Speakeasy Toastmasters – A Celebration to Remember!

Speakeasy Toastmasters celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of the club with a special night in the Hiberbnian Hotel last friday. Ten speakers entertained the attendance during the night, Deirdre Linehan, Vivien Linehan, Joan Linehan, Kieran Buckley, Michael Walsh, Kieran Butler, Michael Cronin, Bobby Buckley, Jerry O’Callaghan, and Matt Lawlee.

“It’s like your whole life is flashing before your eyes, but instead of dying, you are laughing.”
Or fondly remembering. Or suppressing a quiet tear at being reminded of a personal memory. Those were the reactions of audience members at Speakeasy Toastmasters’ 25th Anniversary Celebration Night. A packed ballroom of Toastmasters and friends, from Garryvoe to Drogheda and, of course, from north Cork, were entertained and enthralled by a stellar cast of speakers.
Fathers were high on the agenda. Bobby Buckley’s “Man on the bike” told the beautiful story of his time as an athlete and of how his proud father lived his life through his son’s achievements. On the other hand, Matt Lawlee presented an hilarious account of his baby daughter’s first feed. Much to the amusement of the audience, “The First Baby” portrayed Matt as the ultimate “bull in a china – shop” as he detailed the litany of disasters that befell him.
“Athletics” was also also to the fore in “I haven’t gone away, you know!”Michael Walsh recalled the mysterious residents that stayed in his house when he was a boy. They were “on the run” and quite generous with presents like horses. Delivered in a deadpan manner, this was satire of the highest order.
Straight ahead humour was the driver of Michael Cronin’s contribution -” The trauma of being dumped.” On this occasion, it wasn’t a woman. It was his Broadband provider! “Three” decided that Michael was one too many in their relationship. And so, the hapless Michael has to trudge across his wet fields to find the 4G spot.
Looking back on the past through rose tinted spectacles underpinned speeches by Joan Linehan and Gerry O’Callaghan. The former recalled the morning of the County Stations. Joan remembered with deep fondness the beautiful selection of food and the “dignitaries” dining in the Parlour. The evocative imagery of “The Teapot” will linger long in the memory. “The good old days of the radio”, saw Gerry O’Callaghan regale his audience with stories of Frankie Byrne’s problem section, DinJoe introducing set dancing on the radio. But pride of place must go to “Ovaltine”, which seemed to possess aphrodisiac qualities.
“Lions led by donkeys,” recalled the tragic squalor of the trenches of World War 1. This powerful presentation detailed the thoughts and fears of an Irish man in a British uniform before his fatal final journey over the top to become cannon fodder. As we are currently commemorating the significant milestones of the Great War, Kieran Buckley speech was hugely appropriate.
The subject of ageing disgracefully was the theme of “Satin Sandals”. Age doesn’t mean a diminishing of abilities but as Deirdre Linehan stressed “in slowing down, my children can now catch up with me!”
Vivien Buckley explained what can happen when you try something different. “The jump” was the scary story of jumping from an aeroplane with a parachute on. The tension was gripping as Vivien was hurtling down towards the ground. Was this a big mistake or would the parachute open?
Have you ever silently raged about the Single Room Supplement where you pay extra for the privilege of sleeping alone?
Well then, Kieran Butler’s “The Single Life” was just for you! Kieran fought the good fight for singletons everywhere with his exhortation – “Say it loud! I’m single and I’m proud!”
Speakeasy Toastmasters has a proud reputation for tutoring its members in the art of speech craft. This was exemplified by the extraordinary show put on by all our speakers last Saturday night. We applaud their achievements. We also wish to thank our former members who rose to the challenge of shaking off the cobwebs and returning with such aplomb to the speaking stage.
In other news, we congratulate former member, Rona Coghlan who achieved a gallant second place in the Division A (Cork) Final of the International Speech Contest in the Clayton Hotel, Cork. With a speech entitled – “Would I lie to you?” represented the Carrigaline Club who were also represented by the winning speaker, Holly Blake.
Speakeasy now looks forward to the next twenty five years. It begins tonight Thursday night, April 19th in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8pm. This meeting will be devoted to the Area 17 Finals of the International Speech and Evaluation Contests. Clubs from north Cork will participate, including Bobby Buckley, Theresa O’Reilly, Ray Ryan and Pat Sexton of Speakeasy. As always, guests are very welcome to attend what promises to be a lively night’s entertainment. We look forward to seeing you.