On 2 November 2019 we had yet another great meeting of Bishopstown Toastmasters. The club President Anita Howard opened the meeting at 11 a.m. and handed it over to Toastmaster Josip dell’Olio, who, carrying out the role for the first time, managed the meeting with care and attention to detail and timekeeping. Also taking on a role for the first time was Timekeeper Barry Lynch, who began by assuring us that, as Henry VIII said to his wives, he would not keep us too long!
The first prepared speech was delivered by Yasantha Chamara, who, in his Ice Breaker, spoke inspiringly of the importance of a strong family background and a good education. He was followed by Kevin Walsh, who was delivering a speech for the High Performance Leadership programme, presenting the results of his investigation into inclusivity in sport. Kevin delivered a passionate message which left us in no doubt of the importance of the issue. Finally Murt Ó Súilleabháin told the story of the extraordinary life and heroic death of Terence McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, whose centenary will be marked in 2020.
Poetmaster Mary O’Shaughnessy reminded us all of the importance of time and using every second to the best effect, in the short but telling poem that she chose to deliver. Marian O’Mahony then took the role of Topicsmaster, again for the first time. She challenged and guided us all with a series of questions that called on us to consider such themes as what kind of work would make us rich if happiness were the national currency, what acts of kindness we would never forget, and what activities made us lose track of time. Many thoughtful and innovative responses resulted.
Carol O’Donovan began her role as General Evaluator by drawing our attention to all those who were taking on roles for the first time. She continued her supportive and encouraging approach throughout, offering helpful suggestions to all those who had spoken. Evaluators Paul O’Neill, Anita Howard and Conor O’Donovan were inspired to bring the same spirit of thoroughness and care to their evaluations of the three speeches. Barry Lynch gave a businesslike report in his first performance as Timekeeper, and Ronan O’Donovan, as Pausemaster, delivered a very good report with a detailed introduction and examples to support his points. In the role of Grammarian, Bernard Buckley selected ‘Sagacious’ as the Word of the Day, and heard it used nine times before giving a very thorough report on the use of language in the meeting.
The club celebrated the excellent performance of its contestants in the Area Contest in Humorous Speech and Table Topics on 30 October. Club members Aisling Nestor and Murt Ó Súilleabháin represented Bishopstown in the Contest, and were placed first and second respectively in Table Topics. We congratulate them, along with John Paul O’Leary of Powdermills Toastmasters and Jeet Jain of VMWare Toastmasters, who were placed first and second in the Humorous Speech contest. We also thank all the members of Bishopstown Toastmasters who assisted in the organisation and running of the Area Contest by taking on roles where requested. Bishopstown Toastmasters look forward to supporting our members and the members of our sister clubs at the Division Final at 1.30 p.m. in Brú Columbanus, Wilton, on 17 November.
This week the club was proud to take delivery of the President’s Distinguished Club ribbon for 2018 – 2019. It will be added to our banner as a representation of the hard work, co-operation and determination of all members in the past year, and an inspiration to us all to keep working towards maintaining that high standard for this year also.
All those who took on roles during the meeting carried them out excellently, and we particularly thank and commend those who took on roles for the first time or agreed to do so at short notice. Thanks also to everyone who attended, and to the staff of Bishopstown Library for their wonderful and patient support.
Our next meeting is on Saturday 9 November, at the usual time of 11 a.m. If you can, please arrive a few minutes early. As always, guests are cordially invited to attend. Guests will not be asked to speak, but they are welcome to participate in the Table Topics session by raising their hands. Please note that the Library has asked the club not to enter the room before 10.45 a.m., and endeavour to abide by this request.
See you all soon!