Meeting No.788 'Friendship'

John Donne’s 1624 poem reminded us all that “no man is an island”, and we are all part of life. And life happens and we often have to change our plans. For the club this means we often cannot assist to meetings and we give our apologies. When apologies are on the last day, this means we cannot find replacement for speaking roles. As a result, speaking opportunities go begging and we all miss out. Individual members miss on an opportunity to advance on their goals, the club misses opportunities of learning by not being able to listen to the speakers.
Please look at the forward program and see what roles you have been scheduled for in the upcoming three meetings. If for any reason you find you cannot fulfil a role, please give the VPE the most notice you find so he can find a replacement easily and without fuss.
Meeting 678 started at 7:34 pm. Daniel I. stepped in as Chair, and went through the agenda quickly.
There were a few apologies, as usual, and our industrious VPE, Chih D., handled the program changes without fuss and efficiently. Chih cover the role of Table Topics Master, Venky covered the Table Topics Evaluation, and Greg H. became Harkmaster.
Three guests were present at the meeting, Taylor, Ash, and Jinal.
The meeting was informed that on Saturday 28 October the Area Contests were held at Geelong. Our club was well represented with contestants, officials, and supporters. We are happy to inform that Werribee Toastmasters representatives won three of the four contests on the day. Our congratulations to Venky S. for winning the Humorous and International Contests, and Greg H. for winning the Table Topics Contest. The evaluation contest was won by Vince C. of Aerospeakers Toastmasters. They will all compete now on Northern Division contest next February in Bendigo. If they win in Bendigo, they will go to the District Finals at convention in May 2018
Toastmaster for the meeting was Carol M., the theme of the meeting was friendship, and word of the day was concord.
This was her first time as Meeting Toastmaster, but Carol took to it like a fish takes to water. With her friendly smile and demeanour she moved us through the segments with ease and warmth.
Table Topics was conducted by Chih, and all questions were around the meeting’s theme — friendship. The topics were challenging, but not too hard, allowing a wide range of opinions and experiences to be expressed.
Venky S. gave his evaluation of the five topics, and gave plenty of praise but also demonstrated how the speakers could do better.
After the coffee break, the first speaker was Patty K. Patty is our newest member but she is also very experienced, having just transferred her membership from District 69 in Queensland. She is doing the CC manual again and gave speech 4 from the said manual. This was a very emotional speech, not just for Patty but also for us the audience. Patty spoke about her first face to face conversation with her birth mother at a hospital bed in Geelong. You could hear a pin drop.
Second and last speaker was Peter K. with his 6th speech from the CC Manual. Peter is qucikly advancing through his speeches and his improvement is noticeable every time. Peter quoted a series of well-known phrase and saying and told us how we can make use of this wisdom to improve our lives.
Patty and Peter’s speeches were evaluated by Udana A. and Shridhar P. Both of them built up the speakers and offered and demonstrated suggestions of things they may do in the future.
I call the “watchdogs” to those minor (in time) but crucial roles in each meeting. The Harkmaster, checker of how well we pay attention; the Ah-counter (aka “gruntmaster”, counter of all ungrammatical sounds; the grammarian who presents word of the day report and checks for poor and also colourful use of the language; and the timekeeper, who checks we use the time wisely and appropriately.
Greg H. was the Harkmaster; Ah-counter, Bruce B.; Grammarian, David G.; Timekeeper Heman A. They all presented their reports in a friendly and efficient manner.
There was no award for the best speaker as there were only two. Best Table Topic went to Greg H. (he just kept on from winning the Area Contest!). Best Evaluator went to Shridhar P.
Before closing the meeting, club President Udana A. briefly reminded us how fortunate is our club of counting among its members a Charter Member. Charter Member is one who was a member at the time the club was Chartered, i.e., officially recognised as a Club by TMI. And the member who was there that day over 30 years ago when our club was welcomed to the fold of Toastmasters is none other than Bruce Bedson.
Before the meeting closed, our guests Jinal and Ash expressed their intention of joining the club. Jinal, Ash, we’ll be thrilled to count you on our ranks.
And also there was a reminder of not one but two “Sausage Sizzles”.
The first “Sausage Sizzle” is an end of year social gathering for all members plus one, on Saturday 9 December, at Daniel I’s place, 26 Tandarra Drive, Hoppers Crossing. The host will provide sausages, bread, soft drinks and some salads. Guests are to bring a plate of food to share plus any other drink they wish to imbibe. RSVP to the host by the meeting on Wednesday 6 December.
The second “Sausage Sizzle” is a club fundraiser and it will be held at Bunnings Warehouse, Werribee, on Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. All members are encouraged to give a hand for a couple of hours on the day. Coordinator for this event is Paul von H.
Toastmasters International’s new educational program, Pathways, is being implemented in our District as of December. All members are encouraged to take advantage of this interlude to become familiar with Pathways and getting ready.
I must confess, I am too excited and cannot wait to get my hands on the new material and get started.

Daniel I.
Werribee Toastmasters VPPR