The theme of tonights meeting was fireworks and what an apt choice it was. The meeting was a wonderful pre bonfirenight display of sparkling speakers, exciting evaluations and terrific table topics.
In charge was our very own Guy Fawkes, Mr David Cockeram. David is a one man firework display bubbling with enthusiasm, energy and excitement. We had one returning guest, one new member, two visiting toastmasters from other clubs and a first time visitor as well as a good turnout of existing members.
My personal highlights of the meeting were...
Area Governor Wendy Benson's Bonfire Nigh Memories Warmup. Everyone has 15 seconds to share a memory and the selections were incredibly evocative. I could smell the smoke, taste the food (Tomato Soup, Baked Potatoes and Bangers and Mash!)and remember the awe of fireworks through a childs eyes.
Ian Etheridges firecracker speech about Australian political colosus Gough Whitlam who died recently. Mr Whitlam was Prime Minister of Australia back in the 70's and was one of that rare breed, a polititian who actually made people's lives better. A man of vision who offered hope, a man of principle and a man who stood for what he beleived in. Thanks for sharing Ian. If you want to know more read his obituary in the Guardian
Our own Marian Way then entertained us with a beautifully told and touching story of her father James, a man of great determination of found his calling in life and, despite being injured in battle, confounded the doctors to live a long and fruitful life. The moral of the story was that, we all have a purpose in life that we are meant to fulfull.
David Cockerham's funny story of how he pursued a pickpocket who attempted to rob him on the London underground. David;s digged determination not to let the man get away with it was inspiring as well as hugely entertaining.
Afer the break, each of our speakers recieved the gift of a well thought out and constructive evaluation from one of our three evaluators Antonia Harrison. John Tunstall and Lee Werrell. I was particularly impressed by John Tunstalls evaluation of Marian Way. John managed to balance well observed praise with a number of usefull suggestions on how Marian could improve her storytelling by turning 3rd party dialogue into 1st party. John gave excellent examples of how this might have been done and I am sure Marian benefited from his accurate observations.
Finally, Margaret Bishton led an innovative and highly enjoyable table topics session. Each volunteer (or should I say victim?) was given the opportunity to pick a picture and then to tell a story linked to the image. it's amazing how creative the human mind can be when faced with such abstract challenges. Congratulations to Gavin, Pat, Keith, Lee and Wendy for rising to the challenge
Tonights well deserved award winners were...
Best Speaker - David Cockeram
Best Evaluator - John Tunstall
Best Table Topics Speaker - Wendy Benson
Meeting reporter - Gavin Meikle