It’s a constant surprise to me how our meetings are always different, the programme is the same, but it never seems to work out that way, the only common factor is the enjoyment and interest we get from them. This is quite remarkable when considering our small membership; perhaps that is the reason, because we all have to ‘muck in’ and carry out several assignments during the evening. Tonight’s meeting was no exception, in the continued absence of our President, David Heaton, Frank, as Vice President, opened the meeting and chaired the business session; he also chaired the whole meeting, evaluated a speech and finished as Topics chairman!
Ron was down to give a reading (usually about 4/5 minutes) but he chose instead to give a 10 minute speech on aircraft, with particular emphasis on the very successful ‘Mosquito’, how it was constructed and why it was so successful during the second world war; it was so interesting that we forgave him for changing his assignment! Mark gave an A2 assignment speech from the ‘speakers guide’ (speech construction) his subject was ‘why did I join the speakers club?’ Mark has always suffered from a stammer but has met it full on and told us of organisations that he joined, aimed specifically to help people with this problem; we learned, amongst other things, of the importance of controlling the breathing and relaxation techniques, it was quite fascinating to hear Mark speak in this way and when Frank evaluated him he praised his delivery, (which was the best he had heard from him,) the overall content, speech construction and the way he stepped away from the lectern for some very appropriate gestures, which added to the overall quality of his speech. After the interval, Frank gave Ron a topic on ‘fashion’ when he was a youngster, was he a ‘teddy boy’, did he ignore it altogether, Ron gave us a very different answer because he joined the merchant navy and described the different uniforms he wore, in hot climates, cold countries, formal occasions etc. Mark was asked to talk about comedians who had him ‘in stitches’; we thought that, being younger than most of us, he would choose modern comedians but he surprised us by talking about Laurel and Hardy and ‘Abbot and Costello’. David was asked to recall any occasion when ‘a stitch in time…..’ nipped potential problems in the bud; he talked about regularly maintaining machines in the work place, so that they always ran efficiently. Roger finished the meeting by giving us a general evaluation of how successful he thought the meeting was; he praised the standard of the speakers, the way in which Frank dealt with his four ‘assignments’ and finished by suggesting that we should to site the lectern in a different corner of the room, to give better lighting.
Frank closed the meeting at 9.50pm.