Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Celeberation at AIA Changi Toastmasters Club


Some of the guests, members and appointment holders enjoying their dinner and fellowship before the start of the meeting.

Lovely slides of couples, young and old shown while music is played. Everyone could feel that love is indeed in the air, enhancing the mood of celebration at this special Valentine's Chapter Meeting at AIA Changi TMC

Guests and members getting ready for the meeting after refreshment. Look at the rose petals strewn everywhere. Goo Yin has even created a lovely big heart with rose petals on the stage. Remind me of some of the spas I had visited.!

Richard Lam, receiving his trophy as best speaker for table topics from Past President, James Keok
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What I like most about toastmasters' meeting - there is always that festive mood in the air. This is especially enhanced on special days like Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deeparaya (Deepavali and Hari Raya) and Valentines' Day!

When Doris Tan from ACE Toastmasters Club expressed her intention to meet up with me, I told her that perhaps we could meet at AIA Changi TMC. I had received the invitation from Fernando Young and hence I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Emulating the style of my ex-president, Vanessa Yong, I only visit clubs when I am committed to helping out as an appointment holder. However, I thought it would be nice to meet Doris at AIA Changi Toastmasters Club, so that as an exco member, she can emulate and share some of the things she has observed at the meeting with her own club, ACE. Hence we were delighted when we saw Andrew Kuan at the meeting. Andrew is another passionate toastmaster from ACE.

As usual, AIA Changi TMC provides a sumptuous buffet for members and guests. As the meeting starts at 7.00p.m. and many have to rush to the meeting from work, the Club wants to ensure that tummies don't rumble when speakers present their speeches. For those who are late, there is still a variety of tasty finger food during refreshments.

We learnt a new word, "gumption" from the Language Evaluator, pretty Patricia Lum. Tan Mah Leng, who won the best speaker prize, entertained us with his humorous speech on "Marriage". The most outstanding guest was Richard Lam, as he won two prizes - both for table topics and evaluation! Kudos!

What I like most is the spontaneity by the club members - humorous repartees that add laughter during the meetings. Somehow the extrovert members often remind me of my ex-students in ACS. When I said one word, my ACS boys would say ten words!

It is easy to provide a table full of food - it is the graciousness of the hosts that enhances the hospitality and warmth. I have noticed that Fernando and the exco members always make it a point to look out for guests. They ensure that even those evaluators who are working hard on their written scripts during the tea breaks would be served with drinks and some food.

At the meeting yesterday, ie. 12th of February, I was happy when the Toastmaster of the Evening, Goo Yin, announced that there would be no changes to the Program. In most of the meetings I have attended in other toastmasters club, there would often be some changes when appointment holders/speakers could not turn up at the last minute. During the past two and half years, I am glad that I have always fullfilled nearly all my committment to speak or to evaluate. Even when clients had chosen an appointment time that clashed with my already-made appointments at clubs, I would ask my clients if I could meet up with them after my toastmasters' meeting or early the following morning at their home or office. My clients are usually very understanding and accommodating.l

Of course, we can always say that everything is done on a voluntary basis. However, if volunteers put their best in their club meetings, shouldn't all guests and members reciprocate by honouring their committment to carry out their speeches and roles? Papa had always said that we owe it to ourselves to do our best in everything - whether our work is being paid or when we are volunteers.

For those toastmasters who have yet to visit AIA Changi Toastmasters Club, try to go for a visit and find out more for yourselves. For my local and international readers who have yet to be a toastmaster, visit one nearest your home in your country and you will have a more tangible understanding of the above points.

Gan Chau

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