A Speakeasy night of cul­ture and travel in the com­fort of the Hi-Bi

The Corkman - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

LAST week’s meet­ing of Speakeasy Toast­mas­ters was a night of cul­ture and travel - from Ja­pan to the early days of transat­lantic flight, and from the vine­yards of Al­sace to the ski slopes of Aus­tria.

It was a meet­ing where the com­mon theme was travel and mo­bil­ity. Va­lerie Mur­phy com­menced pro­ceed­ings with a speech en­ti­tled ‘Prepa­ra­tion for my first week in Ja­pan’.

She re­called her ex­pe­ri­ences as a 22 year old stu­dent in Ja­pan, set­ting off on a year long term of teach­ing English in Konin City. It all be­gan with an ori­en­ta­tion course in Tokyo where Va­lerie was awe struck by the sight of the new and ex­cit­ing Neon lights and sky­scrapers that seemed to sway in the breeze.

And that was just the start of a fruit­ful and chal­leng­ing year in Va­lerie’s life.

Theresa O’Reilly kept the theme breez­ing along with ‘Smooth Driv­ing’. This was a sales pre­sen­ta­tion on the art of ‘Cold Call­ing’. With the will­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion of Marie Fitz­patrick, Theresa deftly demon­strated the skills re­quired to suc­cess­fully de­velop a rap­port with a po­ten­tial client and how to close the sale. The items on sale were a fleet of Volk­swagon vans.

Jil­lian Har­ris art­fully pre­sented ‘A great ex­pec­ta­tion’. She bought the group back to 1980s, when Ger­man wine ex­porters tar­geted the Ir­ish market with la­bels like Blue Nun and Black Tower, wines of du­bi­ous qual­ity.

Great Ger­man wines were con­sid­ered too good to ex­port. They were kept for the home market and in­fe­rior qual­ity plonk ex­ported. A huge mis­take as the Ger­man wine in­dus­try still had not found favour in Ir­ish hearts.

Gil­lian spoke glow­ingly about the charms of the Ries­ling grape and it’s aro­matic dry wines, a warm com­pan­ion on a cold night. She out­lined it’s ag­ing qual­i­ties and de­scribed wines with a vin­tage of a cen­tury or more, which seemed rather sad for those in the au­di­ence who wish to en­joy a wine in their own life­time.

Don McSweeney took on a jour­ney to ‘Foynes and Be­yond’. He re­called the days when fly­ing was in it’s in­fancy and when avi­a­tion’s big­gest chal­lenge was to cross the At­lantic.

It was the era of the fly­ing boat and the vil­lage of Foynes in the Shan­non Es­tu­ary be­came the hub for Pan Amer­i­can flights into Europe, be­com­ing one of the largest air­ports in the world.

Liam Jones closed out the Speech Pro­gramme with his out­landish tale of ‘Séa­mus with a Fada’. He flew the au­di­ence to the Aus­trian Alps, with the flam­boy­ant Lim­er­ick man, the mae­stro of the belly-dance and a dap­per dresser who deemed it ap­pro­pri­ate to wear his all white ensem­ble on the piste. Need­less to say that all forms of may­hem en­sued with the ir­re­press­ible Séa­mus slid­ing back­wards down the ‘Mercy Slide’ to earn his place in Aus­trian folk­lore.

The Toast­mas­ter of the meet­ing was John Bren­nan. Though new to the Club, he per­formed like a sea­soned pro­fes­sional, in­tro­duc­ing each speaker with style and cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive, friendly en­vi­ron­ment.

Top­ics mas­ter of the evening Bri­die O’Con­nell chal­lenged the im­promptu skills with provoca­tive ques­tions on the neg­a­tive im­pact of Face­book, temp­ta­tion, first im­pres­sions and the fu­ture of elec­tric cars. The group learned that Face­book is like a fridge - you know that there is noth­ing in there but you look any­way.

The Gen­eral Eval­u­a­tor, Sean Cor­co­ran ap­praised the meet­ings strengths and awarded prizes to Marie Fitz­patrick (Best Topic), Mary Buck­ley (Best Eval­u­a­tion) and Jil­lian Har­ris (Best Speaker).

The meet­ing sea­son con­tin­ues on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 16. For more in­for­ma­tion about Speakeasy please visit the web­site speakeasy­toast­mas.com or fol­low on Face­book.

Al­ter­na­tively, con­tact Helsa Giles 083 8858848.

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