On August 8th, 1956, Mr C. G. Green requested an authorization to organize a Toastmasters club, the first in the town of Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Meetings were held at 6:45 p.m on Wednesday’s at the Motor City Hotel which was our very first meeting location.
Oakville Toastmasters first meeting location in 1956
On February 1st, 1957 Toastmaster Club #2245 was officially chartered with 23 Charter Members.
The Charter Officers were:
S. Ditchfield – Club President
C. G. Green – Educational Vice President
J. Bedford – Administrative Vice President
S. A. Wince- Secretary
A. J. Fish – Treasurer
F. V. G. Drowley Sgt. – At- Arms
Our club chartered under the name, “Oakville Toastmasters” and that was our club name for 35+ years. We became First Oakville at the behest of other Oakville clubs in recognition of us being the first club in Oakville and because we either sponsored or supported the other new clubs in town. The name Oakville Toastmasters continues to be a significant part of our club history and is synonymous with our club name, history and culture. Our Oakville Toastmaster banner continues to be displayed every Thursday.
Toastmaster John Smissen Chairing our Remembrance Day meeting November 9, 2017
As the current Club President of First Oakville Toastmasters (Oakville Toastmasters), it is an honour to be the Chair of the 2018 Charter Party. Thanks to a long line of organized and meticulous Club Secretaries, I have had the privilege of learning about our history by reading our Executive and Business Meeting minutes.
Oakville Toastmaster Committee Minutes from Sunday, December 1st, 1968
The tradition of holding a Charter Party started in 1958. In fact, in 1962 it was held on March 3rd and tickets were $12.00 per couple which included a meal and a live band was hired. ( and it only cost $75.00!!!) The club held the Speech Contest eliminations at the regular club meeting and the finalist competed at the Charter Party. ( This tradition continues to date) At the time we held Table topics and a formal Speech contest on this very night. In the minutes there was a mention of hiring a Barber Shop Choir for the evening.
As early as 1970, Oakville Toastmasters was already looking into running Youth Leadership programs and already had a formal Mentor Program established. A tradition that continues to this day.
Throughout the years there were various different committees and some that do not exist today but deserve a mention.
Phone Committee: They would be in charge of calling members with meeting information such as role changes, upcoming events, meeting attendance confirmation and outreach with potential members, and communication with former members.
TV Program Committee: Toastmasters ran a 13 week series about the program on Channel 9. It started in January 1962. Every club was sent a script by mail. Two clubs each week were called upon to rewrite the script and be ready to go on T.V. with it.
Press Release Committee: Three members of the club took turns writing a press release immediately after the meeting. Using a Polaroid camera they were able to submit the Press Release along with a photo of the meeting to the paper the following day. This was done every week to promote the club and encourage growth.
Dinner Meeting Committee: In the early 1970s, Oakville Toastmasters started hosting bi-weekly dinner meetings. The meal would cost approximately $2.95 per person.
While the executive roles have changed over the years along with meeting locations and committees have evolved to meet the current needs of the club, one thing remains the same, and that is that First Oakville Toastmasters (Oakville Toastmasters) is a group of fun-loving, professional individuals from diverse backgrounds who take the Toastmasters educational program and our growth seriously. We have been supporting and developing each other for over 60 years with deep respect for the Toastmaster core values which are integrity, respect, service & excellence. We continue this tradition every Thursday from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm because, We Are First Oakville Toastmasters, We Are Oakville Toastmasters.
This year we continue the tradition of celebrating our rich history, and so it is an honour to cordially invite you to celebrate First Oakville Toastmaster’s 61st Anniversary Charter Party on the 3rd of February, 2018. Doors open at 6pm, call to order 6:50pm led by a traditional piper. Our celebrations will take place at the stunning Bronte Harbour Banquet Centre, 2340 Ontario Street, Oakville, ON.
Tickets are $60.00 per person and include a three-course meal, International Speech Contest, Door Prizes, DJ & Entertainment
Please RSVP with menu choices and dietary restrictions to Rebecca Valero, Club President at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you there!