Thursday 2nd July
Post by Deborah Goodman
In the good old days, before Covid-19 locked us down and prevented face-to-face meetings at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley Speakers always had its annual committee handover and awards ceremony at a dinner celebration.
But of course these are unprecedented times and that was not possible this year. But did we let this pandemic hold us back? No, of course not. As we have done since this situation unfolded back in March, we adapted to the ‘New Normal’ and gathered online for our celebratory event. We dressed up as if we were meeting at the hotel and many of the members made their own cocktail in celebration of the successful year we were leaving behind and the exciting year ahead of us.
Sue Shaw led the warm-up and asked us all to name our cocktails and tell us who we would like to share them with. There were some very imaginative concoctions and some even more imaginative names.
The handover of the Chain of Office was filmed (on a very windy day) and expertly edited by our Zoommaster, David Henson at Ripley Arts Centre, where our meetings usually take place. The ‘socially distanced’ video was shown at the online meeting and it was a creative and imaginative way of handing over the chain in lockdown.
The ceremonial Chain of Office is a piece of Bromley Speakers history. It has a pin on it representing every President that has held the office at the club since it began in 1992. The Chain of Office now has 29 pins on it, up to and including Margot Glover.
An excerpt from the handover of Past President, Christine Morrell
“It is with a lot of sadness that I realise that my President’s year is coming to an end. But it is with great pleasure that I hand over the ceremonial Chain of Office to our new President, Margot Glover.
I hope you wear it with as much pride as I have done. I wish you and your committee every success with leading Bromley Speakers in the coming year. Leading us out of lockdown to the new era that we are all so looking forward to. My advice to you is quite simple. Have fun, enjoy every minute of it. You have an absolutely outstanding committee and I know that you are going to be a wonderful President.”
An excerpt from the acceptance by President, Margot Glover
“I’ve heard a lot about this chain, and how much it weighs. I can assure you, it’s not light. But the weight of this chain isn’t just down to its physicality. The challenge I face, which is heavy, is to meet the standard of all the names on these gold badges that have gone before.
While I have been a member of Bromley Speakers, the presidents I have seen (Sue Rayner, Dave Henson and Christine Morrell) have carried out the role with an extreme amount of professionalism and panache.
It’s a heavy challenge that I face and I couldn’t do it alone. I’ve got a fabulous committee joining me in the shape of Sue Shaw, James Kirkby, John Cross, Ben Lopez, John Vickers and Adrian Clay and I am really looking forward to moving the club into the next year.
It is with great pleasure that I take this challenge and I make my promise to you, my friends and Bromley Speakers that I will do my best to take our club forward. I will do my best to support you, individually and collectively, so that we all move to meet the goals of Toastmasters International.”
The Merit Awards
As is our custom at the end of the Toastmasters year, Christine handed out Merit Awards. The recipients of these awards received the award certificates in the post, along with a book chosen by Christine. Christine also thanked and praised the outgoing Committee and club members for all they had done to help Bromley Speakers achieve the coveted President’s Distinguished Status. Committee members also received a welcome bar of ‘Thank You’ chocolate in the post. Awards went to the following members:
Toastmaster of the Year – David Henson
Mentor of the Year – Sue Shaw
Rising Star – Harry Langley
Rising Star – John Vickers
Outstanding Contribution – Deborah Goodman
Most Inspirational Member – Rob Parker
Most Dedicated Member – Susan Rayner
The Educational Awards
Susan Rayner, the outgoing VP Education presented the following Educational Awards were achieved throughout the year:
Competent Communicator – Margot Glover
Competent Communicator and Competent Leader – John Vickers
Competent Leader – Christine Morrell
Advanced Communicator Silver – David Hampton
Presentation Mastery Level 1 – Ben Lopez
Presentation Mastery Level 1 – Deborah Goodman
Presentation Mastery Level 1 – Rob Parker
Presentation Mastery Level 1 – Vinu Madhavan
Presentation Mastery Levels 2 and 3 – John Cross
Member Neil Pettigrew also completed Presentation Mastery Level 2 and was awarded his certificate at Beckenham Communicators club, of which he is also a member.
Well done to everyone who achieved their awards!
John Cross led the Table Topics in the second half of the meeting and, as usual, some stayed online to join in the after-meeting ‘pub’ chat.
So, it is with eager anticipation of our return to Ripley that we continue into our 29th Year with our new committee and new President Margot Glover at the helm.
The PR role is currently vacant and we are hoping that it will be filled soon. It’s a fun and fulfilling role so do let the committee know if you are interested to learn more about it. As Susan Rayner is always telling us ….
You will be supported by a great team.
After the year we have had, we have learned to expect the unexpected. Whatever happens, we will find a way through it – supporting each other as friends and as a team.
Bromley Speakers Club meets on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month at 7.15pm