Sagicor Life Ja Toastmasters Club honours members in fine style
The lingering melodies from the piano and percussion instruments, coupled with exquisite ambience, set the tone and the perfect backdrop at the recent staging of the 30th Anniversary Awards Banquet of the Sagicor Life Jamaica Toastmasters Club, held at the Boulevard Baptist Church.
The appreciation banquet saw four initial charter members, 15 past presidents, national champions, and other members being honoured for distinguished service over the club’s 30-year history.
Outgoing president Patrick Lee said that with the significant contribution of the organisation’s members over the years, it was only befitting that these persons be recognised for their unwavering support.
“There are many people that have worked hard to keep the club operational. They have also put in everything to keep the club at a standard, and, as result, we have reaped significant successes over the years,” he said.
One of the club’s major achievements, Lee stated, is that the Sagicor Life Jamaica Toastmasters Club will be represented at the World Championships in Public Speaking in Colorado later this year.
With the club’s rich history that began in 1989 with then Justice Courtenay Orr, distinguished toastmaster, Shirley Daley believes the club has achieved the objectives and mission of Toastmaster International.
“We have empowered individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders and have demonstrated the importance of honing these skills on a personal and professional level,” she said.
District 81, of which Jamaica is a member, comprises 26 territories – from Haiti in the north to Guyana in the south – with representation from the French, Spanish, Dutch and English Caribbean. The district impeccably epitomises true Caribbean unity, with 43 areas, 152 clubs and well over 7,500 members.
The Caribbean Territorial Council of Toastmasters was formed on February 15, 2003, at a conference held in Jamaica.
Fifteen clubs in the Caribbean then consented to be part of this council as the first step towards becoming a Caribbean district. Later, seven clubs were added to exceed the minimum of 20 clubs needed to complete the council’s first step towards the realisation of a dream that has become a reality.
Shirley Daley, who represented the club at the first International Leadership Committee (ILC), Nominated International Director Candidate, was also appreciative of the support the club has received from R. ‘Danny’ Williams, founder, Life of Jamaica, now Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited.
“We have been at Sagicor for the last 30 years, and we appreciate the fact that he has provided us with a home for such a long period of time,” Daley said.
Williams, in his remarks, while congratulating club members, expressed gratitude to the charter members who have continued their membership over the years.
“Through your contribution over the many years, your loyalty has made the club into what it is today. It is important that you were willing to stand up and be counted, and that has made a world of a difference,” he said.
Meanwhile, Faith Ellis, incoming president and District 81 (Caribbean) champion of public speaking, gave a riveting and entertaining speech, encouraging individuals to live their lives to the fullest while giving of themselves to country and nation-building.