Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Celebration night

Celebration Night!

Delayed by Storm Emma, which is now a distant memory,the Speakeasy Toastmasters 25th Anniversary Celebration Night takes place on Saturday Night in the Hibernian Hotel at 8.00PM.There will be gales on the night, this time gales of laughter.

It promises to a festival of nostalgia and entertainment,with the cream of Speakeasy delivering some of the most memorable speeches delivered at our meetings over the last quarter of a century.Among the featured speakers is Kieran Buckley. Kieran  is a Past President,renowned for his fine speeches.His chosen speech on Saturday Night is "Lions led by Donkeys", a moving reflection on World War 1, delivered  from a soldier's point of view.

Over the past few years,Speakeasy has been a witness to many extraordinary presentations from Bobby Buckley.A native of Mallow, Bobby is a dual member of both Speakeasy and the Rathfarnham Club in Dublin. Bobby will regale us on Saturday Night with his recollections of times past in Mallow. Also on the menu is Gerry O'Callaghan. Gerry can always be relied on to colour his verbal outpourings with a large dollop of humour ,not exclusively self-directed! Like many of the speakers on the night, Gerry was a contestant at the highest level in Toastmasters,fondly remembered for his touching eulogy to his dearly departed pet rat,"Toby".

All in all,our Celebration Night will have a broad range of speeches that will entertain us, inspire us and give the opportunity to reflect on some of life's big questions.So,why not drop in and us on our special night.Refreshments will be served on the night and fun is guaranteed.

At our last meeting, we were treated to a fascinating selection of subjects during the speech programme. Under the astute and personable guidance of the Toastmaster of the evening, Bridie O'Connell, four speakers gave very strong and factual presentations. Marie Fitzpatrick posed the challenge-" Reason the need".Turning the words of Shakespeare's "King Lear" around, Marie spoke of our crazy,modern life-style where we rack up huge levels of debt because "we are worth it!"We live in a world of hidden persuaders who sell us the illusion of happiness, be it the AIB with their "children's playhouse " advertising or large retail outlets and their Loyalty Cards. The result of all this consumerism is an appalling household inbebitness. Marie had the perfect solution for impulse buying with Credit Card- a wire cutters to slice up the "Cards of temptation ".

Maria Connolly delivered a fascinating talk on "Existentialism", the philosophy that emerged in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries on how we exist in the world and the freedom to choose our destiny. She detailed the various proponents of existentialism,Jean Paul Satre, Friedrich Nietzsche and the hugely influential" Man's search for meaning " by Victor Frankl. A survivor of the Nazi Concentration Camps, Frankl asserted that,regardless of one's circumstances,we maintain the choice to choose our attitude to any situation we find ourselves in.

Kevin O'Neill of Fermoy Toastmasters recalled the "Tin Lizzie", the most influential motor car of all time, the Model T. He outlined the huge significance of Henry Ford's achievements - the introduction of assembly line production, the personal freedom that the automobile provided and improvements in workers pay and conditions.It's only drawback was the cumbersome and dangerous method of starting the vehicle- by a crank handle. "Any colour you like,as long as it's black", was the motto of Henry Ford.Yet, the original Model T came in greys and green!

Finally, Bobby Buckley gave a motivational talk on Leadership Excellence.He spoke about the new Toastmasters Programme -"Pathways". He encouraged all members to embrace this programme which reinforces the communication leadership ethos of the organisation and to take the plunge by adapting  the online technology which plays a role in the Toastmasters Programme.
As always,all speakers received full and frank evaluations of their speeches,evaluations provided in a comprehensive manner by Claire O'Connell, Don McSweeney,Pat Sexton and Ray Ryan.

The Topicsmaster of the meeting, Liam Flynn,acted as discussion leader on an eclectic mix of impromptu talks. Ann Buckley addressed the issue of the romanticising of the past when the Summers were always warmer and the grasss was greener. Marie Lynes spoke eloquently on those magic moments that turn her on : the moments shared,the musical moments enjoyed.Deirdre Linehan and Gerry O'Callaghan  and Don McSweeney revealed their oldest family mementos.Tony O'Regan  spoke about the perfect gift for American tourists.It wasn't what anyone expected!

At the meeting's conclusion,the General Evaluator, Theresa O'Reilly, presented awards for the Best performances: Marie Lynes - Best Topic; Best Evaluator - Ray Ryan ; Best Speaker - Kevin O'Neill.Awards are presented to the outstanding performers at each meeting but,it should be noted that all contributors are winners.

Forthcoming events at Speakeasy include the Area  17 Finals (North Cork)of the Speech and Evaluation Contests on the 19th April in the Hibernian Hotel.Meanwhile, all roads lead to Saturday Night and Speakeasy Toastmasters 25th Anniversary Celebration Night .We look forward to seeing you.

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