Are you a witness or an observer?

After the usual preliminaries, John-Peter Gernaat had us totally confused regarding the difference between witnessing and observing something. These two words threaded their way through the entire meeting and, considering it was the first time John-Peter was Toastmaster for the evening, we admired his persistence. He certainly fulfilled the role with aplomb.

Keith Bowen’s Toast of the Evening to “Observing” was certainly in line with the theme of the evening (was that because he was called on to do it on the last minute??). In true Transformers fashion, the person who’d been least regular in their attendance at club meetings was asked to respond – sorry, Clarence, we have to make the most of you when we see you!

Keith also provided us with the word of the evening – “spectacle”, meaning a lavish public show or a ridiculous sight. I guess you can observe and witness a spectacle!! Poor Clarence was pounced on again to be substitute Timekeeper, but he did this, as usual, with a smile on his face.

The only remaining Prepared speech for the evening was a CC3 (“Getting to the point”), given by Ruth Taylor. She shared with us how she’d made the most of the opportunities she’d been given by the magazine she works for when sent to places like Dubai and Sun City. She’d ridden a camel, gone over sand dunes in a 4X4 and even sampled some hubbly bubbly while in Dubai, and she and her daughter had tried out the Zipslide in Sun City. However, during her trip to Disneyland Paris, she’d not attended the Premiere of the Hollywood Tower of Horror, something she regrets to this day. So don’t let life pass you by – “carpe diem!”

Mary Byrne’s competent handling of Table Topics resulted in us all being in stitches. John-Peter kicked off by telling us about the car accident he’d had. By glancing up at a drop of rain, he’d missed the sign marking a concealed driveway and then was distracted by the enormous pink bow sported by the occupant of the car that was being driven out of this driveway, resulting in an accident. Ruth swears blind she did not have a pink bow in her hair but was convinced that John-Peter could not take his eyes off her. Clarence, who’d been behind the driver of the first car, said the lady in the other car had been sporting a pink Afro. Keith, on the other hand, who’d been in his garden fixing the water system, said that due to his wife turning on the water when she shouldn’t have, water had spewed all over the place, and the driver of the first car obviously couldn’t see where he was going. Ruth had been busy tying her pink bow and hadn’t been looking where she was going so it was, in fact, her fault. PC Rod Taylor declared that the driver of the second car had called the police and had then offered him one drink after another, after another… and then it seemed that things got a bit hazy!

Keith was very strict in his Wordmaster/Grammarian feedback session, when he only credited Rod with ½ point for using “spectacle” to refer to glasses! As was to be expected, John-Peter had most usages of the word of the evening, and also walked away with the Best Contribution award. Keith’s waterworks speech gained him the Best Impromptu award.

Ryan Ebedes was congratulated in absentia for being nominated Best Club VPPR 2008/9 in District 74. Transformers’ website was nominated Best Club Website in 2008/9 in District 74 and, since Ryan is the webmaster, this was his second award for the year. Congratulations from all of us, Ryan – we’re proud of you!

Join us for our next meeting on 8 June 2009, when Parliamentary procedure will be in action at our AGM. This is when our club officers for the next Toastmasters year will be elected too. So if you want to know before anyone else who’s who in Transformers for 2009/10, be there!