Thursday, January 20, 2011

Visiting Toastmaster from Down Under

An email from a visiting Toastmaster from Australia:
"It was truly a delight to attend the meeting of Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club. One of the members John set the scene, when he asked me whether I came on a kangaroo when he found out I came from Australia.

As I was given the role of Humorist, I siezed on this opportunity and began with, John asked me whether I came on a kangaroo, when he found out I came from Australia. "So sorry lah," I said to BBTMC, "I rode in on a lion," and they roared with laughter. I had concerns when I was preparing my act, about sprinkling in Bahasia Malaysia and my own dialect, Hokkien and mentioned it in the beginning. "May I use words like 'si kui kia' and 'orang puteh'? The response was positively yes. Not having spoken in a toastmasters club outside Australia before, I was cautious about the rules. And also Penang was my hometown and I grew up in this lovely island until I moved to Australia. Can one forget the unique lingo spoken locally? Naturally not. I thought it would be fun to be able to transform into my old way of speaking, which is a mix of English, and other local languages and I asked for permission first, which to me was the obvious thing to do. The members were very warm and agreeable and made me feel very welcome that the concerns I had went whoosh out the window as swiftly as they appeared in my thoughts.

Overall I am extremely glad that I visited the club. BBTMC is a very dynamic club and I will definitely have a speech about my experience, the warmth of the club members and also amazingly public holidays including the first day of Chinese New Year, are of no hindrance to club meetings. This situation is rare if none at all in Sydney. If anyone can let me know that there are clubs in Australia which meet on public holidays, I'd be interested to know.

I am very grateful to Eilyen for giving me the Humorist role and all the club members for giving me such a warm reception. You've made my trip back to Penang memorable.

Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone.

Shirley Childs"

Last Thursday, January 20, 2011 was Thaipusam -a state public holiday. The usual club meeting venue, Penang Skills Development Center, is closed during public holidays. But Bayan Baru Toastmasters, in keeping with the tradition of never cancelling or postponing a club meeting even on public holidays, held the club meeting at a different venue at Krystal Point II, Bayan Baru. Long live BBTMC.

On holiday in Penang, Shirley Childs, a Penang-born Toastmaster from Sydney, Australia joined the meeting as a visiting Toastmaster and even played the role of humorist. Shirley took part in the Table Topics session and won the best table topic speaker award. Bravo.

As Toastmasters International is an international organization, visiting a local Toastmasters club when travelling in a foreign county is a rewarding experience. For Shirley, it was the first time, she had spoken in a Toastmasters club outside of Australia.

Personally, I have attended Toastmasters club meeting in various countries, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and different states in Malaysia. It is a great way to meet local Toastmasters and to enjoy an evening of sharing, laughter and fellowship.

So the next time you travel, check the club directory in Toastmasters International homepage and visit a local Toastmasters club if you can . Toastmasters is truly international.

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