Three Decades in Werribee Toastmasters

Bruce Bedson

About thirty years ago I read a small article in a local news information sheet called Around Laverton. It contained material about a new club called Toastmasters. After some enquires I ended up joining. 

The Club was then called Western Toastmasters and was initially an Air force based club. But because of the nature of the air force they allowed us civilians to join. It was a dinner club then, and was held at the Racecourse Hotel just over the Bridge in Werribee. There I met our first president and vice president education Peter Pick and Dave Pitts both air force officers, it was because of their warmth and friendliness that I stayed to become one of the charter members of the club. Over the next number of years we changed venues several times, first to the Bridge Hotel, and then the Wyndham Nursing Home, Italian social club, the old Civic center, the Events center Hoppers Crossing and finally Victoria University. 

Our main focus was initially on meeting procedure which then developed into public speaking. In the early days if you were assigned to be chairman you would be scared to come because of all the motions amendments points of order etc. that were moved. If you made a mistake all the members would give them a hard time, you really had to know Rentons or Roberts rules well.

30th Anniversary Certificate of Achievement from Toastmasters International

Our meetings were many and varied, one memorable one I recall was the Wedding meeting where one of the members found a traditional wedding procedure book, with all he speeches that were traditionally given listed. We developed a meeting around this list. It turned out to be a long meeting because of the number of speeches. The highlight of the meeting was the Father of the Brides speech, which was acted out as if the Father was rolling drunk; it was given so well that the member giving the speech nearly fell over the table in his effort to make it authentic. 

Our venues were of a varied condition ranging from what we have today all the way down to the old civic center in Watton street. If you attended a meeting there you had to decide weather you wore your thermal under wear or take your umbrella. I always wondered how I would go holding my umbrella giving a speech. It was at this venue someone forgot the key and we were forced to either cancel the meeting or had it at another venue. We had it at the Pizza shop in Station St., it cost us for a number of pizzas but it was a great meeting and experience. 

Bruce Bedson
Charter Member

Bruce Bedson is our longest serving charter member and parliamentarian with incomparable knowledge of Toastmasters.

Bruce and Maureen Bedson

Bruce Bedson getting recognize for 5 years at Werribee Toastmasters