December 2011

December 2011


The Newsletter of Victoria Quay Toastmasters
Editor: David Nicholas
: Greg Lynn, Christine Bonser, Glenis Nicholas

In this issue

Select the link to go to the story

Jan to Jun 2012
Xmas Meeting
December 14
Xmas Meeting Pix
New Members
Tim & Luke
800th Meeting
September 7
Calgary Stampede
Christine Bonser

Elections were held on Dec 7 2011

These are for the term from January to June 2012

Neville Simmons ACB

Vice President Education
Greg Lynn CC

Vice President Membership
David Nicholas

Vice President Public Relations
Christine Bonser CC

Heljo Cameron ACS

Denis Sullivan

Sergeant at Arms
Tim Keats

Immediate Past President
Peter Law ACB

Back to Menu

Christmas Meeting – No.814

It was our last meeting for the year, so the Christmas Committee of Neville, Peter and Greg L made it a Christmas meeting.

Luke HutchinsonLuke

After David opened the meeting for the last time as Sergeant at Arms for this term, Neville took over as Toastmaster. Instead of our usual 2 minute Inspiration, Luke toasted Victoria Quay in 3 minutes. Luke has benefited greatly from his early time as a member. He showed it in his presentation style and expressed it in his words.

Table Topics

Table Topics was different this time. We had 3 Table Topics presenters each of who superintended the drawing of a name from a bag. The lucky person then got to select a gift from under the “Tree”, unwrapped it and then spoke about it as their impromptu Table Topic. Peter was the first Table Topics presenter. Greg Lynn was the second presenter. Mark Richards was the final presenter.

We had two speeches

Ruth SpittleRuth

Christine BonserChristine

Ruth presented her first speech, her Icebreaker – When I’m not sleeping. She gave us three activities. First, she goes to work which is currently at General Electric, where she is one of 300,000 employees world wide, working on the Oil and Gas side. Second, she kite surfs, most on the river at Applecross but also at Leighton Beach. It’s terrifying, but she loves it. And third she has nightmares about the organisation of her wedding in Thailand next April. David evaluated her speech.

Christine delivered her final speech for the Competent Communicator award – Guts and Determination. She inspired us by praIsing Kurt Fearnley, an Australian Paralympic champion. Born without the lower portion of his spine, in the small western nsw town of Carcoar. Kurt Fearnley took up wheelchair racing when he was 14. From pushing his everyday wheelchair as fast as he could down the grass track at school athletics carnivals, to pushing his chair the last five kilometres on a flat tyre at the athens paralympics to win gold in the toughest marathon in paralympic history, his determination and never-say-die attitude has rewarded him with the highest accolades in disability sport. Christine admires Kurt and so did we after her inspiring account of his battles and successes. Heljo evaluated her speech.


As is our custom for special meetings like this, we had a special supper. It was catered by our members, each of whom brought along a dish of their choice. This year the choices were almost all in the cakes and sweet things style.

Back to Menu

New Members in August

Tim Keats
Tim Keats

Luke HutchinsonLuke Hutchinson

We welcome two new members this month. Tim was introduced by Paul Reilly  and Luke was introduced by Peter Law. Both work at Leeuwin Barracks.

I joined toastmasters to improve my confidence at speaking in public. I have often been impressed by people who have this skill, and I want to learn to deliver inspirational and powerful speeches myself.

I joined Victoria Quay to push myself, to gain some good experiences, and hopefully some good friends and fellowship. I hope to be able to gain some skills in public speaking learn from other members, and improve on my public speaking ability.

Back to Menu

800th meeting

Neville SimmonsNeville Simmons

Wow – its Amazing; Victoria Quay Toastmasters had another milestone in its proud history. The 800th meeting on September 7th.

What a fantastic achievement.

  • So why has Victoria Quay Toastmasters stood the test of time?
  • How does it maintain is status as one of the top clubs in the country?
  • What’s the clubs secret to producing so many fine high calibre speakers?

The simple answer to the above is of course its members. From the beginning the club has sought to make its members the center of its success and it maintains a culture that is open, friendly and encouraging.

This positive safe learning environment has been nurtured right from the clubs foundation in 1995 and we still have some of those founding members with us; David and Glenis Nicholas, Alan Smith and Judith Ingle. We thank them for their ongoing commitment and support.

Since I have been a member (3 years now) I have watched many new members grow and develop their own confident speaking styles that are underpinned with the Toastmasters communication and leadership programs.

New members like Tim Keats and Luke Hutchinson spring to mind, who are already demonstrating amazing progress after taking the plunge and deciding to give it a go – Well done guys!!!

The Toastmasters programs offer fantastic opportunity to grow and develop existing and new skills. As a manager I have personally found so much of the material taught in the leadership program has had a real hands on benefit in the workplace.

In summary – The club enjoys a rich history of success because of the ongoing culture of keeping its members up front and center stage. (No pun intended)

Thank you to all past and present members of the best Toastmasters club in the world. Victoria Quay – Looking forward to seeing you all at the 800th

Neville Simmons ACB ALB
Club President.

Back to Menu


Christine BonserChristine Bonser

Our Vice President Public Relations, Christine Bonser was away for most of July and the first week of August.  At her first meeting back she gave a speech about one of her notable experiences.  This is a version of that speech.  Note the hat she wore.

The month is July & we are at the Calgary Stampede, marketed as the greatest out door show on earth, with 2 million dollars in cash & prizes on offer for competitors for this annual 10 day event.

White Stetson, jeans, belt buckles & cowboy boots seem to be mandatory wear in this province in Canada.

One million spectators will pass thru the gates, each person taking home something special from the experience of this event.

I’m on holiday with my husband Rod & 14 others on tour with APT. We’ve been blessed with summery days 15-20 degrees, or so the locals informs us.  We must remember it does get to minus 50 degrees in winter.

Our guide Tyler said, like Australia, Canada has 4 seasons  – winter, winter, winter & summer !  He chuckles – any day with sun is a good day in Canada.

We have tickets in the grandstand for Friday night’s Chuck Wagon Racing and afterwards a spectacular night show -TransAlta Grandstand Show. It’s rodeo like nothing else I have ever seen -, best described as mind blowing.

For certain I have more video footage of the spectacular night show which included fireworks, artificial snow, acrobats suspended by steel ropes in bubbles & on the back of suspended vintage trucks played brass bands, dancers, colours spectacular. This show certainly had the wow factor !

I would think Worksafe Australia would be cringing with the many dangerous movements being performed for our entertainment.

Sat afternoon the 2nd last day of the event, so the finals, we watched from the grandstand bull riding, bare back horse riding, ladies barrel riding & steer wrestling.  Everyone got into the spirit of the event, cheering and having a great time in general.

In conclusion this event was much more than a rodeo.  We experienced ice skating, BMX riding, side show alley including a person being shot out of a cannon (human cannonball) food – every type of food conceivable right down to fried cheesecake!

Next year 2012 marks the 100 year anniversary –  a huge marketing ploy for Calgary.  For certain it will be bigger and better than previous years.

We loved it, enjoyed the experience and the local hospitality.

Christine Bonser

Back to Menu

This is a Rotator

It shows a selection of photos from the Christmas meeting. They will cycle through.