TM Macalister Mak, our Sergeant at Arms suavely warmed up the audience with the history of Toastmasters with guest introduction. He then passed the floor to Toast Master of the Evening – Rahul Breh, CC. Upon emerging from his seat, Rahul brought up the energy by encouraging us all to clap and cheer on for the office bearers, who introduced their respective roles.
First time grammarian, TM Mei Ann waltz to the floor, with a ruler like teaching aid to introduce the word of the day; Euphonious. An adjective for – pleasing to the ear – which is synonymous with pleasant-sounding or sweet-sounding. Her second role was to listen intently and report on the excellent usage epithet. After explaining the timing for each speech, TM Syatrah Hj Roslan left us a tip, “maintain focus and do not procrastinate.”
For the thought of the day, Rahul eulogized the 11th President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who began humbly selling newspaper as a child to becoming a career scientist before taking office as president. Switzerland celebrates May 26 as the Science Day to remember him. Drawing from Dr. Abdul Kalam’s phenomenal career, Rahul emboldened us with his quote, “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” Those were resonating words to live by!
For our prepared speeches we began with an Ice Breaker by, TM Suneeta Pathak. She acquainted us with her speech, “My one and a half years in Brunei.” Prior to joining the club, Suneeta has been a Toastmasters in a university club which consisted of international students. After her stint in Singapore, she moved to Brunei with her husband, where she discovered an abundance of time for hobbies. Suneeta’s skepticism of Brunei was subsequently dispelled after experiencing the country’s peace and tranquility. Soon after, she visited Brunei Speakers’ Club three times and joined as a member. Suneeta professed that she was looking forward to reboot her journey with Toastmasters once more.
“Mix and Match”, was the title of Heidi Rahman’s CC6 speech. In her speech, she spoke about 16 years of marriage with her husband from a different cultural background. Coming from a traditional Chinese household, Heidi was encouraged to marry within the same culture because her dad was worried about losing his daughter’s filial affiliations. Back then intercultural relationships were frowned upon, so Heidi had to keep hers discreet. But through time, acceptance between families flourished and eventually with good understanding and communication all challenges were overcome. Heidi related with other married couples in the audience by stating that understanding, patience and communications is fundamental.
Pooja Shivanand Breh, CC, CL attempted her ACB 2 – Speak to Inform speech. She educated us on how ‘Ambuyat’, a popular local delicacy, was made with her speech titled – ‘Ambuyat – From Plant to Plate’. Pooja began by informing us that Ambuyat was made from sago powder which was extracted from sago pith. Like rice, Ambuyat has been a staple food for many decades in Brunei. As part of a program in Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Pooja had the opportunity to visit an Ambuyat Factory in Tutong District. Using visual aid, she showed us a video of how sago tree is debarked using an iron rod. These pieces are grated into a pulp by a machine to separate starch from fiber and washed with cold water in pulping process. The mixture is then collected into a tank where starch is settled at the bottom. Starch sediments are dried into powder form and packed. This is called ‘Ambulung’ (local name for Dried Sago Starch) which is packaged and sold in the Market. Ambulung is cooked by continuous stirring in hot water until it becomes glutinous. This translucent glutinous substance is edible and locally called ‘Ambuyat’ and is a local delicacy.
Shortly after the break, Table Topic Master, Geneviéve Lai, DTM invited Supatra Lee to talk about “Driving me bananas.” A number of little things drives Supatra crazy. One such occurrence was when her dad liked post of old cars on Facebook. But the next time she is about to be vexed, she vowed to take a deep breath first.
“It was all flooding to me” was when TM Macalister Mak reminisced back to the good times in high school upon hearing old songs in the car while drive back from a long day. He feels it as a form of self-reflection on the way home. Whether if its good or bad memory, it is important to learn from it.
Amran Jamaluddin, CC was “Cool as cucumber’’ when he got acquainted to a new colleague. After transferring to a new department, Amran approached the new guy and asked to have his name written on a piece of paper. Unexpectedly, the new guy wrote his name in Sanskrit but Amran acted as cool as cucumber, pretending to know how to read it.
“At the drop of the hat”, Jordan Yau, CL would do anything for the groom as an ‘on call bro.’ During his friend’s wedding, the groom was frantically searching for his belt while dressing up for a banquet. At the drop of the hat, Jordan drove to the groom’s house for his belt. Jordan’s advice was, “when you see a bro in need, just ask.”
In the general evaluation session, Chris Woo, CC reported his good impression on the quality of the evening’s evaluators. He particularly praised, how succinct TM Dalton Lim’s Ah Counter report was and it was congruent with his listening skills. Congratulations Dalton on winning the Best Evaluator Ribbon.
The meeting was capped off with Pooja’s closing remark as the club’s secretary. During the term, Pooja was tasked to keep the documents in order except for the club’s constitution which was not present. She asked around for it and finally reached out to the founding President, Clovis Lai, DTM for help. Through his contact at the police headquarter, Pooja was able to get a copy. Her advice for the incoming Executive Committee is to always reach out for help. Although it was a rainy evening, Rahul’s insistence for cheery claps kept the meeting’s energy up. Till next week, we hope to see everyone again.
TM Gerald Goh