While growing up in the UK, one of my favourite BBC TV crime dramas was ‘The Professionals’. Everything about the two detectives and how they went about solving crimes was professional. If I had to describe Parramatta TM club in just one word, it would be professional. Everything about Parramatta TM club from pre meeting planning, room setup, arrival and greeting of guests, speeches & assignments and the camaraderie is professional. Members arrive at the meetings fully prepared for their roles! Despite many members travelling into Parramatta from far and wide, the meeting room is quite full well before the start time. All club officers are at their stations supported by experienced TMs. I especially like the welcome desk, TM promotional material on display and all visitors given a professional looking name labels. It’s the attention to detail that makes all the difference. At our last meeting, with theme ‘Foot in Mouth’, we had an action packed program. Not only did we have 12 table topics contestants (wow), we also had a full speaking program with three speakers. As always there were only minor program changes. Well done VPE!
I joined Parramatta TM club in 2003 and completed five CC manual speeches before moving houses to the Hills District and switching clubs; joining the local Hills District TM Club. But just like ‘one never forgets ones first love’, I always remembered my ‘good old days’ at Parramatta. For example, I remembered my Ice-Breaker (about Sikhism which I presented wearing a turban). I also remember at one of the meetings, Gary Wilson presenting 30 (yes 30!) miniature wooden spoons to all the ‘quieter TMs’ to encourage them to participate in the business session instead of just a ‘few mongrels’. I also remember Michael Said flying back from Perth one evening just to attend a club meeting so he could maintain his 100% attendance record. That’s what I call commitment.
When I relocated back to Parramatta, I had no hesitation in deciding which club to re-join. I was pleasantly surprised to see the same friendly and familiar faces of Gary & Elizabeth Wilson, Ian Chick, Robyn Peck, Michael Said, Tom Woods, John Taylor, Joan Abela, Demian Coorey, Ian Lipski, Ron Marriott, Cheryl Piper and Suben Subenthiran. Of course some members had left and replaced by newer ones. But one thing that had not changed is the club Culture of Commitment, Dedication and Professionalism. And this is the reason that I decided to come back to Parramatta TM Club.