Celebrating the 700th meeting

On Monday, 17th August we had an evening of new beginnings and reminiscing as we celebrated our 700th meeting. This club was chartered in April 1891 as the Escom Toastmasters Club. We learned that about the time it changed to the Eskom Toastmasters Club the parent company, Eskom, saw Toastmasters as a social organisation and not a learning organisation and stopped supporting the club. The club found new premises. This club was known from its inception as being more casual that was the norm for Toastmasters clubs in the early 1980’s and so the word of the evening for our 700th meeting was chosen to be “irreverent”.

The theme of this 700th meeting was BLACK, WHITE & GOLD with a sub-theme of 007 reversed. The venue was also selected to give us the opportunity to have a good meal and socialise; the Hogshead in Illovo served to host us. Black, white and gold balloons adorned the room and matching napkins served to decorate the centre of the tables. The food was of a high standard and the service impeccable with dinner arriving spot on time. We have several brand new members who celebrated with us, s few guests, who I think we managed to suitably impress and a few visiting Toastmasters as well as a longstanding former member of our club.

The new beginnings came in the form of two Icebreaker Speeches, the first project from the first speaking manual, delivered by brand new members Tarryn and Carolyn. Both young ladies are in Public Relations and would-be authors of fiction. Their speeches were anything by fiction, they were beautifully constructed stories that highlighted a particular aspect of their lives through which we got to know quite a bit about them. An entertaining speech from one of the Advanced Speaking Manuals telling stories of the irreverent acts that occur backstage (and sometimes onstage) at the opera and an educational speech on understanding your speaking environment rounded off the formal segment of the event.

Long-time Toastmasters and club members, Keith and Shaun, shared the history highlights of the club after dinner and as the Table Topics impromptu speeches Mary, custodian of the records of the club, shared some meeting minutes with members who picked out the most surprising items to share. Through this review of our history we see that although some things change, there are issues that never go away, for example the need to change signatories on the bank account.

The Toast of the Evening was to a next 700 meeting and if the banter and fun of this event is anything to go by this club is set for continued success.












Our next meeting on Monday, 24 August is the club’s annual Humorous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking Contests. Everyone is welcome to hear well the prepared speeches, and unprepared speeches, of the contestants hoping to win at our semi-annual conference in East London in the first weekend of October.