NSC - HISTORY

THE ORIGINS & TM CHARTERSHIP OF NEWRY SPEAKERS CLUB

Conception & Founding

This year 2016/2017 is officially the 10th Anniversary year of Newry Speakers Club. To pay the club the respect it deserves, I have chosen to write a short history. It would not have come into being but for Mary Gethins advertisement in 'The Newry Reporter' in  the Autumn of 2006. 

There appears to be some confusion as to when the club actually came into existence, with toastmasterclubs.org stating that the club was set up in February 2007 and a report entitled, 'Meeting of the DISTRICT 71 COUNCIL, Saturday 8th November 2008' stating that the first meeting of Newry Speakers Club took place at the the end of 2006. (see p17) [To see the document in full click on the picture of the document cover on the right.]

Marian Cully, one of the Club's Original Members, kindly agreed to meet me. She discussed the club's early years with me and provided some confirmation on the matter of the club's founding. It appears that after the advertisement there had been some preliminary meetings in the Canal Court Hotel, in Oct/Nov 2006.  

Marian remembers herself, Ann Magennis and others attending these meetings and stated that their aim was to check whether a Public Speaking Club would be viable in Newry. One of the main reasons given for its viability and indeed its conception had been that Newry stood half way between Belfast and Dublin, on Ireland's Eastern Corridor. It emerged that Newry Speakers Club's official launch actually occurred in Jan/Feb 2007. Newry Speakers Club then can thus claim its official birth as February 2007 with the ideas of its conception (Mary Gethins advertisement and preliminary meetings about forming a club) dating from autumn 2006.

5 Key Players

Marian remembers that from the Club's conception until its first few years in existence, that there was a group of 5 individuals who played an important role in the Club's business. They were Mary Gethins who had the idea for the club, Declan Wynne and Vincent Smith both from the Drogheda Toastmasters Club, and Diane Jones and David Logan from the Hillsborough Speakers Club. Within Toastmasters (an International speaking organisation that Newry Speakers Club was to become a member) there was credit given to members of other clubs that help new clubs come into existence and help develop them. 

MARY

GETHINS

DECLAN

WYNNE

VINCENT

SMITH

DIANE

JONES

DAVID

LOGAN

CHARLES

BARKER

This matches up with the findings in the Report, 'District 71 Council Meeting, Saturday 15th May 2010', p17 that the club received help from members of Hillsborough, Drogheda and Dundalk clubs. Charles Barker from Ballybay, co. Monaghan,  an award-winning Dundalk Toastmaster, occasionally acted as Toastmaster for us. We continued to receive the help of outside clubs for many years.

Initial Beginnings (FEB - JUN 07) 

One of the first things we had to do was to decide what type of club we wanted, whether that was to be a Community or Corporate Club. Newry Speakers designated itself as a community Club with membership open to all interested parties. There was various requirements that had to be met for all new clubs.

To ensure that these requirements were met with the Club needed to create an executive committee. The Committee set up followed the typical Toastmasters Committee Model with a President, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President of Education, VP of Membership, VP of Public Relations and Sergeant-at-arms roles being set up. Marian recalls that the club had an ad hoc executive committee at this stage, composed of the 5 key players mentioned previously. Locals from the Newry and Mourne area were shadowed/trained by this executive who also happened to be dual members of other clubs. For the composition of the first executive for those first few months check out the chart below.

 Pre-Charter

Committee Feb-Jun 07

TREASURER

(01/02/07 - 30/06/07)

VINCENT

SMITH

VP OF PR

(01/02/07 - 30/06/07)

VINCENT

SMITH

PRESIDENT

(01/02/07 - 30/06/07)

MARY

GETHINS

SECRETARY

(01/02/07 - 30/06/07)

MARY

GETHINS

VP OF MEMB

(01/02/07 - 30/06/07)

DIANE

JONES

VP OF EDU

(01/02/07 - 30/06/07)

DECLAN

WYNNE

SERGEANT

AT ARMS

(01/02/07 - 30/06/07)

DAVID

LOGAN

Year 2007/08 

Marian advised me that from around July 2007 local members began to take a more prominent role on the club's committee. Presumably some of the more regular attending and dutiful members would have been chosen as ideal for gradually handing over the reigns of the club's future. Marian said that she took over the role of Club President, with Siave Kiernan taking on the role of Secretary, and Marie McCoville as VP of Education. From Marian and Siave's recollections it appears that some of original founding members remained on the executive committee. These included Vincent Smith as Treasurer, Declan Wynne as VP of Public Relations and David Logan as Seargeant at Arms. Presumably this was to help the more local members of the club with the Chartering process (so as to become a properly officiated Club of Toastmasters International.

