The BSC meeting on 28th June 2016 was ‘high energy’ hosted by our ever-enthusiastic Toastmaster of the evening, TM Rano Iskandar. The evening was a fond reunion of members and guests. Prior to the meeting, everyone bonded over a delicious Sungkai dinner, as they say – a family that eats together stays together. The meeting scored high on audience capacity with our veteran members, members from other clubs like UBD, BASC and Brunei Gavel Club and many guests visiting the club. The meeting was also special since it was the last meeting of the term (2015-2016) and had all the executive committee members taking the roles of meeting office bearers.
TM Rano Iskandar infused jubilant energy in the audience through his opening remarks and shared his thought of the day – ‘Change is the only constant!’ – embracing change helps us lead a meaningful life.
Our Grammarian for the evening was the charismatic TM Macalister Mak, who introduced the word of the day ‘Crackerjack’; (adjective, noun) which means exceptionally good as in – It was a crackerjack meeting.
Our ardent first-time Timer, Chris Woo, CC shared his unique tip of the day – ‘only time will tell.’
In the prepared speeches segment, TM Suneeta Pathak attempted her CC3 project – Get to the Point – with her speech ‘Learn to succeed’. In her introduction, Suneeta began by telling us that failure is the stepping stone to success. However, there is a caveat. The success is not automatic. She shared with us two ways of converting this journey of failure into success. The first way is to set measurable goals. To support her point, she told us the story of how Pledger Monk, the financial advisory of the firm, Merrill Lynch, helped his poor-performing trainee, Tobi, generate revenue for the company. He offered Tobi a point-based reward system on a monthly basis for attaining a goal of 50 percent increase in revenue by the end of year. As a result, Tobi’s performance gradually improved. Monk further included a competition based reward system between Tobi and another trainee, Robinson, which instigated better performances in the trainees. The second way for success, according to Suneeta, is unflinching persistence to attain the measurable goals. For this, she shared the story of the Greek statesman, Demosthenes. Demosthenes’ dream was to be a great orator, but he had speech impediments. He overcame stuttering by speaking with pebbles in his mouth to improve articulation and shouting above the ocean waves to improve his volume. He even hung a sword just above shoulder level, so that when his shoulder rose to create an awkward physical posture, the sword would prick him, triggering him to lower it. Hence, with persistence to attain the measurable goals we can convert failure to success. Congratulations Suneeta on successfully completing the CC3 speech project.
Our second speaker, TM Delwin Keasberry attempted his CC4 project – How to say it – with the speech titled ‘It’s time to get up’. Delwin told us that he has enjoyed both playing and watching sports throughout his life. According to him sports is pure; sports is simple, as there is one winner and one loser. There is no grey area when it comes to sports. The opening of his speech captured the audience’s attention when he shared a triad of sports facts – Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Finals, Dean Ambrose rising as the current WWE champion and Iceland beating England in the Euro 2016 football tournament. Delwin later gripped us the gut-wrenching story of Derek Redmond in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Derek was the crowd’s favorite to win a medal in Barcelona 400 m semi-final race. However, about three strides into the run he felt a pop in his hamstring and collapsed to the floor, clutching the leg. He didn’t give up. Instead he anxiously began limping on the track before it slowly started dawning on him that his Olympic dream was being shattered. Meanwhile, Redmond’s father Jim, who was seated in the audience fought his way onto the track. When he saw that his son could longer hold on, he ran up to him to finish the race together. Derek tearfully completed the race using his father as a crutch. This incident in history not only showed the indomitable spirit of a determined athlete but also demonstrated the glory of parenthood. Delwin’s message through the story was – Be grateful to someone who hasn’t given up on you. Do not give up on yourself. Do not give up on others. He concluded with the Japanese saying – Fall down seven times and stand up eight. Congratulations Delwin on the CC4 speech project.
In the second half of the meeting session, the TME passed control to our fervent Table Topic Master, TM Aziman Nasir, who’s theme for the session was ‘recap’ – with a repertoire of questions from the previous meetings. Members from all the four clubs of Brunei and guests eagerly participated in the session.
Our first speaker, TM Mei Ann, was given the topic – Do you prefer the future known or unknown? Mei Ann replied that she is a scientist and she can only anticipate the future. It would be interesting to get a glimpse of the future and she hopes that the small episodes of life are very likely to unravel what is in store for her in the coming days. One can grow up to be a crackerjack personality by knowing oneself.
Our second speaker Elizabeth Sim, a BASC member. Her topic was – Rules are meant to be broken. Elizabeth quickly responded that she grew up as a rebellious child. Her parents were strict and particular that she learnt how to eat right, sit right and be right. In her opinion, to be a better person, one should break some rules. She said that experience has taught her that being too nice is not worth it all the time. In school, she often volunteered to buy food for her friends but that didn’t really pay off. It is OK to break rules if you maintain a balance.
Our third speaker was our guest Wafi who was posted the topic on favorite superpower. Wafi noted that situations can trigger even common people to hone superpowers. Even grandmothers can topple huge cars over if someone they love is in danger. Wafi likes to watch cartoons and is greedy to hone all sorts of superpowers possible. He also practices different sport and activities like Kendo and Aikido and hopes to acquire super strength.
Our fourth speaker was a Gavelier, Wei, with the topic – The most expensive meal you ever had. This was first time she attempted a table topic. She told us about the expensive meal she had a couple of years ago in Hilton hotel. She does not like asparagus. But to her dismay she was served a bowl of asparagus soup. She dared to try it. After a while however, the soup began to taste good and brought her memories of Korean cuisine.
Our last speaker, was a UBD member, TM Ashraf – Some people are worth melting for. Ashraf entertained the audience with a humorous response. He told about his recent addiction to the online game – Blade and Soul – and through that he has been interacting with a Korean girl every single day 24/7. He has fallen head over heels for her. He wishes to always be there for her and awaits a positive response from her in this regard.
The table topics speakers entertained the audience and also shared their viewpoints. Congratulations to TM Ashraf for winning the best table topic ribbon. The meeting’s success wouldn’t be possible without the infectious energy and valuable feedback of the other office bearers – Jordan Yau, CL as Ah Counter and ‘Who said what?’, TM Supatra Lee as table topic evaluator and Pooja Shivanand, CC, CL as General Evaluator.
In his closing remarks, our President, Chris woo, CC, noted the significant feats achieved in the sphere of education during this term. He applauded all the executive committee members for their dedication and significant contributions to club. He also urged the club members to trust the incoming President and his committee of executives for the smooth running of club activities for the next term. The meeting ended with a thunderous applause and we look eagerly forward to our future club meetings in the coming term.
Written By: Pooja Shivanand, CC, CL.
Photography by: TM Gerald Goh