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Latest from Portarlington Speakers

Portarlington Speakers

The meeting on February 3 was another great evening. Portarlington Speakers exerted themselves in the Mind Gym as they discussed good reading, found out that the best garlic comes from Spain and relaxed in the warm sunshine as they discussed holiday destinations. Ann Duncan excelled again as Topicmaster with a wide range of topics. Everyone had the opportunity to have their say and everyone did in a very friendly atmosphere.

Owen Sweeney dazzled the meeting with impersonation after impersonation showing the wide variety of accents and then went to explain their origin, their significance as indicators of social status, ability and place of origin.  We heard how actors have to change their accents and how politicians often change theirs to collect more votes. An interesting conclusion to the talk was that perhaps we should all have two accents: a posh RTE accent and our own local accent and use as appropriate. But whatever accent we use don’t worry – “Sure we will be grand”.

The meeting saw Dante’s Circle of Hell in the form of a swirling mountain of waste as Donal Deeny explained that overconsumption and using landfill would not work when the 2020 deadline ban on landfill comes in. Incineration was not a viable solution. There was a need to prevent, minimise, re-use and convert waste as much as possible. Donal then took us back from the edge of the  hellish wasteland and gave us hope in the examples of the Portlaoise company Cynar a world leader in converting waste plastics into diesel oil, gasoline and kerosene and another Irish company that converted waste into colourful plastic toys. Our waste suddenly could become valuable. Jon McCowen as Wordmaster gave the meeting a flamboyant challenge which was well met. Noreen Diver multitasked as time keeper, sergeant at arms and ah-counter. Mary White gave a very constructive summary of the night’s proceedings with useful recommendations. Dominic Oliver and Mark Bastow gave useful tips on presentation commenting on the strengths of the two excellent prepared speeches and made some suggestions for enhancement.

The meeting ended with a few words from the Club President Mark Bastow who pointed out that the next meeting which falls on Shrove Tuesday February 17 at 7.45pm at the Anvil Inn Portarlington would provide a friendly, entertaining escape from the slavery of the frying pan. Admission for the first two meetings is free and there is always a warm welcome. Look for us Facebook, MeetUp or on www.portarlington.toastmastersclubs.org/