The title sentence is borrowed, with great pleasure, from Mr.Dananjaya Hettiarachchi winning speech of 2014 Toastmaster World Championship of Public Speaking.
So, for those who do not know about Toastmasters, and are curious to learn, one question, in three parts arise: “Who are those Toastmasters, where do they come from and what are they doing?
Well, to start from the last part of the question please be informed that in Cyprus, in Limassol they are doing a conference of Toastmasters Leadership Institute from 28th of February till 2nd of March with the title “WE LEARN THE BEST WHEN WE HAVE FUN” !
Connected with traditional Carnival time and Green Monday Celebrations there will be a lot of fun and plenty of opportunities to learn!
You can find about the event at Facebook page of Toastmasters Cyprus and register using links provided there. Happy Learning!
It all started when one Mr. Ralph C. Smedley on 22nd of October 1924 established Smedley Chapter One Club(unfortunately, time of establishing is not known to the writer for the astrologist to do a proper planets chart, but you can do a guess).
It was the first Toastmaster club organised to improve communication skills of the young men he was in charge of. It followed with “Manual Instructions” and “Ten lessons in public speaking” being printed and bounded in paper covers. Today Toastmasters International is educational non-profit organization with more than 357000 members and more than 16400 clubs all around this tiny precious planet called Earth.
The Cyprus journey of Toastmaster started in 1963 when, as it always happens, a group of enthusiasts with clear purpose for existence decided to establish the first Toastmaster club in Cyprus, in Nicosia and to name it Crusaders. First members, famously known as “founding fathers”, were Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as Americans living and working in Cyprus. First meeting took place at American Club which was at the place of today’s Hilton Park Hotel.
My humble feeling is that the name Crusaders has been chosen to reflect Cyprus history as the island was known in old ages as Crusader Island.
Namely, to give you a piece of history, in 1191 AD due to the heavy seas Richard the Lion Heart docked at Limassol port (so you the visitors of Toastmaster Leadership Institute venue will be at very historic place!)and occupied the island from one Isaac Comnenus who, so history says, actually forged the Byzantines papers and presented him as a governor of Cyprus in 1185, creating also an independent Patriarch of Cyprus who crowned him as emperor!
Richard occupied whole island and unsuccessfully tried to sell it to Templars who, after a year, and unable to settle social riots returned the Island to Richard. Then Richard decided, after marrying his beloved Berengaria of Navarre, again in Limassol, to resell the island to the French deposed King of Jerusalem, Guy de Lusignan in return for abandoning his rights from Kingdom of Jerusalem.
So, Toastmasters first club in Cyprus has a pretty famous and deeply historical name with a lot of meaning.
“I see something in you but I don't know what it is”!
Through very friendly and meaningful conversation of dear fellow Toastmaster for last 40 year, Mr. Christakis Partassides some history moments were revealed to me with one, very special one, I will let our dear readers and prospective Toastmaster members to read below.
Namely, as public speaking club, first speech for new members has the name “Ice barker”. New member is talking, introducing self to other members. And after the speech he or she is evaluated by fellow Toastmaster. In one of so many speeches Mr. Partassides heard, one “Ice Breaking” speech stayed in his mind. New member delivered that speech saying that in his youth he was a promising athlete, good in medium distances like 400 mtr with and without hurdles, and that once he felt down in his hard try to win. Then he stood up and finished the race feeling proud that he did not drop from it.
In evaluation of that speech, another Toastmaster used that moment and declared: “You are at the right place! Here whenever you fell down, you will find an open hand to bring you up!”
And just to renew this beautiful, highly human sentence, I am sharing with you two sentences received recently from a new Toastmaster member: “You don’t know me but you all supported me. It feels great!”
Fellow Toastmasters saw something in both of above mentioned new Toastmasters, and after the first ice breaker speech they knew what it is! Hand is always open ready to bring up any of us.
With open heart and clean soul, with smile and traditional Cypriot hospitality fellow Toastmasters are awaiting for you to join learning with fun in Limassol from 28th of February till 2nd of March 2020.
Follow the link below
Richard the lion heart came! Why not you also!
Enjoy Cyprus and your time, make friends and smile wholeheartedly!
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