Thursday, December 18, 2003

18 Dec

Speakeasy Toastmasters Mallow

A cracker of a meeting.

Everyone was treated to a very festive and fun night out last week during the Speakeasy Toastmaster’s Christmas meeting. The venue was wonderfully decked out with Christmas lights, candles, crackers and tinsel, and the great man himself was also in attendance (Ho Ho Ho!). We were fortunate that his better half, Mrs Clause (aka Mary Buckley), also took time out of her busy schedule to organise the topics session for the night.
Having warmed up with a glass of mulled wine, members and guests were welcomed by President Pat Duggan and the meeting was underway. Toastmaster for the night was Michael Dineen who took us all through a lively and entertaining programme of speeches and topics. And indeed a great night was made even more special by the inclusion of an ‘Icebreaker’ speech – which is in fact a member’s very first speech. This was delivered by Margaret Buckley who shared with us a wonderful speech entitled ‘25 year holiday’ which described the highlights and events of the 25 years she has lived in Mallow while continually being mistaken for a visitor – a cockney accent is hard to shake off! There is no doubt that Margaret has plenty of material available to her for the many speeches we are looking forward to hearing in the future.
Jeremiah Ronayne evaluated Margaret’s speech, which was followed by a speech from Elizabeth O’ Brien entitled ‘A time for giving’. Elizabeth shared with us some Christmas and New Year’s memories, culminating with that New Year’s Day when she received the proposal – but no ring! That was soon sorted out on the very next day when, following an education in diamonds, they eventually picked one from the wide and diverse selection. Eugene O’ Connell evaluated Elizabeth’s speech.
Vivien Buckley entertained us with a hugely funny story about a Christmas dinner that went very wrong – involving a tug-of-war over the turkey between Vivien and the next door neighbour’s St Bernard. The moral of the story was in the title ‘It always pays to tell the truth’ and suffice to say that the speech evaluator, Fiona Herbert, spoke for us all when she said she would probably decline any invitation to dine at Vivien’s! At least until she gets the fence fixed.
Kieran Buckley had us all spellbound with the narration of a short play he had written himself for this evening entitled ‘The Present’. It was a beautiful and simple but emotionally complex Christmas tale which evoked in all of us the different feelings of sadness, worry, loneliness and eventually, happiness. Kieran’s speech was evaluated by Pat Sexton.
Mrs Clause (Mary Buckley) made sure that as many people as possible were on their feet to speak during the Topics session. This was done with the aid of a series of wrapped ‘seasonal’ surprises, including a Santa figure, a snowman, a piece of Christmas tree, Christmas cards, a bottle of sherry, a plum pudding, all of which she gave out as subjects for topics. Things took a non-seasonal turn when the contents of pulled crackers formed the basis of the topics – these included a motorbike and a scorpion – what would you find to say about a plastic scorpion? The whole session was great fun with occasional input from the man himself, Mr Clause (aka John Murphy) Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Our next meeting is after Christmas, on Thursday, 8th January and, as usual, guests are very welcome to attend. The meetings start at 8:00 pm and we ask everyone to be at The Hibernian Hotel (Chapel Lane) at 7:50 pm.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

11 Dec

Speakeasy Toastmasters Mallow

Notes for publication on 11th December.

At the Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting on Thursday night, 27th November, Jeremiah Ronayne entertained us with a speech entitled ‘A head for heights’ which described his own lack of a head for heights! He shared with us the trauma of climbing Mont Blanc in a series of cable cars culminating in a stomach-dropping free fall at the peak. And then having to face into the return journey knowing exactly what to expect! He keeps his feet firmly on the ground now, in every sense.
This speech was evaluated by Joan Linehan.
The final speech of the evening came from Sean Corcoran who spoke to us about ‘Going beyond our club’. While toastmaster’s activities in our own club help us to develop speaking and leadership skills, we can get extra practise and improve ourselves by participating in contests as competitors as well as judges, counters, timers and audience members. Sean finished up his speech by sharing with us some interesting insights into what can happen when you do ‘go beyond your club’! He described the eventful trip he and other club members had when they recently went to Edinburgh to support Kieran Buckley and Gerry O’ Callaghan in the District conference. I’m sure we didn’t hear the half of it!
The topics session took an interesting and novel turn when Dierdre Linehan took on the role of topics master! The lines were drawn and the members divided – into teams to fight it out in the battle of the topics. Another battle was the subject of one of the topics, i.e. the battle of the talk shows, ‘Who wins on Friday night -Dunphy or Kenny?’ Other topics included the ideal Christmas gift and - do you get your partner what they want or what they need? Some might not have liked the scoring system but didn’t the best team win?

Our next meeting is on Thursday, 11th December and as it’s our last meeting before Christmas it will be a FUN night - in keeping with the season that’s in it! This would be an excellent night to come and visit as a guest.
As usual, the meeting starts at 8:00 pm and we ask everyone to be at The Hibernian Hotel (Chapel Lane) at 7:50 pm.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

4 Dec

Speakeasy Toastmasters Mallow

Notes for publication on 4th December.

At the outset of the meeting on Thursday night both Kieran Buckley and Gerry O’ Callaghan extended sincere thanks to all those who had wished them well in the District finals in Edinburgh last week. They felt particularly privileged to be participating at a conference which was headed up by a fellow Speakeasy Toastmaster, Jeremiah Ronayne, who is the current District Governor (for Ireland and the UK).
John Dillon’s speech entitled ‘From cave to gallery’ was the first of a fine selection of speeches on the night’s programme. John shared with us his love of visiting art galleries and described the evolution and historic role of painting from prehistoric right up to modern times. He encouraged us all to experience the pleasure and power of art in Irish and other galleries. Michael McMahon evaluated John’s speech.
‘In the beginning’ was the title of Michael Buckley’s speech which was a very entertaining and humorous account of how life began. He could not accept the Theory of Evolution preferring to believe that only God could have made such perfect specimens as men. Interestingly, Michael explained the disappearance of the dinosaur as being the result of a lack of room on the ark. This speech was evaluated by John Stack.
With a speech aptly entitled ‘Mallow’s Icon’, Mary Buckley delivered a beautiful and moving speech describing a wonderful, well-known and well-loved person – the late Sr Rosarie, may she rest in peace. Mary gave us a lovely insight into the many achievements of this incredible nursing sister who spent 45 years devoting herself, her compassion and her energy to the people of Mallow. She is mourned as a very great loss to this town. Jerry Mulcahy evaluated Mary’s speech.

Our next meeting is on Thursday, 11th December and as it’s our last meeting before Christmas it will be a fun night - in keeping with the season that’s in it! This would be an excellent night to come and visit as a guest. As usual, the meeting starts at 8:00 pm and we ask everyone to be at The Hibernian Hotel (Chapel Lane) at 7:50 pm.

If you would like to know more about Speakeasy Toastmasters club you can ring Angela at 022 51071 or Sean at 022 22755 for information. Or you can log onto our website; The club’s e-mail address is