Tag Archives: Contest

Mary Heary Tall Tales Contest

Submitted by Toastmaster Linda Rossi

Toastmaster Linda Rossi

I had the distinct pleasure of Chairing the First Oakville Toastmasters Mary Heary Tall Tales Contest April 22, 2010. There were no less than 11 participants!! It was an exciting evening with speech topics ranging from mystery, adventure and green living to the traditional (and whopping) fish tale and mayhem on the open seas in a dragon boat!

Two of First Oakville’s newest members participated with drama, exaggeration and enthusiasm: Tyler Bayley (his ‘environmentally safe recycle bin’) and Adrian Scott (catching seagulls mid-air with the fish he caught as bait).

Ann McNichol (kidnapped and dropped into another time and space) and Deborah Bartucci (adrift on the open sea, defying pirates with her fellow dragon boat paddlers) delivered speeches full of adventure and suspense.

Dave Webster(explaining the ‘other reason’ one should consider vegetarianism) and Matt Wagner, with his folksy tale of living in the BC interior and panning for gold (feel free to ask him about the asparagus!) were more subtle with their approach.

Gerry Bramm taught us his very valuable lesson learned while operating the ‘crusher’ at the mine. I’ll never fall asleep when I’m operating the crusher!

Katherine Ryell discovered the secret of ageless beauty and Esther Davis demonstrated her life of allegiance and obedience to the Government of Canada.

Andy MacPherson shared a wild and bizarre training ritual reminiscent of Clockwork Orange and finally John Smissen shared his very intimate Polar Bear Dip apparel. I mean, very intimate, Polar Bear Dip apparel.

The judges had quite a challenge considering the quality and entertainment value of each and every speech.

Special Congratulations to our Winners:

First Place: Ann McNichol, ‘To the Museum’
Second Place: John Smissen, ‘Making a Splash’
Third Place: Gerry Bramm, ‘Lesson Learned’

The Area Tall Tales Contest will be hosted by our club on June 3, 2010. Please come out and support Ann McNichol.

Special thanks to our Chief Contest Judge, Donald Knowles for overseeing the judging process, as well as the judges, timekeepers and counters. Running a contest really is a collaborative effort and it is a pleasure to work with everyone to make the evening a success for all.

Linda Rossi
Tall Tales Contest Chairman
First Oakville Toastmasters


Elections & Tall Tales

Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles

Toastmaster Donald Knowles

I would like to thank everyone for the work that went into last night’s meeting. There is always more than meets the eye.

All the members of the nominating committee for the back ground work to ensure that there was a full slate of candidates for every position.

All the candidates for taking the step forward to be part of the election.

All the members who were elected and all those who were not. There will be many committees to be formed and many opportunities to serve the club.

Katherine Ryell for doing a wonderful job of running the elections.

Linda Rossi for the great job of Chairing the Mary Heary Tall Tales Contest.

Our 6 regular judges, the tie breaking judge, the 3 counters, and the 2 timers.

Our 11 contestants. Fabulous, think of it, 11 speakers. Special kudos for Adrian and Tyler for stepping out. Adrian has not even done his Icebreaker yet and Tyler just completed his.

Including the Chair and the Chief Judge we had 24 people involved in the contest. That’s incredible.

An incredible night in an incredible club. And it just keeps becoming better.


The Charter Party!

Toastmaster Donald Knowles

Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles

It was a wonderful night.  The room was wonderfully laid out.  Not too big, not too small, just nice and cosy.  Everyone was dressed up and there was a palpable air of relaxation.  The bar tender must have slipped a little Prozac into the drink mixes.  The head table was piped in and introductions were made.  It was a nice touch to have the current District Governor Doreen Hilllier in attendance. 

The door prizes commenced early and continued often.  The food was indeed very good.  The service was also very good.  It is so nice to be in the presence of culinary pros.  Michelle let me know that the Atrium does Sunday brunch, which will be worth looking into.  The speeches were very good as usual.  I learned a lot last night about microphones.  If the speaker is miked then they do not need to stress the vocalisation so this changed the vocal dynamics of everyone present.  Interesting.  Congratulations to Marion, John, Deborah, and Hal for participating in the contest. We had about 52 years of accumulated TM talent on the stage last night.  Congratulations to Marion for her win and the best of luck moving forward in the Area contest.  Our President, John Smissen will be the alternate if Marion cannot go forward.  Hal changed his speech from Jump to Four Letter Words, which was well received.

The magician was very good and everyone enjoyed his banter.  Gerry was very restrained as an audience “volunteer” .  I am sure that I was not the only one present who was wondering how that was going to play out.  Being the pro that he is, Gerry didn’t upstage the magician.  But it was fun considering the possibilities. 

The DJ has serious equipment and a very good music selection.  He had obviously done this before and handled the volume adroitly. 

This was my first Charter Party, and all in all, it was a very enjoyable evening.  It was a also a successful evening for the committee; John Smissen, Deborah Bartucci, Katherine Ryell, Linda Rossi, Michelle Gillies, Iryna Linkova, Daniel Bruch, and yours truly .  In about 7 months or so, we will need to start again.  After participating in number 53 I am looking forward to number 54.  For those who missed it, it was a very good TM evening.  Forget the disclaimer, it was a very good evening, period.

Yours in Toastmasters



Many thanks to Toastmaster Peter West for all the wonderful photos of our evening. Below you will find a sampling, but I suggest you visit the site he emailed to us all so you can see the whole set. They are truly treasures!