The words of English folk-singer, Sandy Denny - "Who knows where the Time Goes?" - echoed through many of the speeches at last week's Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting. It was a night of quiet reflection when many speakers looked back at their time in Toastmasters and significant events in their lives.
|Noel O'Connor, Marie Fitzpatrick, Liam Flynn & Gordon Sharpe-Bolster|
Liam Flynn's speech -" Just like starting over" - took us a trip of car boot sales in the quest of interesting trinkets and a love of history which Liam plans to develop further. Liam reflected on his "lucky thirteen " years in Speakeasy. "Being in Toastmasters is like being in a carriage on train. The people in the carriage are your fellow club members and that meeting is a journey", was the analogy that Liam drew. Liam has taken that "richly rewarding" journey and plans to remain in that carriage for another lucky thirteen years.
Noel O'Connor reflected on the many changes he has experienced since his Icebreaker Speech. "My life - Part Two" recalled how Noel visited Speakeasy Toastmasters on the night of it's Inaugural Meeting on the 8th October, 1992.Noel's love of learning spurred him to attend almost every meeting since. This love of learning has informed his farming life with his adopted motto of learning "something new every day". He recalled the year, 1985, when it rained almost every day. The "bad year" had a Silver lining as Noel tied the knot with Kathleen on a rare fine day at the end of August! Noel connected with a significant number of his audience when he spoke of the passing of time through the pictures of the important milestones in his children's lives. But, Noel addressed the future when he committed himself to learning much more in life and in Speakeasy.
Significant events in our children's lives also featured in Marie Fitzpatrick's humourous contribution - "Fairly Average". She looked at her life through the prism of descriptions in dating profiles. She doesn't consider herself as "not highly motivated or good at time keeping!" Fairly average was the description most applicable to her profile. And, most importantly, she is an optimist. Her optimism was tested during the Summer with her daughter's upcoming Debs Ball. Having committed herself to making her daughter's dress, she faced more hurdles and obstacles than the Aintree Grand National. She even overcame her mother's prophecy - "You'll be buying a dress yet". But, the committed optimism of the fairly average managed to deliver a stunning dress for the big occasion.
In stark contrast, Gordon Sharp-Bolster gave us a glimpse of the future and a journey through the forest. "Forestry in Ireland" addressed Ireland's plan to increased afforestation for environmental reasons. He illustrated the madness of current Government policy of focusing on the planting of the environmentally destructive Coniferous trees like Sitka Spruce. Originally imported from Alaska, Sitka Spruce releases the poisonous Potassium Sulphate which destroys the soil and waterways. In Sweden, it is considered an invasive species. At present, financial incentives are loaded in favour of conifers instead of the more luxuriant decidious forests. This current policy is self defeating and short sighted. As Franklin D. Roosevelt warned "A nation that poisons it's soil, destroys itself".
Presenting a speech is one of the many skills that members achieve through involvement in Toastmasters. To enable each member to develop their competence in communication, each member receives an evaluation from an assigned evaluator who presents feedback which is focused on helping the speaker to improve. Helsa Giles, Pat Sexton, Don McSweeney and Bobby Buckley presented appropriate feedback that exemplified the motto - "Evaluate to Motivate". At the meeting's conclusion, awards were presented to Marie Fitzpatrick - Best Speaker and Helsa Giles - Best Evaluation.
Speakeasy Toastmasters will continue it's Meeting Season on Thursday, 3rd of October in The Hibernian Hotel Mallow at 8.00PM. The best time to take up a new hobby or acquire a new skill is now. At a Speakeasy meeting you are assured of a good night's entertainment in a warm and friendly atmosphere and you can observe speakers blossom with confidence. As always, guests are welcome to attend and are never coerced into speaking, unless they wish to do so.
We look forward to seeing you on the 3rd October.
For more information on this club, please check out our website speakeasytoastmasters.com or on Facebook.
Alternatively, please contact Theresa O'Reilly - 087-6699156.