How OPS North Bay Toastmasters Celebrated 5 Year Anniversary

Let me tell you a little about the OPS North Bay Toastmasters Club and why we’re so excited to have recently celebrated our 5 year anniversary!

OPSNorthBay TM2OPS North Bay Toastmasters is a corporate club for employees of the Ontario Public Service. Back in 2011, Bonnie Murphy spearheaded bringing a Toastmasters Club to North Bay for her government colleagues and faced a steep learning curve as the first President. She found a mentor club and willing coach in Cementation Canada’s corporate club and our OPS club chartered in October 2012.

Bonnie Murphy – Founding President (on left) and 
Pat Devereaux – Current President (on right)

We just celebrated our 5th year anniversary on October 12, 2017 with an open house and lunch ‘n learn event, both of which were very well-attended.

At the lunch ‘n learn we were very honoured to have as our guest speaker, Roy Slack, the President of Cementation Canada! The event also provided guests with an overview of Toastmasters, demonstrated a typical Toastmasters meeting by explaining key meeting roles, reviewed the Toastmaster Education Program and included an informal question and answer period. Later that day our open house, complete with displays of Toastmaster information and our club’s history and a celebratory cake, was attended by more than 20 interested colleagues!

OPSNorthBay TM

The following current members were club founders: Anthony Akomah, Melissa Delfino, Pat Devereaux, Alain Lemay, Bonnie Murphy, Siobhan O’Leary, and Arlene Phillips.

If you live in the North Bay area, or are just passing through, we meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday, noon to 1 pm, Library Boardroom, 2nd floor, 447 McKeown Ave. Even though we’re a corporate club we love hosting visitors from other clubs! 

by Sandy Bell-Murray

The 2017 Toastmaster’s Award Winning Celebration


A ceremony to honour Jocelyne Vezina, the 2017 toastmaster’s winner was held at Mississauga Central Library on December 18th. The celebration was hosted on behalf of two sister clubs: Comfortably Speaking Toastmasters (CST) Club and Lambs to Lions (L to L) Club. Being awarded the Toastmaster of the year award is the highest honour in the district. It signifies that the Toastmaster dedicated their service to the district and toastmaster’s community to assist others in achieving their goals in communications and leadership. Jocelyne certainly fits this description. Not only is she a member of 3 Toastmaster clubs in Mississauga, but she has mentored a long list of new clubs to their success, each coming with a 6 month to a year commitment. She is currently a club coach for a French speaking club in Mississauga, helping this club to gain it's strength and success. On top of this, Joecelyne is our Pathways Ambassador helping the district to successfully educate, train guides and ambassadors and launch the new Pathways program through the district. Joecelyne has really touched and impacted many Toastmaster Members lives.

Kyla Werrett, DTM, member of CST and 2017-2018 Division D Director, opened the party for Jocelyne. She mentioned that it was an honour to nominate Jocelyne for this award and that she enlisted in the help of 5 other toastmaster members within the community in this nomination. She added that in addition to the nomination, there is a point system and the opportunity to ask people to write a letter about this individual. “The letters that came back for Jocelyne, were unbelievable”. Letters came from clubs that Jocelyne mentored, Pathway's Guides she led and others that Jocelyne's contributions impacted.

Kyla’s speech was followed by Aanchal Kamra, L to L President, Iona Rodricks, DTM, L to L SAA and Paul Dubal, CST President indicating Jocelyne as a dedicated member of both clubs. Then Paul asked Jocelyne to say a few words for both club members.

Jocelyne mentioned “I didn’t do these for the award, I think I’m getting more out of it.” At the end, she showed her gratitude for both clubs by saying “you two clubs, Lambs to Lions that I was the first president and the founding member and comfortably speaking that was the first club I have ever joined, have a very special place in my heart and I am so glad that you are still here.”
The ceremony was proceeded with Paul giving Jocelyne a card on behalf of the two clubs followed by a group photo and potluck.

Hamedeh Razavi
CST, VP Public Relations

The Lambs to Lions Toastmasters Club Hold a Speech-a-thon!

