By Niluxsi Puvanenthiran


“At that moment, we were blessed to have wings like angels and reached the gate of heaven accompanied by Batman”

The 279th Gavel meeting kicked off with a storytelling Table Topic session by Dinuka starting with ‘I was walking along a rail-track at Ohiya, Sri Lanka…’ It was a very thrilling session marked with awful exaggerations and awesome realities in equal measure.  Then the Gaveliers were treated to Kithmin’s birthday cake right after singing the birthday song.

Photo credits: Niluxsi Puvanenthiran

Then a wonderful Table Topic session started. Kanchana took us on a dramatic voyage while reminding us to knock harder to make doors open.

“What do you see when you see this paper?” Pragatheeswaran held up a white sheet with a black cross and asked us. Though most of us replied that we saw a black cross, he went on to say that we should notice the white space too. It was a great analogy about seeing the best in others.

Both Naveen and Praveen spoke about how hard times reveal great friends who make our lives cheerful. Following that a sportive speech was given by our latest ”Gavelier of year”, Rochelle Silva, as she is blessed to have friends who cared about her in hard times and even those who did not, because they made her stronger. Those words were really unique and showed how generous she is.

The facts revealed by Dinuka about various phases of gossip and rumours seemed very objective and defined the topic from another angle. We were privileged to hear a very inspirational speech by our President, Merl Chandana, on asking for help when “coming out of darkness”.

“If you ask me who I want to be, I want to be myself” Asitha emphasized about grabbing every moment and relishing it. “One fine day, I might look back and realize that giving a Table Topics speech without a care in the world is a moment I can’t get back”, he concluded.

“What if Leonardo de Caprio won an Oscar at his first nomination? Would we have experienced the same stunning performances afterwards?” Malaka left a strong message with the audience.

It was very pleasant to see a considerable amount of members in the meeting and many of them rushed to speak energetically. Almost all the topics were covered by the members.

Then it was followed by a prepared speech by Bathiya Wickramage. “Just see what we have done. We have cut 50% of trees. But the Red Indians who were noted as uncivilized according to our standards considered beyond seven generations when dealing with nature”.  The way he emphasized the impact that mankind did to nature was really captivating. “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” It was a well-shaped and informative speech.

A very broad and descriptive general evaluation was given by Piyumi. The way she pointed every minute thing as mentioned in the Competent Leadership manual was admirable. Thus, the 279th Gavel meeting was adjourned on an enthusiastic note.

Role players of the day

Toastmaster: Dinuka Salwathura

Table Topics Master: Lihini Dinushika

Timer: Chinthana Wimalasuriya

Ah Counter: Kasun Ranasinghe

Grammarian: Chathuranga Amunugama

General Evaluator: Piyumi Bandaranayake

Table Topic Evaluators: Rochelle Silva and Chamanthi Jayaweera

Prepared Speech Evaluator: Merl Chandana

Table Topics

  1. Coming out of darkness
  2. Manners matter
  3. Hard times reveal true friends
  4. Rumours and gossip
  5. The more we communicate the less we really say
  6. You don’t always have to be the winner to celebrate
  7. If you could change the places with anyone
  8. Any door will open if you knock hard enough 

Word of the day: Mesmerize


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