Archive for the ‘News from Clubs’ Category

DC Club: Ron+Don=75

Friday, January 23rd, 2015


In June 2014 DiDCVP June 2014strict Governor Marilyn Freeman presented Ron Wyllie with a badge marking his 45 years in DC Toastmasters Club. Ron is a Charter member and a Foundation member. When the club first started our 8 women members used male pseudonyms as women were not allowed. Marilyn acknowledged the bravery of the male members who stepped outside these limitations.
A very popular club member and talented humorous speaker, Ron has served as President several times, as Secretary and Sergeant-at-Arms and other roles.

Marilyn also presented Don Crombie a badge recognising his 30 year Toastmasters membership. Don has served as President of DC club many times, as VPE and Secretary. He also formed Bribie Toastmasters. Don was Area Governor in the years 1994-96.

Ron and Don are pillars of DC Toastmasters Club and the club is grateful to our District Governor for making the time to be with us and acknowledge their fabulous contributions.

The Making of an Advance Club

Friday, November 21st, 2014

By Rod Neucom DTM


I have no doubt that there are lots of Toastmasters in lots of places who have pondered whether to start or join what is euphemistically called … an Advance Club…

Well the first thing you have to ask yourself is … why?

Or perhaps if you suffer from terminal laziness, like me… why bother?

Many years ago at the District 69 Convention at Inverell some of us were having an “after function chat”… mildly lubricated by a rather nice bottle (or two) of red wine we asked the obvious question…

“What can an Advance Club offer that our normal club cannot?”

The discussion broke up but the next morning, after a bit of late, late night cogitation; I ran a thought past fellow imbiber Anthony Straker… If an advanced club based on expanding impromptu skills was started in Toowoomba, I would be very interested in joining.

Now what would and “impromptu focused” club look like or more to the point what would it sound like?

It was a four and a half hour drive back home to Toowoomba and that gave me a bit of time to think. I came up with some, for me, profound thoughts.

Most of our life in Toastmasters we follow a remarkably good and proven program on how to prepare speeches and presentations. From CC to ACB etc etc… The only time we get to speak on an impromptu basis is at the dreaded Table Topics, which I have heard described as purgatory and the creation of the devil himself. I personally like it because it takes me to places where I am not comfortable and I am not prepared so I have to seriously work my brain.

There is another time when our brain cells are chided to sparkle and that is in a warm up or Round Robin, but realistically we get a bit of warning from the speakers in front of us and we are usually crafting a response for our 20 or 30 second presentation.

In the “Real World” … at the business meeting when the boss says, and what do you think of Jerry’s proposal … or at the wedding where you are called to give an off the cuff response to a toast because the second groomsman has collapsed into the punch bowl… or the other community group you are involved in, asks you to speak to a group and explain why they should support your plea for “homes for homeless homing pigeons”…

The only common factor in all these (apart from a lost pigeon and a groomsman in a punch bowl) is that they are all going to call upon your impromptu skills and your confidence to take on the project.

So a club that developed and honed the skills associated with impromptu speaking would be a good thing…

The first thing to do was to make someone else a fellow conspirator… Before he knew what he was letting himself in for , I had cajoled Anthony Straker to be a co-founder… Boy am I glad. Anthony’s attention to detail and profound patience with my inability to navigate some of the paperwork took TT from possibility to reality.

We also consulted the Toastmaster gurus (read Graham Miller in particular) who through wry smiles assisted the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, Anthony and Rod, through many steps and pointed out the minefields.

We were under way.

So what would be the criteria for the club? 

First… We wanted to compliment the other clubs in Toowoomba, so it would be a club of dual membership. That means that you had to be a member of a “normal” club (whatever that means) to be a member of TT.

Second … All members had to have a CC or equivalent to join. The rational behind this was that we wanted members to have at least that level of experience to be able to be a contributing member at all meetings.

Third… Where possible ALL functions and presentations in the meeting would be impromptu. This included speeches and evaluations. Some positions would be with fore warning, like Toastmaster and Table Topics Master. The Toastmaster of the meeting in conjunction with the VPEd would work out who was where in the manual and they would be chosen at the meeting.

