The 50th anniversary of a Toastmasters club in Surrey is cause for a “golden” celebration this weekend.
Surrey Toastmasters 2590, which claims the title of the city’s first such club, has helped hundreds of people “become better speakers and leaders” since receiving its charter on May 17, 1968, according to Haddy Abra, the club’s VP of education.
An anniversary event will be hosted by the club on Sunday, May 6 at Guildford Recreation Centre, from 2 to 4 p.m. Past members and interested members of the public are invited to attend the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The quality of our lives is determined by how effectively we learn to communicate,” Abra told the Now-Leader in an email. “It opens the door for better relationships, better employment prospects and more meaningful dialogue.
“Surrey Toastmasters provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to overcome their fear of public speaking and sharpen presentation skills,” Abra added. “Other benefits include the opportunity to increase one’s confidence, build critical thinking skills and become more effective listeners.”
Club member Ken Cowie, a local realtor, says Surrey Toastmasters has been “the foundation of my overall personal growth” since he first joined one winter evening in January 1989.
“The members of Surrey Toastmasters were warm and friendly and although I was nervous, they brought a smile to my face,” Cowie explained. “Almost 30 years later I’m very fortunate to have met hundreds of amazing people who still make me smile and together we are all learning how to be better communicators.”
Surrey Toastmasters 2590 meets on Monday evenings (except statutory holidays) at the Guildford library auditorium, starting at 7:30 p.m., 15105 105th Ave., Surrey. For more information about the club, visit surreytoastmasters.toastmastersclubs.org.
The club is governed by Toastmasters International, a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that aims to empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. The organization, founded in 1924 and headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, boasts a global membership of close to 352,000 people in more than 16,400 clubs in 141 countries.