Those members from Division E who attended, in particular from Algoa, found the Conference, Jabulani, to be a wonderful time of growing and networking – as always.
However, there was so much more it: Firstly, the Division E representatives to the Humorous Speech Contest and the Impromptu Speech Contest both came from Algoa, in the persons of Michael Warren and Nicholas Mitchell, respectively. They reported that the level of competition was extremely high and that they both really enjoyed the experience. Nicholas also returned having won third place in the Impromptu Contest. Well done (again)!
Then, to make our Eastern Cape hearts swell even further with pride, two of our members won very special awards:
Firstly, Louise Solomons achieved the distinction of winning the John Whiffen Helping Hand Award. This award is given annually to any Toastmaster in District 74 who lends a helping hand to another Toastmaster or who, in the service of District 74, goes the extra mile. It came as no surprise to us when Louise won this award as she has invested so much of her time and efforts in assisting the Toastmasters of the NMMU Club. The club meets every week and Louise seldom misses a meeting. She has rendered invaluable service to the executive, assisting the club to regain charter strength. Louise was also largely responsible for the impeccable organisation of the Inter-varsity Toastmasters competition that was hosted by NMMU.
Mike Brosnahan was the recipient of the Mike van Blerk Trophy, which is also awarded annually, to a Toastmaster who has been a member for between one and two years and who has contributed significantly to the goals and mission of his club. This is a well-deserved award to a man who has really served the Algoa Club and Toastmasters International during the time he has been a member. Mike has been Treasurer of the club almost since the start of his membership when he stood in to fill the place of someone who left. He is now in his second term of office. Mike has also given selflessly of his time assisting at Youth Leadership Training Courses and Speechcraft Courses, as well as by lending a hand at the various Competitions and other Division events.
Colleen Love, our Area Governor, also came home with the award for the Top Area in Division E. She diffidently says that it had nothing to do with her, but we know better. Colleen is a true example of servant leadership.
We are really proud of you guys.
However, winning at Toastmasters is not just about trophies and awards. It is really about the small triumphs that come from achieving the goals we set for ourselves. Last week we had the opportunity to celebrate with two of our members. Trevor Wells, our VP Membership, attained his CC. Well done, Trevor!
We also all had cause to rejoice with our newest member, Andrew Mthethwa, upon completing his Ice-breaker speech. That was after winning the Best Table Topics award - at his first attempt! I am no soothsayer, but I think we can expect great things from this young man.
The year is nearing its end. This is the time for reflection: we look back at the goals that we set and whether we managed to realise them. We look forward to the year ahead and we set new goals. That is the nature of man (and woman!)
With just more than a month left – and three meetings to go, may I challenge you to take a look at what you want to achieve in 2014. Then write those goals down; assess whether they are SMART (remember: Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic and Time-based); and then set about making them happen!
Until next time