The annual speech competition was the main feature of Strathmore Speakers’ Club’s recent meeting, where president Muriel Smith welcomed members and two visitors.
The Topics Session, chaired by Douglas Wares assisted by Alex Rae as timekeeper, was based on the theme of ‘Call My Bluff’. It invited six members to speak for three minutes at short notice about an obscure word, trying to convince the audience that they knew the real meaning.
The second half of the evening was the Annual Speech Contest, chaired by Eric Summers. He invited four members to each give a prepared speech of between six and eight minutes on a subject of their choice with penalty points deducted for being substantially over the stipulated time.
Hannah Williams was first with ‘Less About More’, a look at the age imbalance in the speakers’ club membership and ways in which it could be redressed. Bill Walker came next with ‘History Does Repeat Itself’, a look at some historical events in Scotland where history repeated itself with tragic effects. Third to the lectern was Andrew Brewster of Easter Denoon with ‘From Slave to Sultan’, an account of the eventful life of Baybars, the 13th century slave who rose to be the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt and Syria.
Fourth up was Andrew Thomson with ‘The Life and Works of a Serial Killer’, the history of tobacco which, by the callous manipulation of cigarette manufacturers has become the single biggest cause of death worldwide.
Chief judge Iain Orr congratulated all contestants and announced Bill Walker as the winner who will now go forward to represent the club at the North Tay Area Heats next February. Andrew Thomson was runner-up.