Ola Aralepo is a very funny man, a cheeky chappie, so no wonder he recently won the District 91 Humorous Speech Contest. Our D91 OR Manager, Nigel Oseland, caught up with him over a hot chocolate at Royal Festival Hall on a damp cold November morning.
You have an unusual name, where does that come from?
Yes Ola is unusual, by English standards, but it is very international: Nigerian, Sierra Leonian, Norwegian and Polish. In Yoruba it means riches and the full name Olatokunbo is “wealth acquired overseas”. It’s also a bit like “hola” in Spanish meaning hello, but Ola is also Dutch for “Walls” ice cream. Oh you mean Aralepo, that means “fulgurite” or “thunderbolt”. So my full name implies I am wealth waiting to be discovered (hopefully soon) or simply “ice cream thunderbolt”. I was born in London, raised in Lagos and I’m now back in London.
For those of you who attended the Autumn Conference at Gatwick, I hope you will agree that it was a wonderful showcase of all that is great in D91: superb Table Topics; very humorous speech contest and well run and received workshops. I am very much looking forward to our Spring conference on 5-6 May! Hope you will all join us there!
Farewell Autumn Conference
With the close of the Autumn Conference for the last time, we are in the process of setting up a committee, let by Area Director, Dee Alimi, to review how we will handle District business from 2018, with no Autumn Conference. Watch this space for updates over the coming months.
Our last Autumn Conference was held at Gatwick Airport. This one-day event was packed full of value to inform, educate and entertain members and guests from across the District and beyond. Next year, districts will only be required to hold one annual conference, the Spring one in May.
As the Conference was held at Gatwick Airport it had a flight theme and by the end of it we were flying high. The keynote speech was brought by Aletta Rochat who flew in from South Africa to join us. Aletta is the Region Advisor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Toastmasters International – and what an inspiring and affirming keynote it was! Aletta described and gave value to a range of essential service leadership qualities and then she invited District Director Pedro Casillas, to recognise members in the room who exemplified each one. There were also edifying Communications and Leadership workshops run by well-respected district leaders.
A brand new trophy was launched at the Gatwick Conference on 4th November – The D91 Explorers’ Cup! The idea was first suggested by Filip Balota, President of Gatwick Communicators and Conference Director, based on his experience of a similar initiative in the Netherlands. Andy Hammond, Program Quality Director, agreed that the District would sponsor the award as it supports the aims of encouraging members to broaden their knowledge and share their experiences by visiting other Toastmasters clubs.
The way it works is that the trophy can be claimed from the host club when at least three members of another club take on roles at the same meeting of the host club. They must ensure there is photographic evidence which is then posted on social media and the District 91 website. They then retain the D91 Explorers’ Cup until such time as another club claims it by the same process.
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