Dear Enthusiastic Reader,

The Lambs to Lions Toastmasters Club meets every 1st and 3rd Saturday at the Mississauga Central Library from 11.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. Founded on May 2011, the club offers a hands-on learning experience for new members through advanced evaluation techniques and leadership opportunities.

On December 2, 2017 our club hosted a special ‘Speech-a-thon’ style meeting with 5 scheduled speakers who presented on a wide variety of topics enriched with knowledge, courage, and humour. It was certainly my first speech-a-thon experience and I walked away feeling motivated and entertained with much food for thought. So let me give you a snapshot of what happened that mid Saturday morning in one of the meeting rooms at the Central Library.

Mike Filev, one of our newest members kicked off the speech-a-thon with his ice-breaker speech. This Bulgarian born-Canadian told us that it was his dream to improve his public speaking skills. With a speech title of ‘Breathing deeply, the main stream media and getting the things you want in life', Mike walked us through the tricks of the mainstream media and how it has conditioned us for failure. He also discussed ways in which we can overcome our fears and achieve our goals more effectively. What was the take away? Well... not to be shallow breathers - to practice deep and mindful breathing - 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out and to try our best to re-connect our breath with positive thoughts. He received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech, a practice we follow for all ice-breaker speeches to recognize the effort. It is also key to laying a solid foundation of encouragement for all newbies. Congrats Mike, well done!

Tiffany Chen, one of our long standing members as well as the Area Director for Area 85 in District 86 was next in line to deliver her speech on 'Social Anxiety'. She is currently working on achieving her ACS designation. She introduced the concept of social anxiety, the fears associated with interacting with others, being judged and the feeling of inadequacy etc. Tiffany also walked us through the symptoms such as a racing heart, sweaty palms and a dry throat and mouth. She spoke about the 'Flight, Fight and Freeze Theory' which we all can relate to. So what was the takeaway? To think positively, for e.g. 'I am unique vs I am weird' and to use the visualization technique more often to ease things. She concluded by reminding us that everything requires practice and by changing our attitude towards the way we deal with social anxiety, we too can overcome this. Well done, Tiffany!

Aanchal Kamra, the President of our club took on the audience with her speech 'Introduction to Graphology' - an analysis of the physical characteristics and patterns of handwriting to study human behavior. Her speech starts her journey towards the ACG designation. She took us through a simple exercise that provided insight on how we can use graphology to understand the writer’s psychological state at the time of writing, or evaluating personality characteristics, generally considered a pseudoscience. She also made us write down a sentence on a blank sheet of paper which brought us all to the edge of our seats followed by a nail biting reaction, when she started to explain our characteristics via our handwriting. What a fascinating subject. Aanchal, you never fail to spark our curiosity!

Michael McAra, another one of our long standing members delivered his speech on the 'Flint Water Crisis'. This was a 3-5 minute speech followed by a Q & A session. Michael wore the hat of the newly hired Reputation Management Consultant for the City of Flint and spoke to the media [the audience] and provided an update on the status of the water crisis. It was a tough job to defend the City, but Michael had done his research! He also sparked our interest in reading more about this crisis.

Peter Barrett, our final speaker delivered a humourous speech themed, 'I have an idea!', a speech towards the ACS designation. He encouraged us to pursue our creative aspirations and inspirations and how to make at least some of our ideas come to life. After all, from young to old and around the world, some of us bravely convert our ideas into action, which can result in an outcome that ranges between 'Yes! I did it and it is successful' to 'maybe we need to think through this a little more' - Sounds familiar?? Peter went onto sharing his childhood stories about the mischief he got into with his brother and had the entire room roaring with laughter. Jokes apart, the stories had a motivating factor embedded as object lessons. So next time we go 'Hey, I have an idea!' don't hesitate and don't be afraid to give it wings!

All 5 speeches were successfully delivered and evaluated by 2 senior members of our club, Jocelyne Vezina and Iona Rodricks as well as our 3 honoured guest evaluators, Jeanie Lai, Stephen Stachin and John Constant.

The structured evaluation is one of my absolute favourite sessions at each meeting. There is a lot to learn from the manner in which evaluations are presented to the speaker. The suggestions / recommendations can be adopted by anyone who is hoping to deliver a speech in future. A true learning experience indeed.

