Posted by on Dec 21, 2014 in Meetings

Toastmaster Colin’s theme today was ‘wellbeing’. The Christmas season is upon us, full of cheer and goodwill – but that’s not always the case for everyone – so the theme of wellbeing and looking after yourself and others, and not being drawn into the woes of the world, was very apt. Throughout the meeting Colin gave examples of what various organisations do to aid the wellbeing of their staff. I’m obviously in the wrong business!

Bryce encouraged us to take a pause, time to reflect in our busy lives, and to pause in our speeches to give greater effect to the message. Sound advice.

First speaker was Steve Kennelly, giving a non-manual speech, ‘Scales, a very, very brief history’. Scales being the company for whom Steve works. This was an interesting speech about a Chch based company that began in 1897, but has only this year listed on the stock exchange. The company began shipping operations in the late 19th century when George Herbert Scales chartered a ship to export wool to Europe and this continued until 1974. Scales is still exporting but is now involved with apple growing and is all set to sail into the next millennium. As well as being informative, Steve brought humour into his speech as it seems George was not only a philanthropist and business man, but also a philanderer. He founded the Avondale Golf Club (for women) so that his secretary/mistress could play golf in a male dominated sport. Way to go!

Our next speaker Geoff Robinson also gave an informative speech, but this time it was about the joys of being the referee to youngsters playing rugby. I could relate to his comment about there being more people on the sidelines than players, having spent many Saturdays watching my sons play when they were young. Geoff was speaking from Project 5 of the CC manual – Your body speaks, and clad in his reffing gear, (legs on display again) he fulfilled the project objectives well as he demonstrated what he has learnt from his referee training sessions and what he teaches the players. As I know very little about rugby (apart from admiring some of the All Blacks) Geoff’s speech was very educational for me. The demonstration of the signals Geoff has to use was a delight – like a choreographed dance!

Finding something more to life in the 40s to 50s, the need to fill the gap, finding ‘the missing link’ was the message of Amanda Cartridge’s speech, project 2, Organise your speech. Her speech fitted very well with the wellbeing theme, as she explained the importance of keeping our auras structured properly and clear, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her advice was to go with what we feel, rather than what we think, even if it may feel odd at first, trust, as feelings call you back to the person you once were. Whatever excites you, throw yourself whole heartedly into it. It’s the real you that is the missing link. Interesting food for thought, especially when making New Year’s resolutions. All the best for the healing conference in Boston, Amanda.

The wellbeing theme continued into Shane’s Table Topics. Ian told us how to achieve GNP – Gross National Happiness, instead of GDP, Kevin and Brett talked about what makes them happy, Esther focussed on holidays with purpose and Danny’s ‘unusual thing to improve wellbeing’, was to …… breathe! All good fun as always.

And to evaluate the whole meeting was Tina Mackie who did a superb job as GE, giving a professional, thorough and thoughtful evaluation, with positive commendations and very helpful recommendations. Well done Tina! A fine example on how to deliver the GE role.

This was my first Boaters meeting since October, but also the last one for us all for 2014. Another great year of Toastmasters.

Dates to remember early 2015:
16 January – first meeting of the year. I’m Toastmaster, so check the schedule on the website to see if you have a role.
30 January – Evaluation Contest, with Claire Ruru as contest chair
13 February – International Speech contest, with Steve Mydlowski as contest chair. Start preparing those speeches!

Meanwhile have a very happy, relaxing and enjoyable Christmas break and all the best for 2015.

Sandra Smith

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