By Ruth Ribeiro, President Riverside Communicators, Div B
In August 2018, to mark my year as President of Riverside Communicators, in Twickenham, I decided to attend the Toastmasters International Speech Convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
I felt privileged to attend Lark Doley’s 2018-2019 International President’s Inauguration and met with her and other Senior District 91 Leaders for a photoshoot. I also enjoyed seeing Balraj Arunasalam’s outgoing Presidential Speeches on stage. These 2 events had even more impact when I received the September issue of the Toastmasters Magazine with Lark Doley’s Picture on the front page and then in the same envelope, I received my very own, Competent Communicators Certificate, signed for, by Balraj Arunasalam, International President and Daniel Rex, for having completed 10 Speeches in the Competent Communicators Manual, as I reflected, thinking, Oh Wow! I know those people. I have met them. For me, alongwith the networking opportunities within this great family of Leaders and Communicators, 3 other things stood out.
1) The Toastmasters Opening Ceremony at the Convention, started with a Parade of Representatives bearing flags from 111 different countries. It was such a colourful and moving Parade, rather like a Toastmasters version of United Nations. We got to sing the American National Anthem, being the Host country, and the Sri-Lankan national Anthem, being the country of origin of the outgoing International President.