Smedley Toastmasters Club turns 16 | Sunday Observer

Smedley Toastmasters Club turns 16

Fabian Schokman and Gayathri Liyanage
Fabian Schokman and Gayathri Liyanage

With the theme ‘Elevate to inspire, inspire to empower’, the Smedley Toastmasters Club welcomed its 16th year with an installation ceremony held at Elevate, Access Towers recently. The club welcomed its new executive committee for the years 2019/20 with addresses by special invitees and the immediate past executive committee members, serenading tunes and palatable dishes.

A toastmaster is a person who has gone through a proven education program where he receives effective evaluation that helps him build skills at his own pace. A toastmaster’s communication and leadership development does not take place in a typical instructor-led classroom and is not limited to a set time frame, like a seminar or conference.

As a toastmaster, you can attend meetings to regularly practice skills that make you a more confident speaker and leader. These real-world, highly in-demand soft skills will help you advance in your career, acclimate to a new city or even get a new job.

Chief Guest Noorul Munawwara recalled her experiences with the club and its members in a humour-filled and exuberant address, bringing back memories for senior members present.

However, the highlight of the night was the keynote speaker - Senior State Counsel Rajiv Goonetillake, the inaugural President of the Smedley Toastmasters Club. His address was enthusiastic, intellectual and passionate. He had the audience involved throughout his speech. The high-spirited immediate past president Gadjen Suryakumar bid adieu to his committee, exhibiting his vibrant speaking skills throughout his final address. Members of the club and others joined in commending him for his efforts for the past year with applause and cheers.

The incoming president for the years 2019/20, Toastmaster Diren Dantanarayana spoke on duties and responsibilities, vowing to take the club to greater heights and showed tremendous gratitude to the past and present committees. The night was further ‘elevated’ with the serenading tunes of members of the incoming executive committee including Vice President Thanuki Gooneratne, who stood out, with her rendition of Speechless by Naomi Scott.

Awards were given out to individuals who had exceeded expectations during the past year with Elmo Leon, a product of St. Benedict’s College, receiving the ‘Outstanding Award’.

Video presentations were also displayed, which many seemed to enjoy, given its fun, humorous and heartfelt animations, wrapping up a night of joyous celebration for the club’s 16 years of excellence in producing a number of champion speakers and individuals.