Year 2008/09 

From speaking with Marian and Siave I was able to find out both of them kept there roles from the previous year. As did Vincent Smith and Marie McConville, however with it being some time ago, and with no records available I am unfortunately unable to to record who took up the other roles.

Committee 2008/09

TREASURER

(01/07/08 - 17/08/09)

VINCENT

SMITH

VP OF PR

(01/07/08 - 17/08/09)

?

?

PRESIDENT

(01/07/08 - 17/08/09)

MARIAN T

CULLY

SECRETARY

(01/07/08 - 17/08/09)

SIAVE

KIERNAN

VP OF MEMB

(01/07/08 - 17/08/09)

?

?

VP OF EDU

(01/07/08 - 17/08/09)

MARIE

MCCONVILLE

SERGEANT

AT ARMS

(01/07/08 - 17/08/09)

?

?

 Pre-Charter

Charter Year 2009/10 

By meeting the requirements set, Newry Speakers Club was able to become a Chartered Club of Toastmasters International. The Club was officially Chartered on Tuesday 18th August 2009. Once chartered each executive officer would have received certificates of Chartership, the club would receive many Toastmasters materials including a gavel and banner.  To reward all the hard work and celebrate this achievement our Club had a gala night on Saturday 17th April 2010, at the Whistledown Hotel (Warrenpoint).  It was a formal black tie and evening gown affair. A Special Gavel with engraving was made to commemorate the event.

Committee 2009/10

TREASURER

(18/08/09 - 30/06/10)

JOHN

MCCONVILLE

VP OF EDU

(21/10/09 - 30/06/10)

KATHLEEN E

KEENAN

PRESIDENT

(18/08/09) - 30/06/10)

MARIAN T

CULLY

SECRETARY

(18/08/09) - 30/06/10)

SIAVE

KIERNAN

VP OF PR

(18/08/09) - 30/06/10)

MICHAEL K NEEDHAM

VP OF EDU

(18/08/09 - 20/10/09)

ANNA

SHORT

VP OF MEMB

(18/08/09) - 30/06/10)

MAJELLA B NUGENT

SERGEANT

AT ARMS

(18/08/09) - 30/06/10)

TONY

MACKRELL

Education Awards

In 2010 we received some free promotion from local radio station iur fm. (How did this come about?) Presumably this would have been organised by Michael Kirk Needham the VP of PR for 2009/10

1. Marian Cully, discussed the early years of the club with myself (Seamus Laverty VP of  PR 2016/17) at Costa Coffee in the Buttercrane shopping Centre on Friday 5th Aug 2016. 

2. 'Meeting of the District 71 Council, Saturday 8th Nov 2008' p17 - to see Click Here.

3. 'District 71 Council Meeting, Saturday 15th May 2010', p17 - to see Click Here.

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Committee 2007/08

TREASURER

(01/07/07 - 30/06/08)

VINCENT

SMITH

VP OF PR

(01/07/07 - 30/06/08)

DECLAN

WYNNE

PRESIDENT

(01/07/07 - 30/06/08)

MARIAN T

CULLY

SECRETARY

(01/07/07 - 30/06/08)

SIAVE

KIERNAN

VP OF MEMB

(01/07/07 - 30/06/08)

?

?

VP OF EDU

(01/07/07 - 30/06/08)

MARIE

MCCONVILLE

SERGEANT

AT ARMS

(01/07/07 - 30/06/08)

DAVID

LOGAN

 Pre-Charter

NEWRY TOASTMASTERS SPEAKERS CLUB

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