Forth… All members would start with a new CC manual and they would be called to do projects from the manual. The objectives would be read out the Toastmaster called to the front of the room and then and only then were they give their speech title. At the same time another Toastmaster was given their manual and they had to do the written evaluation for the Toastmaster. All member were given a new CL manual and when called to do speeches, evaluations, or any other function at the meeting it is recorded and evaluated in the CL manual.

Fifth… At the conclusion of the speech, another Toastmaster is called to give the three-minute verbal evaluation of the speech. No you don’t get the chance to talk to someone and not listen to the speech, you may get called up to evaluate the speech you have just heard. AND we encourage all evaluators to “Mark Hard” You learn more from experienced Toastmasters telling you where you can improve than platitudes about wonderful speeches that we look forward to hearing blah blah…

Sixth… Table topics are different. The Topics Master gives a topic, calls the member for a three or 4 minute Topic then calls another member for a one-minute evaluation.

Seventh… We only meet once a month.

Has it worked? 

We have effectively been operating for three years so there is a tentative yes… why tentative?

Lets bounce through the positives.

We are able to have a Business meeting at every meeting so clubs who say it takes up too much time should come and see how to run a slick business session and still follow Rentons.

We have regularly been able to have six plus speeches at meetings as well as Table Topics sessions.

Our Education sessions from experienced Toastmasters are informative and of the highest quality.

Everyone does at least one or two things at every meetings and no one has gone home from a TT meeting and said … that was boring…

Everyone in the club has the option of a mentor who is experienced. It is common for mentors and mentees to battle it out in the club competitions and not at all unusual for the mentees to beat their mentor.

Sometime we throw a complete curve ball and the VPEd with the Toastmaster will throw in a debate and all those involved get three minutes to sort their order and strategy.

Every meeting is great… some are absolute firecrackers.

But now let’s look at the problems

Like many new clubs we have lost members and motivating members from other clubs to take up the dual membership has been a bit of a challenge.

Some members have moved away … some have found that the cut and thrust of TT is not for them.

Only meeting once a month means that if you miss a meeting it is two months between meetings and then not coming becomes a habit.


Have we had to change?

Yes… The club recently voted to open our membership to the community, but only those members who have the skills to join in with the TT Philosophy.

This move may actually loose us some members who think that we are poaching from the potential members of other clubs.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Some may come to join TT, the Advanced Club, and find that they don’t have the skills to maintain the level that TT demands from its members and we would be the first to help that member transition to another club.

It has been said that TT members will drop their membership of their home club in preference with single membership of TT… Every member of TT I have spoken to is passionate about both their clubs (or some members are in more than two) and I do not believe this will happen.

TT has the potential to draw back into the fold, lapsed Toastmasters, who may have left another club because they felt it had given them all that it could. TT would welcome these past members and hopefully challenge and motivate them stay.

We are now offering members a slot where they can present longer projects as demanded by some of the advanced manuals. This is a problem for a normal club but we need to help our TT members.


And the Future?  We are under charter strength but even a meeting with 12 members is a vibrant and fun meeting. It is rare that you go home without feeling just a tiny bit exhausted. You never sleep at a TT meeting.

TT will maintain its focus on impromptu. It is a skill that serves the members well and the quality of presentation has definitely improved and continues to do so.

What’s in a Name  Now I will admit that I came up with the name TT Toastmasters, with no explanation of what the TT meant… Since 2011 when we started there has been scores of suggestions as to what it means… the TT… and only one person has come even close but were far enough away so as to not get the prize and have me admit that they got the meaning of the name… but there is one (meaning that is) and I promise that if no one guesses I will tell anyone who is interested on the 5th anniversary of our charter… so that’s 2017 around the 20th April.

By the way… If you want to see TT in action… we meet at 6 for 6:30 on the third Thursday every month at the Cedar Centre in Baker Street Toowoomba… BUT if your coming along … you will be doing something… usually what you least expect…

Letter to the Editor

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Here is Chris Parminter’s letter to the editor which appeared in this month’s Toastmaster Magazine.

