April 2017 The Top Table at the Club Meeting of April 11th 2017. President Eilish Ui Bhriain extends a warm welcome to all flanked by the vastly experienced and one of our most dedicated mambers Michael Sheehan, Toastmaster of the evening (left) and Conor MacAree about to make his impressive debut as Topicsmaster, with the Club Banner in the background. The prominently displayed word ‘Unsettled’, refers not to the weather at the time or still less to the mood of the evening, but rather the choice of word by the Wordmaster. There is a different word for each meeting with a different Wordmaster every time. Count is kept of the number of times members and contributors use the chosen world throughout. An interesting study of contrasting expressions as members and participants pictured here relax and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Michelle O’Brien pictured contributing to the topics session at the April 11th meeting. Listening carefully is Club President Eilish Ui Bhriain. Johanna Hegarty makes an animated contribution to the topics session. John Quirke and Mairead Barry share a convivial chat just before the meeting resumes after tea/ coffee and light refreshments have been enjoyed. On the other side of the room more of our membership and guests listen attentively to the speakers. A view of some of the members attending the April 11th 2017 meeting at the Fermoy Youth Centre. To the extreme right of picture in the front row is Marie MacAree, wife of Conor, who was also making her debut that night as Timekeeper which she carried through with notable precision and success. Another view of the Top Table at the same occasion. Club President Eilish Ui Bhriain wears the chain of office inscribed with the names of so many of her predecessors and which symbolises continuity and tradition, a living legacy of personal growth and accomplishment to which which we all strive to add our own unique contribution as we transmit it to an optimistic future. Michael Sheehan (left) prepares to guide proceedings along with the artistry and accomplishment of vast experience while Con MacAree (right) makes a very fine debut as Topicsmaster. The knowledge and wisdom of long-established members combining with the eager freshness of the new imparts to all of the club’s shared activities a powerful exuberance and zest which raises us all in mutual progress and enjoyment. The tea break affords members and visitors an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company with each other, one of the most pleasant and enjoyable interludes of every club meeting. Pictured here Padraig Murphy and Michelle O’Brien share a few moments of cordial chat during the tea break at the April 11th 2017 meeting. Helsa Giles (left) and Mary Whelan congratulate Jerry Hennessy on the gorgeous trifle desserts he prepared for the club meeting, April 11th 2017. Club President Eilish Ui Bhriain and Greeter Kevin Walsh clearly enjoying their trifles at the tea break. Denis O’Brien carefully prepares his evaluation of Patrica O’Connell’s speech. Members and friends gather to enjoy the geniality of the tea break. .Patricia O’Connell of Mallow Toastmasters relaxes after giving her comic After Dinner speech to the club meeting on April 11th 2017. The empty seats in the background reveal that all have gone for their trifles and teas, but there was plenty for Patricia and for everyone to enjoy! Tim Fitzgerald stands at the lectern delivering his overall impression as General Evaluator of the meeting. An interesting study of facial expressions of the Top Table with Eilish Ui Bhriain, Club President, with Toastmaster of the evening, Jerry Hennessy (left) and John Quirke who gave us a scintillating topics session. The legend on the sign proclaims ‘Ingenious’, the word of the night which members are invited to include in their contributions and speeches. Mary Whelan and Kevin O’Neill prepare to jive as part of Kevin’s speech about dancing at the April 25th meeting. Warm smiles speak volumes of how much this occasion was being so much enjoyed with the very greatest pleasure shared by all. Frank O’Driscoll (left) shares a cordial word at the midpoint tea-break with John Quirke, the Father of the House and longest serving member of our club and apparently indeed of Toastmasters in Ireland with an unbroken record of almost half a century of continuous membership and participation stretching back to 1978. Frank O’Driscoll carefully prepares his Evaluation of Padraig Murphy’s speech at the meeting of April 25th 2017. Evaluation takes time and thought, assessing the speaker’s performance with all due praise for what has been achieved and offering constructive suggestions for future improvement. We all learn from each other and become better in every way through the interchange of wisdom, experience and ideas in friendship and mutual goodwill. Mary Whelan pictured in her role as Timekeeper at the club meeting of April 25th 2017. The Timekeeper is on duty right the way throughout the meeting operating the system of green, amber and red lights which governs the seven minute length of most speeches and sounding the bell during the topics session after two minutes for the initial respondent and again after one minute for any add-ons. Toastmasters is based on the awareness of the limited amount and hence the precious nature of time. It passes best when we use it most and the entire purpose of our fine verbal craft is to utilise that allocation of time to optimum effect sharing our insights and originality in a manner as economical of words but long on meaning as we can. That is how our communication skills are honed and tapped and personal growth is achieved. That is the challenge that is ever set before us and it is one that clarifies our powers of thought and focuses our self-expression. Everyone has a voice and all listen, learn and enjoy. Long may that bell of Fermoy Toastmasters ring out so gladly for very many more meetings in the coming years.