Toastmaster Spirit

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Toastmaster spirit is something we all should strive for at every meeting or event. It is uplifting, energizing and contagious. Spirit turns an ordinary Toastmasters meeting into something extraordinary.

The Trafalgar Toastmasters club, at the end of each meeting, recognizes one member for displaying exemplary spirit during the planning or delivery of a meeting. For many years we called it the Spark Plug award and it was, fittingly, an automotive spark plug mounted on a wooden base.

In 2004, at Trafalgar Toastmaster’s 25th Anniversary Charter Party the spirit award was renamed to recognize and honor a charter member of the club and has henceforth been called the Betty MacKay Spirit Award. The announcement at the anniversary party came as a complete surprise to Betty and she was overwhelmed by the honour and respect the members showed her at the celebration. To this day, club members strive to exemplify Betty’s spirt and earn the Betty MacKay Spirit Award, silver birds flying over a limestone base.

Betty was a Toastmaster’s Toastmaster. She excelled at Table Topics and Tall Tales. She also regaled the club with real tales that enchanted her audience. One of the most memorable was the story of her senior’s tap-dancing troupe, which included a demonstration of her exquisite footwork. She was a wonderful person to have in the Club. She filled our meetings her spark-of-life and infectious humour to cheer members at every meeting.

Prior to awarding the Betty MacKay Spirit Award at Trafalgar Toastmasters meetings the Chair gives a brief verbal honorarium to Betty’s memory and what she meant to the club. This greatly enhances the spiritual value of the award to our members.

Does your club have an award for members who demonstrate their Toastmasters spirit? If not, I would recommend it. There is no problem calling it a Spark Plug Award but if you have a member or past member of your club who exemplified Toastmaster spirt you might consider naming it after them. This keeps their spirit alive for other club members to follow. Isn’t that what spirit is all about?

25th Anniversary Charter Party Nov. 2004
Ian Ferguson, President, Betty MacKay and Peter Crabtree
The Betty MacKay Spirit Award

Created by Ian Horne DTM, Area D83 Director 2021-2022