My journey with Toastmasters officially started in August 2017 and it has been an amazing ride filled with new found knowledge, motivation and enriching experiences. I enjoy and value the camaraderie and look forward to exploring the path ahead.

Dear patient reader, I now pose the question to you, "Have I given you enough reasons to come witness us in action on a Saturday for 1.5 hours and perhaps join the Lambs to Lions Toastmasters club?”

Interested? FANTASTIC!

Got questions? AS YOU SHOULD!

I welcome you to connect with me on

Respectfully submitted,
Ayesha Bhikha
VP Education, Lambs to Lions Toastmasters
Club Number 1633651, Area 85, Division D, District 86

Brampton Gavel Club Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary


On Saturday, December 2 the Brampton Gavel Club (Club No. 2888888) celebrated its fifth anniversary as an affiliate of Toastmasters International. The celebration was attended by approximately fifty club members (Gaveliers), parents, and a few special guests. A fun time was had everyone in attendance!

The meeting was filled with many festivities. For example, Brampton City Councillor for Wards 2 & 6, Doug Whillans and several members of the Fletcher’s Meadow Community Group were on hand to send their sincere congratulations for this remarkable accomplishment. Malcolm Jones, the founder of the Brampton Gavel Club, helped give an oral history of the club’s early beginnings and tremendous growth. The Gaveliers were later treated to a wonderful keynote speech by Neil Dunsmore who spoke to them about his three sons and encouraged everyone to live a life worth talking about. Following a fantastic potluck, the several Gavelier’s shared their hidden talents, which included: card magic, drawing / painting, and music (playing the drums and recorder, as well as caroling).

The Brampton Gavel Club was established on Saturday, September 8, 2012 and officially became an affiliate of Toastmaster International on November 30, 2012. As previously noted, it was founded by Malcolm Jones with the support of Brampton Speakeasy Toastmasters Club. Since its humble beginnings, the Gavel Club has provided youth – ages ten to seventeen – a safe and supportive environment to enhance their communication and leadership skills through the use of Toastmasters education material. In fact, the only significant difference between a Toastmasters club and the Brampton Gavel Club is the age of its members.

Today, the Brampton Gavel Club has become an integral part of the Fletcher’s Meadow community in Brampton. Indeed, I had the honour of receiving the Fletcher’s Meadow Community Group’s 2017 Community Spirit Award for my four plus years of service as a Counsellor of the Gavel Club. It has been an absolute blessing to have the opportunity to help youth develop and enhance their communication and leadership skills. Some parents cannot believe the difference the Gavel Club has made within the lives of their children. These Gaveliers are truly amazing and could certainly give many adult Toastmasters a run for their money in speech contests if they were allowed to compete.

The Brampton Gavel Club – which meets every Saturday morning from 10:15am to 12:15pm at Fortinos Supermarket (35 Worthington Ave., Brampton) – currently has thirty-eight active members who are always eager to complete speeches, as well as learn from special guest speakers. That being said, if you have a story or lesson you want to share please feel free to reach out to me via email (see below). Even better, if you want to have a more significant impact on youth than just doing a speech, lesson, or YLP, consider starting your own Gavel Club. There is currently a dire need for a third Gavel Club in Brampton, which is evident by the fact that there are over SIXTY young people waiting to join the Brampton Gavel Club (yes, that is not a typo)! Youth deserve the gift of Toastmasters, too! If you would like more information about Gavel Clubs please feel free to read Muktha Tumkur’s, ACG, ALB, blog post “What on Earth is a Gavel Club?” or visit

Ryan Belluz, OCT, ACB, ALB
Brampton Gavel Club

A Canadian Christmas Miracle!

The Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club is already a leader since it is the first Chinese English Bilingual Toastmasters Club in Canada! Bilingual clubs are not new to Toastmasters. There are several other bilingual clubs in Canada and the US such as French and Spanish clubs. Tracy Zhang, ACG, ALB, is the innovative founding member of the Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club who had the foresight to see that there was a large demand for a Chinese English bilingual Club. The analytical and detail oriented Zhang works at SNC Lavalin Nuclear as a Senior Safety Analyst. Zhang noted, “It is a privilege to be able to express yourself and listen to others. This will make it much more effective to find the common ground and cooperate at work or at home. Seven years Toastmaster training has helped me tremendously in the area of communication and leadership. The new Miracle Chinese English Toastmaster club will help more people in the Chinese community have the opportunity to access the privilege.”
Zhang has been wonderfully supported with another club sponsor, Bin Ren,her club mentors, Xiaopin Jin and Tiffany Chen and her own mentor, Mark Hayes, DTM.
I had the benefit of being able to attend the first launch meeting for Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club a few weeks ago. I was so happy to have been there to see the amount of energy that the prospective members brought to the meeting. I was really pleased to see how these prospective new members were very eager to speak and delivered powerful speeches and Table Topics in both Chinese and English. Their eagerness to speak was as though there were years of pent up speeches inside all of these budding Toastmasters. I also noticed a lot of smiles and laughing throughout the night because everyone was having a good time in the supportive and comfortable environment. It made me think that there may be a lot of opportunities to form more bilingual clubs to meet demand. Bilingual clubs are another option for those people who have English as their second language or people who have English as first language to practice public speaking in the second language such as Chinese. If you too can foresee a need for a bilingual club we would be happy to share more information with you about the Miracle experience.
In the meantime, the Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club is almost at 20 members and the Miracle continues to grow. With the pending December holidays, we anticipate that the Club will charter in January, in time for the Chinese New Year, which begins February 16. This will mean that the Club will be born under the sign of the Rooster. The Chinese Zodiac notes that the Roosters “…are very observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented. Roosters are very confident in themselves." Sounds like the quintessential Toastmasters to me! If you would like to be a part of incredible Canadian Toastmasters history, please join us and contact George How Pak Hing, Vice President, Membership at for more information.
Muktha Tumkur, ACS, ALB

The Blue Mountains Toastmasters Open House Event

The Blue Mountains Toastmasters is hosting an Open House on November 7th in Thornbury. Come out and enjoy an evening of fun and learning.

When: November 7, 2017
Where: L.E. Shore Library Gallery, 173 Bruce St S, Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Featuring Dr. George McMaster

Growth vs Fixed Mindset:
How to create and support success in yourself and others

The Blue Mountains Toastmasters invites you to this inspirational presentation by Dr. George McMaster. Dr. McMaster will share his passion for a growth mindset and the impact it can have on personal success in all areas of our lives including relationships, education, business and athletics. Read more...

Progressive Toastmasters FALL OPEN HOUSE - TUE OCT 24TH!

This fall kicks off the countdown to Progressive Toastmaster's in Waterloo, Ontario (formerly known as Lincoln Road Toastmasters) celebration of our 5th ANNIVERSARY, which is happening June 2018!! We are planning a great year of events and invite our friends, supporters, new or past members, and fellow Toastmasters to join us along the way to celebrate!

We would LOVE to invite you to visit us at our fall open house next week!

When: Tuesday, October 24 at 7:30 pm
Where: 170 Erb Street West, Waterloo, ON, in the activities room of the Waterloo Heights Retirement Apartments
What: A fun evening of speakers, table topics and refreshments. We have a keynote speaker, Craig Dubecki, presenting a speech for us during the festivities.
As well, one of our NEWEST members will be presenting an ice breaker speech (and she has an AMAZING story to tell). We will have a fun evening and of course, will be having a chance to win the honour of the "best table topics presenter' at our open house (the designation doesn't come with a cash reward or an Oscar, but you will always have the pride in the accomplishment, we are sure!)

Please join us for a fun evening of sharing and learning and help us kick off our celebrations for our anniversary!

Check us out on Meetup!

Mount Forest Motivators 15th Anniversary Celebration

Come and Celebrate with us, the Mount Forest Motivators, 15th Anniversary 

Inviting all to share the good times and memories with ice cream sundaes!!

Date: Tues. Oct. 24
Address: 485 King St. E (Faith Baptist) Mount Forest N0G 2L2
Time: 7-9:30pm

Looking forward to seeing YOU.

Toastmasters International Values:  Integrity • Respect • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:   Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team

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