Lucy Stad is awarded Toastmaster of the Year for 2017 in Chilliwack. The Club meets weekly throughout the year and is hosting an open house on Oct. 24 to entice new members to join. (Facebook)

One of Chilliwack’s oldest clubs, Toastmasters, hosts an open public speaking event this month

An open house will take place on Oct. 24 at the Mt. Cheam Lions Club Hall at 7:15 p.m.

Chilliwack Toastmasters, one of the city’s oldest clubs, is holding an open house this October in hopes of enticing more new members to join its wordy ranks.

A clipping from Feb. 6, 1946 edition of The Progress tells how the local chapter of Toastmasters originally got its start after a presentation by the Vancouver club.<

First started as a YMCA program in Illinois during the early 20th century, Toastmasters organizations soon began popping up across North America, with nearly 30 established by 1930. And in 1946, after eight members of the Vancouver group hosted a local demonstration, Harold Clark was named the president of Chilliwack’s first Toastmasters club—the sixth to form in B.C.

“Toastmasters teaches people to public speak, but not just in public,” said Ray Ramey, who’s the vice-president of public relations for the local chapter. “It helps people speak better at any time … and it helps with your writing, too.”

READ MORE: The art of public speaking: time for the third annual TEDx Chilliwack

Since its modest beginnings in central Illinois, Toastmasters has always focused on personal growth through the development of exceptional communication skills.

Speaking “is a life skill and can improve things across the board,” said Ramey. “And it’s not just about the words, it’s a real confidence booster, too.”

But since seeing is believing, the Chilliwack Toastmasters group will be hosting an open house on the evening of Oct. 24, at the Mt. Cheam Lions Club Hall, starting at 7:15 p.m. That way, says Ramey, people can experience the joys of Toastmasters firsthand and hopefully be inspired to join like back in the 40s, only this time he hopes they stay longer.

And although it’s not quite known why, the original Chilliwack Toastmasters club dissolved somewhere along the line, with the current group rebooting in 1970, however, the fun didn’t stop when the original group did. In 1958, Chilliwack welcomed its first International Toastmistress Club, the female counterpart to Toastmasters, which was originally just for men.

“And they were such a busy group,” said Ramey of the Toastmistresses. “They were more on top of things than the guys: the ladies were always in the paper for something.”

Eventually, though, Toastmasters caught up with the times and gender segregation within the group went to the wayside, but instead of amalgamating, the Toastmistress organization renamed itself ITC—International Training in Communication—worldwide and continued its mission of helping members of any sex learn the art of public speaking, and the now co-ed Chilliwack Toastmasters Club also continued on with its similar mission.

“You don’t have to take a college course to learn how to public speak,” he continued. “It’s there and it’s fun. Toastmasters is like therapy!”

Ramey, a career mechanic and plow match champion, says he joined Toastmasters two years ago with his daughter, and in addition to the family bonding time, it became a great experience overall.

“It was really for my benefit to get better at speaking because I could be speaking to the mayor,” said Ramey. A lifelong member of the community, Ramey explained that because he’s a member of several social organizations, he’s often making presentations to groups of people, or even sometimes speaking with politicians.

“A month after we joined Toastmasters I gave a speech and it really helped me,” he said. “I loosened up and could look at (my audience) and speak to them and I’d never given a speech before to anybody.”

But beyond giving presentations, Ramey says Toastmasters can help a person learn how to run a meeting, use their words in a concise and exact manner, teaches them how to think quickly on their feet, and can improve memory.

Or, “what if you’re asked to deliver a speech at a wedding?” asked Ramey rhetorically. “Toastmasters (training) helps take away some of the scariness and pressure.”

The Chilliwack Toastmasters meet every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., at the Mt. Cheam Lions Club Hall (45580 Spadina Ave.). For more information, please visit Chilliwack.ToastmastersClubs.org, or telephone 604-824-8810.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Train ride at Minter store not part of this year’s festive fun

Tough decision made to stop seasonal train in its tracks after injury suffered by Brian Minter

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read