Thursday, August 28, 2008

North! South! East! West! Toastmasters' Clubs are the best!


The Installation of New Exco at Teach Me Toastmasters' Club

Sam, a charming and outgoing leader, who often clinches the best speaker prize!

Members and guests at the Installation Ceremony of New Executive Committee of
Fuchun Toastmasters' Club

At one of the chapter meetings at Hongkah North Toastmasters' Club in Bukit Gombak

Whenever my siblings call me from overseas, and I do not pick up the phone, they would know that I am either in a company meeting or at a toastmasters' meeting. Though they initially felt that I was too involved in toastmasters' clubs, they also realise that it is one of the best clubs anyone can join. At least, it is better to be at a toastmasters' club than to be at a nightclub where people are prone to spending tons of money on drinking and clubbing!

If not for toastmasters' clubs, I would not have travelled to places like Chao Chu Kang where the Chao Chu Kang Toastmasters' Club is located, or places like Bukit Panjang where Zhenghua C.C. Toastmasters' Club is located. I would also not have the privilege of helping out at the Changi Prison Speechcraft with Mr. Michael Rodrigues and his team of committed volunteers. Recently I was invited to be a language evaluator at the Certis Cisco Toastmasters' Club, a new formed club for the administrative staff of the police force.

Even as I volunteer my services as an evaluator in all these different clubs, I always learn something new. At the Teach Me Toastmasters' Club, I em encouraged by the tenacity of the members who still persevere on their wheel chairs or crutches to attend club meetings. Most of them come by public transport. For some, speaking is quite a struggle because of their disability, but they still try their best. The inmates in Changi Prison often have touching stories to narrate. Many are determined to make good use of their time when they are released. It is heartening to notice their marked improvement each week as they deliver their speeches. While some are fairly well educated, and made the mistake in their moment of weakness and folly, the majority come from broken homes or abusive fathers. I can empathise with them. Sometimes I am moved to tears by their speeches. It is not for any of us to judge them. Who does not want to be born with a silver spoon? Who does not want to have a loving and supportive family? I have learnt that life will never be always fair. Nevertheless, whatever the situation and circumstances are, it is for all of use to rise up. As Vince Lombardi had said, "Life is not about falling down; it is about getting up again!"

Each time I go to a club to help out as an evaluator. But each time, I take away with me something new. Indeed, by giving, we receive even more abundantly!

Gan Chau
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