Dear Sir

Would you consider publishing this letter in a future edition of “The Toastmaster” magazine please?

Worth its weight in Gold

I joined Toastmasters nearly 14 years ago. I talked too quickly. I wasn’t a good listener.

My rate of speech has improved. As for listening, I can proudly say, I hardly miss a beat.

Why? Because of the cornerstone of our organization – evaluations!

The first evaluation I received was for my Ice-Breaker. To quote Daniel Rex, “I felt truly listened to and appreciated”.

One of my first evaluations helped Mark Hunter on his way to becoming World Champion.

I hope that he felt truly listened to and appreciated!

I enjoyed reading the two articles about Evaluations in the August edition.

Thank you Carlos and to Daniel, for him to say that it will carry even more weight in the revitalized education program was wonderful to hear.

However, nothing as mentioned about the summary at the end.

All you have to do is put together in bullet point form, the 2-3 things you liked and the 1-2 points which could be improved and yes, finish on a positive.

On the Judge’s ballot, it’s worth 15 points. It has been and will continue to be the difference in winning and losing contests.

It puts the finishing touches to a presentation, and to me, that is worth is weight in Gold.

Please summarize!



Christopher Parminter DTM (x2)

Chermside Communicators Toastmasters

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Special Award

Saturday, November 15th, 2014
Aro Kia Division Governor PNG

Aro Kia Division Governor PNG

A special entry to our District’s Hall of Fame. This was presented to Aro Kia in PNG for the year 2013-14 a special District Governor’s Award for Excellence for her work in expanding the number of clubs in PNG. Aro’s tremendous energy and effort together with galvanising the work of other Toastmasters has resulted in PNG now being a Division.

Celebrating in style: a whole lot of anniversaries in one

Saturday, November 15th, 2014


Area 10/28 combined celebration for 90th Anniversary of Toastmasters and 40 years of women in Toastmasters

Area 10/28 combined celebration for 90th Anniversary of Toastmasters and 40 years of women in Toastmasters

Area 10/28 combined celebrations for  the 90th Anniversary of Toastmasters and 40 years of women in Toastmasters were held at beautiful Anzac Park Maryborough. Clubs represented – Wine and Dine, Leaders by Design, Fraser Coast, SpeakEasy, Talk of the Bay, Maryborough, Weblec, Gympie, G’day Club (I/F). Areas 10 and 28 from District 69 Australia. Great lunch, fantastic company.

Eastern Division

Saturday, November 15th, 2014


The Eastern Division of District 69, is diverse and quite spread out (within a city) covering a large area from Bulimba in the north to Beaudesert in the South, Wynnum in the east to Kenmore in the west. The Division has 6

Hedda Pike ACG/ALB  Eastern Division Governor 2014/15

Hedda Pike ACG/ALB
Eastern Division Governor 2014/15

Areas and 28 Clubs. Eastern has so many talented and dedicated members. Hopefully 2 new clubs will be in formation before the end of the Toastmaster year.

The Area Governors did a fabulous job with their Conferences. A huge congratulation from all in Eastern to Adi Strickland, John Hutchins, Mark Griffin, Nina Brittan, Roni Harvey and Val Broady. The Area Conferences produced diverse and wonderful speeches by very talented people. Expect sparks to fly! The contest battle is scheduled at Eastern Division Conference, 14 March 2015.

Our first Club Officer Training held in July saw 127 members attending: a huge success. I encouraged everyone with a story about one of my heroes, Capt. Charles Plumb. This man suffered unspeakable horrors as a prisoner of war, for almost 7 years. Released, a broken man, while recovering he encountered a fellow sailor. That changed his life. The fellow sailor was the man who packed his parachute….. the parachute that saved his life when his aircraft was shot down over north Vietnam. Charles turned his life around and started travelling all over the United States, raising money for veterans and speaking on the subject of “Who Packs Your Parachute”? I asked the delegates, “Whose parachute do you pack”? Not only in our private and working lives, but especially in our Toastmaster lives Toastmasters can become parachute packers in our clubs. This mean to help each other by being the best we can be, helping new members with orientation into Toastmaster ways, helping older members to set new goals, coaching members to take up a Committee role to serve their clubs.   What about the challenge of moving out from your club by packing coaching parachutes. We all know clubs that are languishing and need an injection of enthusiasm and refreshment.

