Lynne is Rostrum WA’s Speaker of the Year 2014
Speaker of the Year Lynne Ellis, Runner Up Kun-Lin Wu and Freeman Wayne Passmore.
The Rostrum Annual Dinner and final of the Arthur Garvey Speaker of the year at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club on 22 November shifted up a gear with first- time MC Andrew Ballantyne (Club 15) driving the show, and professional beatboxing DJ Samuel Osborne (Club 34) providing the entertainment before the six finalists presented their speeches. There was a definite vibe in the room.
Perhaps not as big a vibe as Lynne Ellis (Club 34) must have felt when she was announced Rostrum WA’s Speaker of the Year for 2014. Lynne’s speech, ‘The Ugly Grandparent’, described how grandparents, far from being ‘ugly’, are paving the way for future generations. It was Lynne’s second win, having claimed the Arthur Garvey trophy in 2005, and she joins a select group who have won the title more than once.
Kun-Lin Wu (Club 11) was Runner Up with a speech titled ‘Signs of Life’. Kun implored us to show our emotions, and to contribute to life by helping others and developing ourselves, and not ‘to be comfortably numb’. Originally from Taiwan, Kun joined Rostrum earlier this year to improve his English.
‘The Ugly Grandparent’ proved to be a popular topic. Denise Bradley (Club 42) spoke about the loneliness of old age and asked us to adopt a not ugly grandparent, while Kanyanta Chipanta (Club 64) gave the ugly grandparent a name: discrimination, intolerance, materialism. Luke Matthews (Club 2230), in ‘When Good Men Do Nothing’, spoke of the value of education, noting that education is the key to the future and should be free. On the same topic, Amy Radunz (Club 34), discussed the implications of an imbalance between masculine and feminine energy on society.
Freeman Don Duck proposed the Rostrum Toast at the start of the evening; a member for nearly 50 years, he wished he’d joined the organisation earlier!
Freeman Tony Lightman presented his final President’s Address, congratulating Freeman Karen Reid for once again organising a very successful competition and dinner (hear! hear!), and announcing Luke Matthews as the new President for 2015.
In a surprise to no-one but himself, Wayne Passmore, a long-time member of Club 15 and outgoing Director of Training, was elevated to Freeman in recognition of almost 20 years’ service to Rostrum in WA. The honour capped off a significant year for Wayne in which he also became a grandfather.
Congratulations to Lynne and Kun on their achievement, and to all the finalists for being part of the competition. Congratulations to Wayne on a well-deserved award. A HUGE thankyou to Karen for a job well-done, and to the Adjudicators–Freeman Julian Rice (Chair), Freeman Alan Ham, Aldis Purins, Frank Butler and Mark Roberts for their expertise. Thankyou also to Wilf Hendriks (Club 15) for taking all the photos.
Goodbye and ‘Thanks for the Fish!’
This is a bittersweet moment for me, as I give up my role as President at the end of this month, when I’ll have completed four years in the job. On the one hand, I’ve enjoyed working with you all and leading Rostrum WA for that time. On the other hand,
I need a break, as I’ll be taking on the role of President for Kings Park Guides in 12 months’ time and I think that’s going to be another challenge.
I’m handing the President’s role over to Luke Matthews from Club 2230. Luke is still approaching 30 (lucky man), so should have more energy. I know he’s keen to take on the role, albeit a bit earlier than he envisaged. He was elected at the Dais meeting in November, as was Derek Sparkes, who will be continuing as Treasurer.
Unfortunately, we still have a number of other vacancies; these being Vice President and Secretary. I know Luke will be seeking out people for these roles but, if you’re interested, please contact Luke and discuss it with him. Note: If you ‘reconsidering this, there was an article in the August Informer outlining the roles.
The other vacancies are:
- Director of Training. Wayne Passmore, Club 15,has been running all critics’ activities in this role for the last three years and has decided to step down. He’s anew grandad and is also very active with his beekeeping. Thanks for all your efforts, Wayne and enjoy the bees.
The good news is that Freeman Ruurd Speelman has agreed to step up. He’s done it before, so is well versed in the role. He’ll be ably supported by Jo Turbett, Club 2230,who will be in training for the role in 2016.
- Coordinator, Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year. Freeman Karen Reid is stepping down from this role after two years of effort. With coordinating and running both the speaking competition during the year and the final and dinner in November, this is probably equivalent to at least double the effort required in any of the other roles on the Board. Thanks for all your efforts, Karen, in having given us really exceptional evenings for the last two years.
Because of the effort involved, we’ve decided it really is too much to put on one person’s shoulders and, after discussion at the Dais meeting, have decided to ask a club to take it on. We will be contacting clubs that we think have the experience and expertise but if you want to nominate your club please contact Luke.
The other item of news from the November Dais meeting was that, after the success of this year’s meetings, we will continue taking Dais to the members next year. So, the February and November meetings will still be held at the Wembley Community Centre but the April and August meetings will be held in Clubs.
The final highlight of the year was the Annual Dinner and Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year. You’ll read all about it elsewhere but it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a very high quality of speaking. I’ve already thanked Karen but Rose Fogliani deserves thanks for organising the contestant profiles.
I was also particularly pleased to elevate Wayne Passmore, Club 15, to the position of Freeman. This was very well deserved and congratulations Wayne.
I’ve enjoyed this year in Rostrum but haven’t finished yet, as I’m attending Albany Club’s Christmas Dinner celebrations on Saturday 13 December. I also plan to return to critiquing duties next year, so you’ll still see me around.
I hope you all enjoy the holiday season and best wishes for2015; no doubt I’ll still see many of you during the year.
Freeman Tony Lightman, President, Rostrum WA
Thank you from Karen
Our Speaker of the Year Final and Annual Dinner was a great night, which I thoroughly enjoyed!
There are so many people to thank, because so many of you helped out throughout the journey, and on the night itself. I almost feel there should be an awards evening just for those special individuals who took part and threw themselves into the spirit of it all.
To the Speakers – ALL the Speakers, not just the Finalists – thank you for having such big hearts and such fertile minds! Without your endeavour there’d be no competition at all, and our apex event would be just a dinner.
Lake Karrinyup Country Club is being booked again for next year. We hope to meet up with all of you again then, including Wanda and Wally (not their real names).
Freeman Karen Reid Coordinator AGSoY 2014