It was with no small sense of nostalgia that we gathered last night, because it was our last meeting under the inspirational leadership of the incumbent committee. It seems that extreme weather follows us: last time we met it was a dark and stormy night; last night we basked in unseasonably balmy temperatures – as if summer is beckoning!
Sergeant-at-Arms, Marianah, greeted us as usual in her enthusiastic manner.
We started our meeting under the capable guidance of our doughty Glenis, who pointed out that she was indeed outgoing – in both senses of the word!!
As usual, we had several guests among our number, thanks in no small part to the outgoing VP for membership, Louise Solomons, and her hardworking helpers:
Shariefa Mohammed, Sister Lucia and Theo Swart. Lee Schultz and Tanja Gauss returned. They have indicated that they plan to join – good news indeed.
Our Toastmaster was the always-organised and entertaining Louise Erasmus. As her theme was the way people enjoy holidays around the world. Did you know that it was only around the 17th century (and even later in America) that people even had holidays to enjoy? She asked each role player about their favourite holiday destination.
“A perpetual holiday is the best definition of hell” – GB Shaw.
Methinks GB should have exchanged words with Antoinette!
Antoinette (our timekeeper for the evening) would love to go to Mauritius – sand, sea and sun – pass the hat around to sponsor her trip there! She advised that timing is extremely important if you want to be an effective speaker. If you don’t believe that, we should just think of the overlong sermon in church on Sunday or the staff meeting on Monday!
Mimi (um and ah counter) longs to visit Mpumalanga. I’m sure we all agree that there are not many sights that could rival God’s Window.
Marianah’s holiday spots would all be chosen for their proximity to her seven grandchildren, and include the Barrier Reef in Australia.
Roger Ah Kun was our Table Topics Master for the evening, and chose the theme of sports – why we love or hate them, or why we think it is a stupid game!
From karate to baseball, our speakers outdid themselves with the onomatopoeic sound effects of the various sports – not to mention the mime effects. Really, our speakers should be on the stage, winning Tony awards!
Good sports indeed!
As always, thanks to the indefatigable Tom Horne, our programme was a variety of CC and AC speeches.
• Peter Peters wants to rub shoulders with the rich and famous in Monaco. In his CC2 (organise your speech) entitled “Good intentions gone wobbly” he spoke about the sanctity of work and the rewards of labour, and the culture of self-entitlement that has infiltrated all aspects of our society.
• Angie Kivido wants to go to the Antarctic – she should make friends with our own Quinton Jacobs. She did her CC4 (How to Say it) on the topic “My Nemesis” – about the Amatola hiking trail . Having attempted the trail twice before, it was Third Time Lucky! The trail comprises 100km in 6 days, including the Hogsback!! Beautifully picturesque language included her “despondent yet hopeful” mood, and “The backpack was not lighter, but [she] was floating on air!”
• Chenielle Badenhorst wants to go to Mozambique. She did her CC6 (vocal variety) about “The tale of two cords”? After entertaining us with some highly dramatic vocal variety she gave us some good advice to end with: If all else fails, a warm toddy of whisky and honey will always soothe the tired vocal cords.
• Alison Immelman wants to spend more and more time in the British Isles. She also did her CC6 on light-hearted moments in the teaching of Shakespeare (“Give us a light, ho!”). The line comes from Macbeth where Banquo is shouting for help in the forest – not, as many teenagers believe, calling on the local street worker in ghetto speak!
• Quinton Jacobs is well on his way with the advanced communicator programme. He did his AC13, entitled “Let’s get personal”, a storytelling project. He regaled us with the story of the lucky (or unlucky – depending on your pt of view!) expectant mother and her twins (not with child, but with children – one of which was our own Quinton!). In keeping with the night’s theme he ended his speech with the inspiring quote: “True happiness is going wherever you want with whomever you want”.
The toast of the day was delivered by Deborah Stephenson. Using some charming anecdotes about her grandchildren, she proposed a toast to Our Children who always give us a fresh perspective on even painful events.
We are extremely lucky in Algoa to have dedicated and expert senior members to offer evaluations on the prepared speeches.
1. Mark Barry wants to go to Peru, especially to see Machu Picchu
2. Denise Pudney would like to be where there is no cell phone contact so that she can enjoy time with her children. Louise admitted that since this would have to be in the Bundu, she would certainly choose to be left behind! Denise reminded us that we should tell a story as if we were telling it to our friends.
3. Louise Solomons wants to go to the Victoria Falls.
4. Alan Hunter has an historical cottage in Port Alfred with a view of the coast. He has been renovating it for the last fifteen years, and his ideal holiday would be to have the time to do more of the same.
5. Ricky Woods yearns to visit London in the summer! I’m sure one of the reasons is to experience those “clouds of golden daffodils”! Or is it the strawberries and champagne at Wimbledon
To close the evening, the General Evaluation was undertaken by newly-inducted president, Colleen Love. As ever, she was warmly encouraging and motivational while gently censuring where it was needed.
She reminded us of the motto for the new year: “The courage to conquer” – which was certainly well illustrated by Angie in her speech.
She also wished our travellers well: Glenis is going to spend a month in the UK with her daughter, Louise E is off to Mauritius, and Ricky is travelling to Greece with her younger son!! Lucky peeps!
Glenis fittingly had the last word to close off her last meeting as the current president.
Awards were made for the Best Table Topic (to Mark Barry who regaled us with a creative view of lawn bowls) and the Top Toastie award could not have been more appropriately bestowed than on our outgoing pres, Glenis.
So ended another congenial meeting of our wonderful club. Can’t wait for the next!
“Laughter is an instant holiday”