Monday, April 20, 2015

Division Final Report

The excitement in the room was palatable, as Division Governor Ray Ryan opened the Division Final at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow. Contest Chair Helen Hourican and Chief Judge Aileen O'Mahony ran the meeting, assisted by Anne Buckley and Helen Brunicardi. Topics Master Brenda Nestor warmed up the room with topics such as, "who is the boss in your house, " and "who should present Top Gear?" 

The International Speech Contest featured the following speeches. 

Anthony Garvey delivered a speech entitled, "Mature Student. " It was only ten days to exams when a rumour rocked the campus. The most head wrecking, brain twisting exam had been stolen and was available on line for the mere sun of 300 euro. Anthony had forgotten about exams during the cultural exchange of youth and adult, but he was here to tell us that education can not be bought. Anthony won first place. 

Holly Blake delivered a speech entitled, "A Good Sense Of Humour." Holly was climbing a mountain in Nepal, when life changed for her. Her father was diagnosed with motor neurons disease. There was no cure, but his sense of humour developed and kept everyone  laughing. During her absence, her father bowed out gracefully. Holly challenged everyone to grab life and live it to the full. Holly won second place. 

Tom O'Connor laid bare the mysterious link between music and the soul. The creative chemistry of artists who were held in one of the concentration camp in World War 2 produced a spectacular rendition of a requiem under the most atrocious of conditions. Tom won third place. 

Joey O'Leary delivered a speech entitled, "Tunnels. " In life there are different tunnels.  Tunnels that bring you from A to B, and tunnels that are emotional. Emotional tunnels are difficult to navigate your way out of. Joey encouraged everyone to reach out to those around them. The smallest gesture can provide a sign-post, guiding a person towards the way out of their own emotional tunnel. Toast Masters is an organisation which raises confidence, and can serve as a light in the difficult times. 

Christine Conway delivered a speech entitled, "Down, Down and Away. " Saint  Patrick's Day is celebrated world wide,  due in no small way to enforced economic emigration. Her own children were unable to climb the career ladder in Ireland, because there was no ladder. Someone had taken the ladder away. Three of  her children have emigrated and she was delighted by the surprise present of a trip to Perth Australia to visit her children. She was tempted to remain in the balmy heat of  Australia, but she decided to go home and say, not goodbye but see you soon, to her children.

Michael Barrett delivered a speech entitled, " First Date." When he was in college, Michael experienced that common difficulty, the lack of a partner for a ball.  By a stroke of luck he met a beautiful girl at the bus stop and made a date. They agreed to meet under the Mangan's clock. Unfortunately many a couple had the same plan. Michael tried to identify his date. Peering into the face of each girl,  he eventually identitied his date on round two. Poor Michael was left looking for that silver lining among the clouds as his dream evening fell apart. 

The Evaluation Test Speech was provided Brian McLoughlin. "The Ice Cream Cone." After a heart attack, a nun began to feel guilt about her style of teaching. People assured her that she had done her best  for her pupils. Her guilt centred around one girl. Enventually she came to realise that that girl had handed her a peace offering long ago, in the form of an ice cream cone. Through this moment of clarity she gained both peace and happiness. 

The contestants were awarded;  Olivia Dunne 1st, Pat Sexton 2nd and Anthony Galvin 3rd. Claire Maloney, Justine McCarthy and Ted Mellamphy provided competition.  

Congratulations and best wishes to our winners in the next round.

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