Report of the Meeting Held on 13 February 2014, By Doug Weale

The Poetry & Prose night on 13th February was chaired by Ron Sheldrake who on opening the meeting gave a summary of impressive accomplishments by our Club members attending the recent Kent Area A.G.M. The most prestigious of awards-the President`s Cup-was presented to Trevor Kenning, in recognition of having made the most outstanding personal contribution to the Kent Area membership, in exemplifying the objectives of the Association of Speakers Clubs; who then, in the competitions which followed added to this accomplishment by winning the Evaluation Competition, and the award of second place in the Speech Competition. He will represent Thanet S.C.  at S.E. District level.

Our Club President, Bernie Morgan, then added  further lustre to the status of our club, being elected as Kent Area President Elect: furthermore, Ron Sheldrake gave a distinguished performance in the Impromptu Speaking competition. The applause, in recognition of these accomplishments, then gave way to the essence of the club meeting: reading aloud poetry and extracts of prose by chosen authors;  an important exercise in the art of speaking, practised by clubs affiliated to the Association of Speakers Clubs, offering an opportunity to improve speaking in public.

The chosen readings reflected a variety of personal interests in authors and their works. Our Education Director began with a vivid understanding of Laurence Binyon, John Beale, then with his national hero Cowper Powys, and then in contrast- a firm favourite for vocal expression-John Betjeman. Garry Costain introduced the appropriate subject on the eve of Valentine`s day, with apt feeling. Deborah Percy, most recently joined, showed how readily she has adapted to the principles which are encouraged among us, gave, with obvious enjoyment, an extract from the entertaining author, Douglas Adams.

Trevor Kenning, in his skilful evaluation, drew attention to the vital aspects of reading aloud to an audience; breathing, pausing, keeping eye-contact with the listener, sincerity and emotive interpretation.

Impromptu speaking, which occupies the second half of all meetings was chaired by John Beale, earning due acclaim for his very first attempt, choosing a most topical theme, allowing an interpretation by each member in turn of some view of the weather !  Deborah Percy in response to a “sunny breezy day ” was awarded by popular acclaim to have deserved the Topics Trophy for best of all speeches on her given topic.

A most perceptive evaluation, by Garry Costain, drew attention to the criteria displayed, all learned and in constant practise at club meetings by members. A general evaluation by Ben Harris concluded the agenda, drawing attention to the educational value and overall enjoyment afforded by the aims and principles pursued at our meetings. Visitors are always welcome to attend. For details please contact Doug Weale 01843  592221 or d.weale2012@btinternet.com or visit www.thanetspeakers.org.uk