Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Starting a new Club

By Jutta Masterton

Dennis Bollington, Manager of the Griffith University Student Guild, has made the brave initiative to start a new Club in the northern area of the Gold Coast. A Club based at the Gold Coast Campus of Griffith University in Southport. The  members will be mainly students and some staff from the University. After advertising to all students and staff, about 35 people attended a Sample Meeting.

Three speeches and Table Topics were squeezed into a short one hour timeslot. The meeting sparked much interest among those who attended, and it seemed others who were unable to attend the Sample Meeting. The First Meeting, the following week, attracted 30 people and 3 Ice Breaker speeches.

What an achievement!

Both, from Denis and many dedicated members of his Elanora Early Morning TM Club, and from three very eager and promising speakers. The second meeting again had about 30 people attend, and two more Ice Breakers.

With this amount of enthusiasm shown by students, the Club is set to be chartered soon with an initial 28 members. Congratulations to Dennis Bollington and the Elanora Early Morning Club for forming the new Griffith Guild Toastmasters.

My Sister's Wedding

A blind date was the beginning of a romantic epic that lasted for 47 years. He was a sailor in the Australian Navy and she was a shy 15 year old testing the tepid tantalizing waters of dating. After the first encounter with Paul, Lorraine would write prolific pages of poetic prose to Paul and saturated each page with perfume and lipstick kisses.  They decided to marry as soon as she turned 18 and Lorraine started to plan and prepare for the big day. She wanted all the trimmings, the church wedding, reception and honeymoon.  The big day arrived, excitement and exhilaration filled the air and the atmosphere was electric with anticipation.  Our outfits were laid lovingly on the bed while we tripped off to the hairdressers to be pampered and adorned with pearls in our swept up hairstyle with soft curls framing our face. We chatted and giggled, delighting in the prospect of catching up with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends.

Upon arriving home we were confronted with the news that Paul was missing; no-one knew where he was. His parents had arrived from Tasmania and had not heard from him. His best friend had hitch hiked from Nowra because Paul had not arrived to pick him up as they had arranged. Phone calls were made to the Ensign were Paul had been staying in Melbourne, no-one had seen him. He was not at the Navy base, he had vanished.

Where was he?

Silent tears rolled down Lorraine's face as she slipped on her wedding dress, she dabbed her eyes and bravely stated that he will show up, something must have happened beyond his control, he wouldn't do this to her.  The beautiful bridal bouquet arrived and when the florist heard that Paul was missing with a car full of wedding gifts and all their savings, she tactlessly said; "Never mind dearey, you're not the first to be left at the altar."  This uncalled for comment brought forth a flood of tears and uncontrollable sobbing. As I tried to console her she kept repeating that she would not enter the church until she knew he was there, she was not going to be embarrassed and made to look a fool.

When the bridal car arrived she slipped in beside our father who kept unsuccessfully trying to console her and the chauffeur  was told to drive at a very slow pace; to give Paul enough time to turn up. They drove past the church, everyone held their breath, waiting and watching for a sign that everything was alright. We drove around again, watching and waiting and then we saw a dash of a white navy uniform race into the church and we instinctively knew that he had arrived. Whew, that was close!

On his way to pick up the Best Man in Nowra, he had broken 2 windshields, had a flat tyre and engine problems. He had not slept for 48 hours and barely had time to shower, change and make it to the church on time.  As Paul was explaining his predicament at the reception, the waitress was listening with such intent that she accidently tipped a full bowl of soup all over him. As the embarrassed, flustered waitress tried to apologise and rectify the damage, he looked up at her through tired blood shot eyes, then looked lovingly at Lorraine and said, "Nothing can spoil our Wedding day."

By Beverley Bradbery

Sparkle In The West

Inverell was ‘cut & polished’ for the District Convention and truly presented itself as a Jewell in the West.

I travelled from the Gold Coast to Lismore to meet theFun Buswith 17 other intrepid travellers. The four hour journey to Inverell was shortened with songs to gladden the heart, a quiz to question your mind and companionship to lift the spirit.

At the Art Centre, we were welcomed with drinks and nibbles and entertained with a taste of Operatic excellence (a forerunner to Opera in the Paddock in March 2012). This was an opportunity for seasoned Toastmasters to catch up with old friends, compare experiences, make new friendships and network. All of which enhance, re-enforce and contribute to the valuable facets of the Conference.

At registration I was awarded a ribbon acknowledging me as a First Timer. Seasoned Conference Toastmasters recognised my status and incorporated me into conversations and discussions at every level. Their friendliness and openness allowed me to relax and ask questions about events and procedures unfamiliar to me. It reminded me of a jigsaw puzzle.

When I first joined Toastmasters, I had the corner stones and borders of the puzzle, ie: the corner stones were my CC & CL Manual to help with my speeches, and the Executive roles ie: President, Secretary, Treasurer etc. Then I entered competitions and attended my first Club Conference, these joined the borders and started adding to the picture with a little more knowledge of judging and a wider knowledge of Timer, Sgt at Arms & Tally Counter roles. I subsequently attended the Area Contest followed by the Southern Division Conference, where I was exposed to other clubs in my area, officialdignitaries and formal executive meetings. More of the puzzle was filled in. By the time I attended the District Convention; I was rubbing shoulders and liaising with Current Governors of Northern, Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Division as well as Governors from outside Division 69. Lobbying, voting and elections became part of the excitement. All in all, an exciting and exhilarating time. Suddenly the last pieces of the puzzle slipped into place and I started to see the picture in its entirety. Its as if I had been presented with new eyes and the image was impressive.

The quality and excellence of the speakers in each contest has forced me to re-assess my own speeches and delivery. They were all of such a high standard and substance that I was grateful not having had to judge them. To me, it appeared to be an impossible task to pick a winner.
My head is still reeling from the exhilarating experience of my first Division Convention and I cant wait for 2012 to attend the next convention in Brisbane.

Beverley Bradbery