Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Another bountiful meeting

"Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves, blood at the root."

Not for the first time this year, important historical events formed the backbone of the recent meeting of Speakeasy Toastmasters. In his speech, "Strange Fruit", Pat Sexton recalled the fateful night that the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday sang"Strange Fruit" for the first time. He then chronicled the subsequent impact of the song. "Time" magazine named it as the most important song of the Twentieth Century. It has been described as "declaration of war - the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement". In graphic detail, "Strange  Fruit" describes the appalling practice of "Lynching " which was rampant in Southern States of America in the first half of the last century.

History of a more local kind was addressed by Mary Moynihan as she delivered " The Oratorical Speech ". The Oratorical Speech is synonymous with legendary speeches by Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill. However, Mary chose the address given by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, on the Twenty - sixth of April, 2016 to comemmerate the 1916 Easter Rising. Mary delivered a moving interpretation of the President's address to the relatives of the fallen in the 1916 Rising.

Toastmasters Meetings can act as a workshop, where members can hone their speeches for more effective delivery. This was the case with Deirdre Linehan who reprised her Contest winning presentation "Dob's Army". She now goes forward to the District 71(Britain and Ireland) Final on Saturday, 12th May in the Silver Springs Clayton Hotel, Cork.

Speakeasy was privelaged to witness the "Icebreaker" Speech from Vincent Harris. A native of Kerry but now domiciled in Banteer, Vincent light heartedly confessed his carnivorous lifestyle and his career as an inventor. We look forward to many more revelations in future speeches.

The Topicsmaster of the meeting was Michael Cronin who challenged us to recall our Summer Holidays while growing up. For Patricia Buckley, it was Youghal which was a popular choice for people in Mallow. For Bobby Buckley, it was summers in Thurles with the sea nowhere in sight. Bridie O'Connell spoke about the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East. Maria Connolly painted a beautiful picture of Thailand. Don McSweeney spoke about the over used expression "it is a national disgrace!" Other topics that provoked reactions were the use of sun cream and the price of alcohol. 

At the meeting's conclusion, the General Evaluator, Tony O'Regan presented awards to Ray Ryan - Best Evaluation, Don McSweeney - Best Topic and Vincent Harris - Best Speaker. 

Vincent Harris, Marie Lynes & Michael Cronin.

All roads are now leading to Cork and the Silver Springs Clayton Hotel where the District 71 Spring Conference takes place this weekend. Deirdre Linehan competes in the International Speech Contest on Saturday afternoon and Pat Sexton is representing Speakeasy on Sunday morning. 

The next Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting will take place in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Thursday, 17th May at 8.00PM. As always, guests are invited to join us for another night of entertainment. For more information please visit our website, or Facebook. Alternatively, please contact our President, Helsa Giles - 0838858848. 

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