Fittingly, when the southern hemisphere’s longest running Toastmasters organisation celebrates its 60th in early August, the international president will be in attendance.
This is a rare honour. Only once before in the 60-year history of Wollongong Toastmasters has an international president visited the club.
Toastmasters International president Mike Storkey will be in the house when the Wollongong club celebrates its 60th anniversary with a gala dinner at City Diggers Club on August 5.
And Wollongong Toastmasters president Kathryn McClelland is ‘’beyond excited’’.
‘’It is rare to have the international president of Toastmasters International present at a function like this,’’ she said.
‘’It gives Toastmasters and guests an opportunity not only to hear Mr Storkey speak but also to meet him in person.
‘’We feel honoured and privileged to have Mr & Mrs Storkey as our special guests for the evening.
‘’There has only been one other time in the 60 year history of Wollongong Toastmasters that an international president has visited our club.’’
We feel honoured and privileged to have Mr & Mrs Storkey as our special guests for the evening.Wollongong Toastmasters president Kathryn McClelland
USA-based organisation Toastmasters International was started in 1924 by Ralph Smedley with the aim to help young men [women were not part of Toastmasters until the 1970’s] to become better public speakers and leaders.
The inaugural meeting of Wollongong Toastmasters was held at the California Apartments in Burelli Street on November 1,1956. The club was chartered on August 1 of that year, making it the first Toastmasters club to charter in Australia, and the southern hemisphere.
The club has helped hundreds of members through the decades with their oral communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and self esteem.
‘’Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our organisation has more than 345,000 members in 15,900 clubs in 142 countries,’’ Mrs McClelland said.
The Wollongong region has 13 Toastmaster clubs scattered throughout the area.
Lew and Mirella Troman have been with Wollongong Toastmasters for over a decade and have achieved Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) status. They now mentor new members.
Matt Tonkiss, the winner of District 70 International speech contest 2017, and the winner of the Wollongong Trophy, will present his ‘’inspirational award winning speech’’ at the gala dinner.
Tonkiss will also represent this district at the International Conference in Vancouver in late August, with a chance to win the title of “World Champion of Public Speaking”.
Mrs McClelland said past members and the general public were welcome to help the club celebrate the milestone event.
‘’We would also like to hear from anyone who may have information on the past history of the club or past members to help us to build a comprehensive history,’’ she said.
Tickets cost $79 per person and includes a ‘’three-course meal, a great night of fun, laughter, memories, great speeches and dancing’’.
Email Wollongongsuddenly60@gmail.com or call 4227 2183 for tickets or more details.