C’mon fellow Toastmasters. Take up the challenge and become parachute a packer for others.

Hedda Pike ACG/ALB




Toastmasters Core Values

Saturday, November 15th, 2014
In case you were wondering, like me (ed), here are the TI core values.  Check out the TI website.




Report of the District Governor

Saturday, November 15th, 2014
Ian Pinker DTM District Governor

Ian Pinker DTM District Governor

Toastmasters celebrates its 90th anniversary at a time when it has grown to 96 Districts world-wide. Let’s also pause to recognise and celebrate the 43 years of District 69. We commenced with 24 clubs and now our District has 185 clubs.

Just how has our District grown to 185 clubs of 3700 plus members with prospective clubs registered and more interested parties keen to join us in Toastmasters?

Over the years hard working District Executives and Club Executives have encouraged members to strive for personal achievements as well as encouraging expansion of Toastmasters in D69 by the chartering of new clubs.

On the 8th November District 69 held its Semi-annual Council meeting at Southport. While we were pleased that about 90 members attended, and we welcomed many Area Governors, it was disappointing that Presidents and Vice Presidents Education of the clubs, those with voting power, didn’t attend and many didn’t submit proxy votes. We lacked a quorum to support the direction and decision making of the District.

Working from the Core Values of Toastmasters your District Executive, including Area and Division Governors, aims again to leave the District stronger than when they gained office. We need team work, dedication and a sense of humour to throw at this challenge.

On the 1st July we took up the favourite chorus of not only more clubs but stronger clubs and added “give recognition where due”.   We are positive about a rosy picture for the year ahead. Great results are starting to show.

As is the final Corroboree of 2014. My wish is that you and your families have a most enjoyable and safe break. Step back from Toastmasters commitments. Freshen up. When you come back re-energized be ready to go; Division Conferences will be on the door step and the District 69 Convention shortly after in May.   Area Governors will free which to direct their energies towards promoting new clubs within their Areas.

As we celebrate 90 years of Toastmasters and 43 years of District 69, please remember we achieved what we have achieved through teamwork and applying the Core Values of Toastmasters. Continuing in this vein will ensure a positive year for District 69 and rewarding times for all of us into the future.

Ian Pinker DTM/ District 69 Governor


November Shoutout

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Here’s the link to our District Governor’s shoutout about clubs, indivuduals and officers who have contributed signficantly or made great strides since the last Corroborree.


Carina Toastmasters Club turns 25!

Sunday, September 28th, 2014
Carina members celebrate 25 years of terrific Toastmasters

Carina members celebrate 25 years of terrific Toastmasters

Carina Toastmasters (club number 7636) met on the 27th of August 2014 to celebrate our 25th year of continual Toastmasters membership, quite an achievement considering the average life of a Toastmasters club is 18 months. We were lucky enough to have several guests at the meeting, including District 69 Governor Ian Pinker, Area 26 Governor Val Broady, Eastern Division Governor Hedda Pike, and Kayt Duncan entertained us by telling us fun and factual information about all things silver. It was our silver anniversary after all. We welcomed several past members back to the fold to help us celebrate, as well as Paul Keene (Queensland state Labor candidate for Chatsworth). It would not have been a Toastmasters meeting without our fair share of impromptu speaking, thanks to Ron Gallen for helping us to get our butterflies to fly in formation. The food and service provided by the Wynnum Manly Workers Sports Club was of a high standard. This all contributed to making it a special night. Thank you to all of those who’ve played their part in the success of the club over the past 25 years and here’s to the next 25 years!