jerry Mulcahy, was next up. He gave a most moving speech about a tragic event that occurred many years ago on a building site in England where three young friends of which he was one, worked, having had to leave Ireland due to hard times back then. One of these friends died in an accident on the building site. Jerry framed this tragedy beautifully, painting a vivid picture of the times they lived in, taking the boat to England, like "hell without fire" and the sad good byes..
Pat Sexton's speech, "Born to Run", told the fascinating story of the "Turbaned Tornado", a Sikh gentleman of a 100 years of age who came in 3850th in the Toronto marathon in 2011. He was by no means the last back either!. This tale drew many happy smiles from the audience as we heard that Mr Singh took up running at the tender age of 89 and ecshewed performance enhancing drugs. His mantra was simplicity, serenity and shoes,-bright colourful shoes. This was a delicious, inspirational story that encouraged us to enjoy our age whatever it is. After all as Mr Singh pointed out,- very few people die over 100. A lot of people probably buying shoes today!
Claire O' Connell gave an interesting presentation on "the subconscious mind, friend or foe". She demonstrated the power and also the irrationality of the subconscious mind giving many interesting examples such as the plant which flourishes when told its beautiful while the other one dies that has been told it is ugly. Claire encouraged us to give our subconscious plenty of positive feedback.
In the Evaluation Contest the contestants had the pleasure of evaluating a delightful speech that enthralled the audience by a guest speaker from the Fermoy Toastmaster Club, Eilis Ui Bhriain. It was on the subject of her native place,-Dunmanus Bay, and as all the evaluators pointed out was very special in the beautiful imagery Eibhlis used to describe her home place. "Take me easy", she said, -"I was reared a pet" and it was no bother to do so as she described the sunsets and the bluebells and the farm with the grass of 7 to 8 milch cows. The picture was painted and she gave us the mythical story too of how the rocks were scattered on the top of the mountain a place her mother said would be "too rough for her timid feet". Many indeed felt Eibhlis was surely lost to the Irish Tourist Board!
Marie Lynes, as Topicsmaster kept the audience occupied and amused with a wide range of topics while the judging went on.
Mary Buckley and Anne Walsh did the important duties of timekeepers for the Contestants.
All were warmly welcomed to the Contest by guest greeters, Mary Moynihan, Marie Lynes and Ronan Condon.

On the night Pat Sexton and Claire O Connell were chosen to represent Speakeasy at the Area Speech Final.
Marie Fitzpatrick and Pat Sexton were chosen to represent Speakeasy at the Area Evaluation Final.

The Area Final of Speech and Evaluation Contests will be held at the Speakeasy Toastmasters next meeting, on April 4th.8pm, Hibernian Hotel Mallow.

Speakeasy Toastmasters meets every 2nd Thursday in the Hi-B, next meeting at 8pm Hibernian Mallow April 4th. Non members are most welcome and are never asked to speak. Contact Jerry 0863752895,or Noel 0872427485.
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