By Ama Kalpani

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                Celebrating the eternal camaraderie…                           Photo credits: Hashan Rahubaddha and           Namal Anuradha

“The greatest things in the world are not achieved overnight by an individual; they are the efforts of many people throughout a long period of time.”

250 gatherings!

By all means, it was a long journey and indeed a reason to celebrate….

We, Gaveliers got together for the 250th time for an eminent meeting. It was truly an unprecedented and a remarkable gathering.  Marking another paramount landmark in the calendar of Gavel club, the 250th meeting commenced on 24th of June at the ENTC1 hall. The surrounding was decorated in such a way to symbolize the unity, love and the long journey we travelled for over 10 years. And also, many of the magical moments in Gavel were displayed in photographs along with wonderful decorations depicting the bond of nearly 10 years.

As this was a special moment, the meeting started with a wonderful video clip on the big screen highlighting the brotherhood of 250 meetings! And then the President, Vibhanu Arachchige, started the proceedings of the meeting by welcoming everyone, especially the distinguished chief guests of the day: the Club Counselor DTM Zameen M. Saleem, the Staff Advisor Dr. Indika Sigera and Mr. Upul Ekanayake, the president-elect of University of Moratuwa Toastmasters Club.

Then, the President handed over the control of the meeting to the Toastmaster of the day, who was a very special person. Now… you might wonder why I say that this person is special…. She is one of the leading personalities behind this special meeting, a project chairperson, Piyumi Bandaranayake. A successful round robin session was conducted by the Toastmaster under the topic “The first Gavel member who inspired you…” It was a lively session where all the Gaveliers shared their first moments in the Gavel club refreshing the memories of our dearest past Gaveliers as well.

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With our special guests and alumni members

After a graceful round robin session the Toastmaster introduced the Table Topics Master for the day, another special person, the other project chairperson Namal Anuradha. It was a marvelous blend of topics which helped to express love, unity, fun, brotherhood and all those crazy moments spent in Gavel. Many people turned their thoughts into words on how fear became passion for them!

As you and I know, Gaveliers always love to share their thoughts, ideas and experience with their own beloved seniors. Thus, it was the high time to hear the voices of our alumni members. Their sincere feelings made us realize that “Gavel is not all about speeches, or the trophies and the certificates we get but about the love, affection and the bond we develop with each other and the camaraderie which lasts a life time!”

Today, we as present Gaveliers are proudly celebrating this special milestone of 250 just because of the people who struggled a lot to initiate this club, to continue and to improve this club to where it is now. As Gaveliers who never forget their past, we took steps to celebrate the eternal camaraderie with those special people who rendered their maximum support for the Gavel club. Being a result of that, the 250th meeting turned rather towards a global meeting. And so,

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The first president speaks to us at the first global Gavel meeting

Charaka Senanayake, the first president of the club – from Australia

Tharindu Randeny, Sergeant At Arms 2008/09 – from USA

Dulini Yasara Madunkotuwa, a past president and the first speech Olympiad winner– from Japan

Hasala Dharmawardena, the secretary 2009/10 and the one who initiated the Gavel Blog– from Norway

and our beloved Channa Gunasekara, a past president who left the country a few weeks ago – from New Zealand,

joined us to share the glory of the 250th meeting amidst all their busy schedules. For some it was late at night and for some it was early in the morning but besides all that they joined to share a word with us which was indeed inspiring.  It was truly a great experience for us to have them in the big screen and to know as to how they spent their time with Gavel.

And there came the most awaited moment of the meeting, the re-launch of the Gavel website. The website was re-launched by the Club Counselor, DTM Zameen M. Saleem and Malith Jayaweera who was a key personality behind the revamping of the website delivered a brief account about the website. Thereafter along with an inviting musical session and refreshments the 250th Gavel meeting marked its end.

And that was how we passed the 250th milestone of our journey proving “Unity is strength and when there is collaboration, love and family bond wonderful things can be achieved!”

Role players for the day

Toastmaster: Piyumi Bandaranayake

Table Topics Master: Namal Anuradha

Timer: Rafhan Rifan

Grammarian: Rochelle Silva

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During the Table topics session
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Chathuranga, Nirmala, Timal, Praveen, Sudheera and Sachini conducting the musical session
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The alumni members lend their voices for the musical session
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