Every meeting of Parramatta Toastmasters Club is special, but I guess Christmas meetings are extra special. These are some of the things which made last meeting a special one for me.
In his Christmas message, Gary Wilson started with the question:
Why could Jesus not be born in Australia? Answer: because there were no wise men. That was the opening to Gary Wilson’s Christmas message.
It was another bit of tongue & cheek rivalry that is so common between our A/NZ members, but on a more serious note, Gary continued by linking the Christmas story to the Toastmasters story.
In the Christmas Story we are told that Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem. Three wise men followed a star to find this child. They brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. He likened these to the gifts we receive from Toastmasters:
- Gold – for Kingship – in developing our leadership skills, Toastmasters give us this Kingship- nowhere is this more evident than in this club, which has produced more leaders for District 70 than any other club.
- Frankincense – when burnt, this incense symbolizes priesthood and prayer. This can be likened to our mutually supportive and positive learning environment
- Myrrh- a gift that symbolizes confirmation. When we recognize members as they advance through their education program we are giving them conformation of their skills.
That was the essence I took from Gary’s speech, which I thought was quite meaningful; taking the Christmas story and making that part of our daily lives as toastmasters.
Before the end of the first half, Santa and Mrs Claus dropped by to hand out gifts to all members and guests in attendance. It was great that they knew we were going to have 60+ at our meeting, so no one was left out.
To me, what was even better than the gifts were the touching stories that Santa shared with us. It’s not very often that you hear him say much more than “ho ho ho. Merry Christmas”. On this night however, he took the time to share with us some memorable experiences he encountered over the years; like the lady, who at 95year old had her picture taken with him for the first time and the young girl who was afraid to have her picture taken with him because she was told never to talk to strangers.
Another highlight of the meeting was the District Governor’s message. After listing a number of other clever C words besides Christmas, she left us with the thought:
‘Continue to live and love the life of a Toastmaster
Find the courage, take the challenge, make the change.
Suzanne Berkeley is a Science Teacher who joined Toastmasters in 2010. She also runs a growing Home Tutoring Business which supplies tutors to clients from primary to tertiary level throughout the Sydney Metropolitan area and Tamworth.