Monthly Archives: January 2019

62 and counting…FOTM anniversary

In 1957 Louis St. Laurent was the current Canadian Prime Minister; Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the US.  The Montreal Canadians won their ninth Stanley Cup.  Wham-O released the first Frisbee Toy.  USSR launched Sputnik 1, inaugurating the Space age and Space Race.  The Final Episode of I love Lucy Aired, and of course, Toastmaster Club #2245, Oakville Toastmasters officially chartered February 1st, 1957 with 23 members.

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. 

Up until 1973, our club’s membership was entirely male.  However, looking back at the meeting minutes from 1964, it appears that members were organizing social meetings in order to include their spouses. It was August 1st, 1973 when Toastmasters International opened up membership to women and luckily they did because our club has flourished with the exceptional leadership of past female members and mentors throughout the years.

Prior to email, there was a telephone committee that would call all members to confirm their weekly role or speaking spot.  The club often organized summer picnics and members took turns hosting swim parties. 

Naturally, the club has evolved over the years and we continue strive to meet our member’s needs and focus on our member growth.  Every year the President and their executive as well as committee members, have the honour of organizing the annual Charter Party.

It is an honour to cordially invite you to celebrate First Oakville Toastmaster’s 62nd Anniversary Charter Party on the 2nd of February 2018.  Doors open at 6pm, call to order 6:50pm led by a traditional piper.  Our celebration will take place at the Burlington Golf & Country Club.  We will have 4 excellent club speakers that will compete for the club level International Speech Contest title.  The winner will represent the club at the Area Contest in February 2019 and also win the George McVitty Trophy.

It’s going to be a party!!!  Tickets are $75.00 per person and include a three-course meal, International Speech Contest, Door Prizes, DJ & Entertainment.

Please RSVP with menu choices and dietary restrictions to Alonso Mendizabal, Club President at



The Chair Gets Away With What The Chair Gets Away With

You’ve heard this said before often by the evening’s Parliamentarian commenting on a decision made by the chair during the business session: “The chair gets away with what the chair gets away with.”

So what does this mean? john-bercow-1

Today we can thank the British House of Commons and more specifically the present day Speaker, John Bercow who has against parliamentary advice allowed for an amendment to a motion regarding Brexit (Britain’s exit from the European Union) that some say puts even democracy in danger. Here’s a link to the story in today’s National Post.

You see, the Speaker got away with what he got away with and that was the unprecedented decision to allow an amendment to a government business motion concerning Brexit. You see history and precedent (the foundation of democratic decision-making) did not allow for amendments to such motions (at least that was the view of the government and senior advisors to the Speaker.)

The amendment requires Prime Minister May to return to Parliament within three days, rather than 21, to debate the implications of not having a Brexit deal, if the Prime Minister’s proposals are voted down next week.

Despite furious opposition, Speaker Bercow was defended by Labour MPs and even some Tories and the amendment was passed by 308 votes to 297. The vote allows for the potential of alternatives to the Prime Minister May’s plans to Brexit including the possibility of a managed no-deal or even another (second) referendum.

But for now, regardless of what happens in the future, the Speaker appears to have gotten away with what the Speaker gets away with and democracy itself may suffer.


Hello 2019! This will be a good year.

Happy New Year First Oakville Toastmasters!

We hope you have spent a nice Christmas break with friends and family and are ready for an exciting 2019.  This will be a good year.  How do I know?  Because you have chosen to say YES to your growth by being a part of Toastmasters.  Every meeting you attend is a new opportunity to practise a new role, and try out a different public speaking technique.  Where else can you do this week after week?

If you haven’t joined us yet, guests are always welcome!  We encourage you to join us for up to 3 meetings for free so that you can see first hand what our awesome club has to offer.  Our weekly meetings consists of an impromptu speaking session called, “Table Topics”, we also have three prepared speeches and each speaker receives an oral evaluation and written feedback from all of our members and guests.

Growth is just right around the corner.  Join us on Thursdays from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at 1494 Wallace Road, Oakville, ON.  (Marion Hall)

This will be a good year!

Alonso Mendizabal
Club President First Oakville Toastmasters