Festive theme for speakers’ club

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Three memorable speeches formed the major part of the Strathmore Speakers’ Club programme last week. All three were given emphatic passes by their evaluators.

The speech chairman was Graham Carr of Alyth, and Jim Smith of Kirriemuir was timekeeper for the evening.

First, Bill Walker of Blairgowrie gave a moving personal account of the scene in Lockerbie on the night of the tragic bombing. He went on to outline the organisation that was quickly set up to deal with the disaster and described several of the ‘acts of human kindness’ that were demonstrated in the days that followed.

Second to speak was Muriel Smith of Kirriemuir making her masterpiece speech to gain her certificate of speaking achievement. This was the fascinating story of four British servicemen taken prisoner in World War Two who recruited lots of volunteers to study all the birds they saw and record the results for posterity. This ‘life-changing hobby’ was carried on into civilian life by all four of them who went on to carve highly successful careers in British wildlife organisations, including the RSPB.

Third came David Binnie of Broughty Ferry who gave a lecture on the life and work of a Scottish-born ‘poet named Robert’ – not Robert Burns, but Robert Service. The tales of his adventures in the Yukon and France and the graphic poems he wrote about life kept the audience enthralled and left them wanting more. The Topics Chairman, Jim Gibb of Blairgowrie, invited six members to speak for two minutes each at very short notice on ‘what they least liked about Christmas’.

There was a little bit of overlapping, but Ron Harrow baulked at eating too much; Helen Fleming condemned excessive packaging; David Affleck despised writing Christmas cards; Andrew Thomson felt cheated by Chinese Christmas tree lights; Pamela Howat detested the over-commercialisation of Christmas; and Edwin Petrie disliked it all!

General evaluator Bob Stewart of Kirriemuir congratulated all the participants for making it such an impressive evening, not forgetting all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Anyone who would like more information about learning to speak in public in the friendly atmosphere of a speakers’ club should contact Jim Smith on 01575 574435 or Jim Gibb on 01250 875262.