By Samavath Mallawarachchi

“If you could go back to the past, what would you like to change in your life?”  This was the round robin topic given by Shehan Avindra, the philosophic toastmaster of 263rd Gavel Meeting. It was an interesting round robin session, as the Gaveliers put forward different views on this topic. Vibhanu said that although he has made many mistakes in his life, he would not change them even if he could go back to the past, because it was those mistakes which helped him to develop himself and become what he has become today. But the most astonishing speech was from Kasun who said that he would like to correct that one mistake he had made in his scholarship paper, without which he would have obtained a whopping 200 marks for the scholarship!

Then approached the table topics session, led by the enthusiastic table topics master Rochelle. As usual, the first table topics speaker was Mr. President himself, who spoke of his ideas to develop the nation. His suggestion was to change the educational system so that students can graduate at a younger age and contribute to the national economy. He was followed by Dinuka who spoke on ‘Life is a game, play it!’, and told that we have to try our best in everything to accomplish our dreams. Kaushalya, one of our most prestigious speakers, was the third speaker. He was brave enough to pick an impromptu topic from the table topics master, instead of speaking of topics mentioned in the board. Coincidentally, the topic he got was ‘Fortune favors the brave’, and he said that fortune favored in this instant also by giving him this topic, because he was brave enough to come forward and speak on an impromptu topic.

The fourth speaker for the day was Yasoda, who was dramatic as ever. Her topic was ‘I was not made for this’. She spoke of one of her life experiences, where she got very disappointed because she got only a minor role in a school drama even though she was a very good actor. But finally she was able to get the main character of the drama because she continued to attend the practice sessions every day. Samavath was the next speaker and spoke about ‘Moonlight is not moon’s light’. He said that although the moon does not have its own light, the moon helps many people by illuminating their way in the night. In the same way, even if we may not be wealthy or powerful it should not prevent us from helping other people and contributing to the development of the country. The newly joined Gaveliers Yasiru and Hasara gave inspiring stories of how they managed to get through ALs even though there had been many instances where they felt that they were not meant for doing AL maths.

One of the most interesting topics, ‘Why does round pizza come in a square box?, was brought forward by Piyumi and Sachini. They argued that even though people may assume that pizza is square because it comes in a square box, it is a wrong assumption, and judging people on first impressions is also wrong. Sachini gave an emotional example about an occasion where a girl whom she had once thought as unfriendly was the only person who helped her when she was having difficulties in studies. Another remarkable speech was given by Wimali, who delivered her first ever table topic after a long wait of nearly one year. She spoke about how she waited for one whole year and finally gathered the courage to come forward and speak, which was inspiring for all of us. One of the speakers who gave a remarkable speech was Rahu who started by singing a verse in the Royal College school song and went on to speak on how life is a game and each of us can play that game in different ways, using a comparison between Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene as an allegory. Then there was Chathuranga who spoke of his school rugby career, saying that we have to make correct decisions in our lives, even if they may be tough decisions to make.

Shehan Avindra, Praveen and Udara gave different opinions on how to develop this country. Shehan gave a philosophic speech which emphasized that if we want to change the country, we have to step forward and do it instead of waiting for others to do it, while Praveen said that this is the ideal moment to do our best to develop the nation. Udara, who was a new member of the club, gave a really humorous speech saying that he thinks that this country is developed enough and we should not compare it with other countries.

Overall it was a wonderful table topics session followed by rich and insightful evaluations by Kasun and Vibhanu. Then the control was returned to the toast master who called upon the reports of grammarian and general evaluator before handling the control to the president to adjourn the 263th Gavel meeting.

Role players

Toastmaster – Shehan Avindra

Table Topics Master – Rochelle Silva

Timer – Praveen Kumarasinghe

Ah counter – Wimali Galgamuwage

Grammarian – Yasoda Gamage

General Evaluator – Piyumi Bandaranayaka

Table topics evaluators – Vibhanu Arachchige, Kasun Kodithuwakku

Table Topics

  1. I was not made for this
  2. Are you a tea or a coffee person?
  3. Moon light is not moon’s light
  4. “Life is a game, play it”
  5. Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
  6. My favourite time of the year
  7. Be careful about what you wish for
  8. My ideas to develop the nation.

Special topics

  1. Your attitude determines your altitude
  2. Fortune favours the brave
  3. When in Rome, do as the Romans do
  4. A rolling stone gathers no moss
  5. Knowledge is power
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