297th Meeting

By Judith Shenali Welikala

The value of something is felt only when it happens once in a blue moon! Agreeing to the above fact, the 297th Gavel meeting started sharp at 5 p.m. at the PG seminar room at ENTC, making it a rare occasion where all the Gaveliers were present on time.

President Merl Chandana, with his usual wide charming smile called the meeting to order. Followed by the national anthem, he introduced the Toastmaster for the day. Our Toastmaster for the day, Chamode had been a very quiet and innocent young gentleman when he first entered university a couple of months back, but  he had  since discovered a fearless and enthusiastic version of himself. After kick starting his role he said that he was thrilled to see the Gavel club in a different perspective by sitting at the front for a change.

Then it was time for the most awaited moment of the meeting, the stupendous “Round Robin Session”. “If I was reborn as an animal what would I be?” was the topic to speak. We found ourselves in the middle of a zoo when the Gaveliers started saying what animal they wanted to become. They said that they wanted to become a cheetah, an eagle, a lazy cat, a fearsome dog and even a salmon. Two of the Gaveliers said that they still wanted to be humans. When thinking about that, I think it’s quite logical because humans are also animals.

At the end of that hilarious Round Robin session it was the time to commence the Table Topics session. The Table Topics Master for the day was none other than our creative Warunie.

The first speaker was someone who had ingrained himself with the good habit of being the first speaker in several meetings. “Am I killing the Kanchana inside me?” he asked a question from himself at the very beginning and carried on with the story on how he wanted to be stupendous like Roger Federer and how he finally understood that posing as someone else isn’t worth it at all. He ended his voluble speech by giving out the message “Be whatever you want in life”.

Next came the Toastmaster himself, and he talked about growing up with siblings. He said that regardless of having the imaginary joy of being the only child, growing up while sharing materialistic things, sharing joy and love with your loved ones is worthwhile.

“I found a Dragon egg when I was small” started Kasun in a dramatic way as usual. He stated all the things that he could do with his newly found dragon egg. Then came the twist of the speech. He said that the wild imagination he had when he was small, faded away when he matured in age. He clearly emphasized the fact that fueling the imagination is a necessary thing because it can change a person’s life and will eventually add meaning to it.

Next came the President, commencing his speech with a smile and a story. His story on how little Merl played the role in a Jathaka story (Buddhist folk lore) and how he forgot his dialogue. It was a humorous story. The way he brought it out made us all travel back in time and remember those awkward moments we all had while doing stage plays. “No matter how talented you are, doing your homework is essential” was the gist of his speech. Finally giving a little snippet  of advice he asked us to never act in Jathaka stories!

Praga took the stage and asked  whether any of us had been lost before! Yes, we all had. Then he told about his trip to Hatton where he travelled without a travel guide and got lost. To our horror, he said that it is okay to get ourselves lost, and then creatively twisted the point by saying that it’s okay to get lost because you always have yourself to travel with you and to guide you.

Next, Yasumi, a girl with a very soft voice spoke on the importance to find time for your loved ones. We all felt bad hearing the fact that she misses her family a lot these days.

Then came Malith starting off his speech, saying that the Table Topics were hard but ended up doing a superb speech. His trip to Adams peak and his travel guide was the base for his speech.

Next it was me who delivered the speech. The value of breaking rules and making new ones was the gist of it.. But in order to do that, it’s necessary for everyone to think of themselves as queens and kings because they are the ones that make rules, but not ordinary people.

Then our own talkative Ushani came into action depicting the importance of being versatile regardless of the environment that makes your life hard.

“Are you going to play football with a dragon egg or are you going to wait until it’s hatched so that you can use the baby dragon as a flame thrower?” Timal asked the audience making us wonder about what we will actually do. He said that instead of using a dragon, he prefers to use some equipment as a flamethrower.  He further went on saying that even though the dragon would bring you fame, it is wise to use something reliable and safe.

“Rosa and his trip to Matale”, was the most humorous speech of the day! It was all about how Rosa and his friends travelled without  GPS. They had followed their hearts and ended up in the middle of nowhere. The climax occurred when he told that they found out that they had no 3G coverage when they finally decided to use GPS. Sadly he said “There are times you should follow your heart but you should be aware that there are also times where it is essential to use  GPS too”.

Then Kalpani did her first speech. She said that the golden ages of her life were the days she spent with her crazy cousins.

Finally Harshani made the final speech of the  Table Topics session by saying that “Everyone has twenty four hours a day, but it differs only in the way we give priority to our work”. That marked the end of another stupendous Table Topics session.

After hearing the reports of the Timer, the Ah Counter and the Evaluator, it was time for one of the most awaited sessions of the day. The Table Topics Master gave the control back to the Toastmaster. Then the Toastmaster introduced the Prepared Speech Evaluator for the day, President Merl Chandana.

Next this special meeting became more special with Kanchana’s CC2 speech. The CC2 is all about structuring your speech and it’s exactly what Kanchana did.

He started off his speech with a jaw dropping start by telling a prophecy made by an old man about the youth in the next generation who will keep on staring at a rectangular box all day long. “This rectangular box is our smart phone”, said Kanchana, bringing forth the impact of social media and how the modern youth has become its victims. He elaborated the point by one of his personal experiences where he had been left alone at home while all his family members went on a foreign tour. But he said that he felt that he was flying next to them thanks to social media. He specifically pointed out the fact that it is okay to adapt to all these new trends but we should never forget to make our own strand in the society’s web. It was a stupendous performance by this young Gavelier and I whole heartedly congratulate him for his future.

Next the Evaluator gave his report which was followed by the Grammarian’s report. It was a great day for the Grammarian as well. All the Gaveliers used good language along with the word of the day “stupendous”. It was used fifteen times during the meeting.

Then the General Evaluator gave his report and the control was given back to the President who adjourned the meeting.

Alas! Adding some amazing memories to our Gavel journal, the stupendous 297th Gavel meeting came to an end with hopes and plans to meet next week.

Role players for the day.

Toastmaster –Chamode Wijayasekera

Table Topics Master – Warunie Adikaram

Timer – Kalpani Perera

Ah counter – Harshani Edirisinghe

Grammarian – Kasun Ranasinghe

TT evaluators –Malith Jayaweera and Merl Chandana

General Evaluator- Kasun Rosa

Word of the day

“Stupendous”: Extremely impressive.

Table Topics

  1. Growing up with siblings.
  2. My travel guide.
  3. Work! Work! Work!
  4. If I had a dragon egg.
  5. Stay hungry, feast on success!
  6. Posing vs. Randoms.
  7. I look into the mirror, there stands my competition.
  8. It’s not about having time, it’s about making time.
  9. I’m versatile!
  10. Chin up, Straighten your crown, you’re a queen.