There is a Japanese proverb which says ‘A vision without action is a dream… action without a vision is a nightmare’. Fellow Toastmasters, as your new President, I do not want this year to be a nightmare. I therefore call on you to take action and make the vision a reality.

The word of the day last meeting was ‘parochial’. One meaning of being non-parochial is looking beyond your own immediate needs to that of the club, beyond that to the needs of Toastmasters International and beyond again to the wider community. It is like ripples in the pond spreading out to who knows where.

My vision is represented by the picture with one person making a drop into the pool of members and32149518 the ripples moving out. You, the members, are that pool. Whether the drop represents me, as President, the Committee or anyone of you, we can each make a difference, if we choose to. Without action – ripples – that droplet is just a drip!

I would like to change the words of John F Kennedy (Ask not what your country…) and say ‘Tell the Club what we can do for you and tell us what you can do for the Club’. After all we are a Speakers club! It is about being pro-active. The Committee and I cannot do it on our own.

An example of how you can be pro-active is by completing role allocation this meeting for the next meeting to take the pressure off Caroline Brewer, as VP Education. I was thrilled last meeting to hear Christine Wallach in her Table Topics speech say she will be an ambassador for the Club. We can all be ambassadors. Imagine how many people would be in the audience if we all brought a guest.

Casterbridge Speakers is a President’s Select Club, which is a fantastic achievement. Over the next year, I want to focus on you the members and your goals. I want to make mentoring a key part and improve the quality of judging at competitions. But it is not just about me. This is your Club and your vision, therefore I welcome your input into what the vision should be, how we can justly meet your needs; and how we can truly make a difference.

In twelve months time, I believe, with your input, we can all look back with unconditional pride as individuals and as a Club; and say ‘YES it was a great year’.


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