President Opening Speech
308th Regular Meeting
11.12.13 How special this date is to you? To me, This date is more than special because 57 years ago, on this date, the number one person on my list was born. She is my mother.
Fellow Toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen,
That reminds me of the two mothers I met last weekend. I was in Kuantan, participating in an infamous flood relief team. As we were arranging pampers, cloths, blankets and some other things to be distributed to the flood victims, a young mother approached me. She asked for pampers of size M and S and some blankets. The thing was we didn’t distribute the goods randomly. We make sure the small amounts of blankets only goes to babies and kids. This mother was almost begging us for three blankets when we wanted to give only one. She said, “Please. I have five children. All kids.”
The other mother, I met her when we went from room to room to distribute donated goods. One of her kids was wearing only long pants. She told us they only have one pair of clothes for him and she just washed the shirt, so her child wolud have to sleep shirtless that night. What I mean to say is it is so amazing what parents can do for their children and how they put their children’s needs before themselves.
On the other hand, I also got to meet people with big hearts and strong will. One of my friends there took some orphans into her house when the orphanage was swept by the flood. Later when her house was also flooded, she took them together to the shelter centre. She also helped us in distributing the donated items from centre to centre. Another flood victim I got to speak to volunteered to cook for the officers and volunteers on duty. To me, it was irony that the person we’re helping was helping us too.
Fellow Toastmasters and friends,
In the face of adversities, we can be among two groups of people: The group of people who break down and weep, or the group of people who are larger than their problems and inspire people around them. The choice is ours.
With that note, I’d like to invite our Toastmaster of the Evening, a sweet, charming, gentle and the most important of all her characteristics, dedicated, lady. Let’s help me welcome her to take control of the meeting, TM Mazlah Awang.