Mullingar Toastmasters members flying high in the competitions

Mullingar Toastmasters members flying high in the competitions

The mood was high in Mullingar Toastmasters at the last meeting, on November 14. Brian McLoughlin and Lorraine Murphy brought home first and second place respectively from the Area 9 Humorous Speech contest, in Moate on Saturday November 2. Lorraine and Tony Viney returned with first and second place in the Area 9 Table Topics contest from the same day. The air of excitement and positivity was infectious.

Fáilte Officer Naomi Bell welcomed everyone to the meeting. The room was lovely, as always, thanks to the work of Sergeant Of Arms Joshua Yoon.

President Anne Drury opened the meeting and stayed on as a most competent Toastmaster of the night. This woman doesn’t know what it means to take it easy!

Timekeeper Charlene Bell, who, assisted by Billy Gough, ensured the meeting ran to schedule.

Grammarian and VP Education Maria Costello encouraged us to leave out the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and to use the word of the night, ‘innovative’.

There were four speakers, and as always, the range of subjects ensured everyone was entertained and left a little bit wiser.

Tony Viney told his story of his trip ‘On the road to Damascus’, an account of how he found himself in Syria and how this affected his life. He used photos and a map to take his audience right into the story.

Carol Cavanagh told them: “It’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it”. Often the difference between success and failure can be traced to mindset and how people perceive them. Resilience, belief and self-care are vital.

Patsy Fagan gave an insight into JP Donleavy, the Irish American playwright and novelist best known for his novel The Ginger Man. Patsy told us of his local links and his encounters with JP, who by all accounts was a true gentleman.

Brian McLoughlin performed his winning speech from the area Humorous Speech contest, ‘It’s a dog’s life, unless you are cat’. We didn’t know that this was going to be the Division F winning speech on Sunday 18 in Ballinasloe. Brian now represents Division F in the District 71 finals in Killarney in May. He’ll have company as Lorraine Murphy will represent the Division in the Table Topics Contest. Best of luck Brian and Lorraine!

The speeches were evaluated by Mags Healy-Donohue, Lorraine Murphy, Patrick Cavanagh and Pat Kenny.

After the tea, coffee and biscuits, it was time for the table topics.

John Waldron, Table Topics master and eternal professional, gently persuaded newer members to try a topic, and that was a highlight of the night. They were so quick on their feet. The future of the club is bright. Well done to you all!

General Evaluator Joan Heduan summed up the evening in style before the Toastmaster closed the meeting.

Toastmasters Mullingar meet every second and fourth Thursday of the month in The Greville Arms at 8.30pm. Next meeting Thursday 28 November.

• For more information, see Facebook and mullingartoastmasters.org.

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