Strathmore Speakers Club
The club held its speech contest at its most recent meeting and there were five contestants. President David Howat welcomed the assembled company and handed over to Jim Gibb, who was the contest chairman, assisted by timekeeper Ron Harrow. Jim explained the rules and the penalties incurred for deviating from the allowed time of between six and eight minutes: 10 points per five seconds. Judges were Eric Summers and Graham Carr. First to the lectern was Bill Walker with his speech ‘When Cash was King’, in which he outlined the changes in the practices of banking during his lifetime and mentioned some of the cashless ways that make up business transactions nowadays. Next was Stewart Downie, who spoke about his interest in the Mona Lisa and its important place in art history, including some interesting facts regarding its continuing popularity. David Affleck spoke about ‘Andy and the Dinasaurs’, in which he explained about the asteroid which hit the Earth and wiped out the dinasaurs. He speculated about how different it would have been had it missed and there was a possibility that we might now be walking and sharing the planet with dinosaurs. He was followed by Andrew Buist, whose intriguing title ‘The Walnut and the Satsuma’ unfolded as an account of prostatic hypertrophy, with a few graphic gestures and visual aids. The final speech, entitled ‘Walter Allan of Stirling’, was delivered by David Howat and was an account of ancient swordmaking and assembly and pistol manufacturing in Doune and Stirling by a great, great, great, greatgrandfather of his who had gone out of business in 1746. The judges had a hard task to select a winner. Spokesman Eric Summers complimented the contestants on a splendid competition and said each had delivered a speech on a subject with which they were well acquainted. The visual aids had been good and no one was thirled to their notes. The winner was Andrew Buist and the runner-up Bill Walker, with the high standard of all speeches a tribute to the club. Bob Stewart chaired the topics session on the use of homographs. A homograph, he explained, was two words with the same spelling but with different meanings and pronunciation, such as record and record. Douglas Wares spoke about wound and wound, Hannah Williams produce and produce, Eddie Petrie invalid and invalid, Helen Fleming wind and wind, Alison Summers dessert and dessert and Muriel Smith spoke on sole and sole. The evening was enjoyed by everyone.