Wow, look who showed up at our Toastmasters meeting today!

Bill and Meghan
Our 7:15 am meeting today was indeed “spooktacular.” Most meetings are simply “spectacular.”
PJ, Meghan, Katie, Sandy and Bill


Breakfast anyone?

Congratulations to the winners of the area speech contest on Oct 6: Ann Dickie, Paula Howley and Cathie Roy. Best of luck at the next level.


Come to breakfast this Wed, Oct 17th.

Another Milestone

Patricia Hetherington ACG/ALB

Patricia Hetherington, a resident of Gibsons and a member of Morningstars, has just completed a major goal in Toastmasters. Read about it in this interview.

How long have you been in Toastmasters and why did you join?

One morning at 7:15 am I saw friends heading to their car – looking like they were happy and having fun. When I asked where they were going at that hour, they said Toastmasters! They also asked, Why don’t you come? I went to the meeting and felt like a duck in water within 5 minutes.  I joined immediately. That was 6 years ago.

You just reached a really important milestone. Tell us about that.

I have just completed my ACG – Advanced Communication Gold. It’s a hefty award to earn because in addition to completing 2 speech manuals, there was the requirement to present a Success Leadership Education Session and coach a member in her first 3 speeches.

As we progress through the communication and leadership levels, the mountain gets progressively steeper; it becomes more difficult to earn the awards. ACG has taken me 3 years to complete. During the 2011/2012 Toastmasters year, I was Area 76 Governor which kept my attention more focused on other [Vancouver] clubs, and making it difficult to work on my own goals.

What would you say to someone who was thinking of joining Toastmasters?

Would you like to surround yourself with smart, enthusiastic, supportive folk who are interested in seeing you learn & grow? If so, Toastmaster’s the place to go. It is truly a treasure if you love language, want to polish up your speaking skills as well as leadership skills, meet great people and raise the bar in your life! It’s also fabulous value for a minimal cost.

What’s the next milestone you want to achieve in Toastmasters?

In order to earn my ALS Advanced Leader Silver, I require a 6-month role of mentoring a newly chartered club. Clubs don’t charter all that often so I am keen to find one for the 2012/2013 year. Finishing this mentorship requirement, I will earn my DTM Distinguished Toastmaster [which I call the black belt.] This is a personal goal because I like to complete what I start. The journey to DTM will take me 7 years in total. Sounds like a long time, but it is a challenging process. Most members do not reach this one.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

People complain about our 7:15 am start time. Like a friend of mine, who walked the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain with me, says, “If we weren’t doing this, we’d be doing something else.” That just about says it. Besides, where else can you have this much fun & excitement this early in the am?

Competent Communicator Indeed!

That’s Joan on the right.

For Toastmasters the various Speech Series are guides designed to help toastmasters learn new presentation skills for communicating effectively in front of an audience.

Our club recently celebrated along with  Joan Higgs as she achieved an important milestone in the series. Joan answered the following questions to share her experience.

What’s your favourite thing about Toastmasters meetings?

I love that every meeting is always different, inspiring, and full of friendly laughter.

You recently reached a milestone. What was it and what did you have to achieve to reach your goal?

 I just delivered my 10th speech, which qualifies me as a “Competent Communicator”. That’s the first Toastmasters benchmark. I took a couple of years to do it. The toughest part for me isn’t presenting the speeches — it’s making the time to write and practice them well ahead of time. Practice really is the key, as with anything else.

What’s next for you in Toastmasters?

 In September I’ll begin working through the manuals I selected for my ACB (Advanced Communicator Bronze). I’m motivated less by the designations than by the opportunities they afford to progress and improve. I chose Persuasive Speaking and The Professional Speaker. Should prove interesting!


Joan Higgs lives in Roberts Creek but doesn’t mind driving to Gibsons for those early Morningstars meetings. A recent graduate of SFU (BA and MA in Social Anthropology), she embodies the credo of “lifelong learning”. Predating and postdating her academic interests, Joan is committed to personal transformation through meditation and self-inquiry.    

Happenings in June

At Morningstars Toastmasters Club Blog we share our successes, challenges and fun!

Welcome to our two newest members Sue and John who attended for the first time on June 6 as a result of seeing our listing on  the Community Calendar in the Coast Reporter.

We like celebrations so we have some congratulations to pass on….

  • First to Joan Higgs for completing her Competent Communication Manual. That’s ten speeches in all. Well done Joan.
  • Congratulations also to our newly elected executive for the year 2012. Five positions are being filled by members who joined in the past year. Way to step up!
  • And finally, congratulations to Sandy, our former VP of Membership who now takes on the role of Area Governor.

Some celebrations bring on mixed feelings. We are sad to see Julie go but we know she is looking forward to her move to Kelowna. And we’re sure that any Toastmasters group there will welcome her with open arms. We’ll miss you Julie.