Wednesday February 28, 2018
A special guest for Churton Park Toastmasters By Julia Czerwonatis
The Toastmasters from Churton Park had the pleasure to welcome someone in their midst who is making his living with public speeches since last year: Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor joined the local Toastmas-
ters club for their Thursday evening meeting and shared his personal story with the group. “I had just come from speaking in Parliament when I joined the Churton Park Toastmasters last Thursday,” Greg says. “I have to say I was almost more
nervous to speak in front of them than at work. “In Parliament you only have the speaker of the house judging you for what you say, but at the club 15 speakers were evaluating me,” he explains. Greg says he learned a lot during
the two-hour session themed ‘Representing your community’. “The atmosphere was encouraging, and while the members are tough on each other, they treat each other with the utmost respect. Everyone is doing their best to improve, and everyone supports one another.” Greg says what struck him was the mixture of different cultures, languages and ethnicities represented at the club. “There were so many people whose first language wasn’t English, and you could see how hard they were working to improve their public speaking.” He believes the group was being courteous in giving him
the trophy for the best speaker of the evening. His tip for anyone giving a public speech is, know who you are talking to. “You have to know your audience and prepare your speech accordingly. “And it’s always helpful to address someone you know in the audience. It can be quite nerve-wracking if you speak to an entire room full of people instead.” Churton Park Toastmasters meet every second Thursday, 7.30-9.30pm at the Churton Park Community Centre. Visit churtonpark.toastmastersclubs.org for more information.
CATCH A SUMMER DEAL Churton Park Toastmasters with their guest speaker, Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor. PHOTO: Supplied
West Fest returns with promising programme Although Jennie Moran, the chairperson of the organising committee feels like it was only yesterday the first gala was rolled out, West Fest celebrates its fourth birthday when it returns to West Park School on Saturday, March 10. “As with the previous years, the primary focus of West Fest is to deliver a day where the community can come together to have fun,” Jennie says. “There’s no better way to start the school year than with an event that lets our children see their friends, families, and teachers working and playing alongside each other. “Funds raised via previous West Fests are already being put to use in the climbing structure play area upgrade that is well into its planning stages, and anything raised this time will also be used there. “But first and foremost, we want everyone who comes along to be able to have a good time so we are really mindful of keeping prices affordable and having plenty of free entertainment on offer.”
From 11am until 2pm, West Park School will host an incredible array of food, free stage acts, fun activities and bargains. In addition to the comfort food offerings expected of a school gala like a sausage sizzle, coffee and sweets, there will also be homemade dumplings, curry, fries and bacon rolls to satisfy the hunger pangs. Some old favourite activities will return such as the toilet paper catapult and shooting range, and Jennie and her team have some new fun games planned including jousting and Quidditch shots, and a giant inflatable obstacle course. “The stage entertainment line-up featuring a range of school and wider Wellington performers and community groups is as always looking great,” Jennie says. “The Johnsonville and wider Wellington community remains right in behind the festival with Easy Swim remaining the major sponsor of the day for the fourth year in a row, alongside generous donations from FECO Fenc-
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Current and former West Park School students in front of the new playground development funded by previous West Fest gala days, Hannah, Dani and Zoe (back), and Niamh and Sophie (front). PHOTO: Supplied
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Independent Herald 28-02-18