The Strathmore Speakers’ club held its annual general meeting recently when retiring president Alex Rae reported that the club is in good heart.
It has 24 members, one of the few in the country with more than 20 members and two new members had joined this year.
Alex thanked everyone who helped the running of the club throughout the year and the members for their staunch support and involvement. He felt the sharing of a meal during the break between speeches and topic sessions was a winning formula and helped build confidence for speaking in public.
Muriel Smith, education director, gave members some interesting statistics; 37 speeches had been delivered and the average attendance at the 12 meetings had been 74 per cent. Social events, arranged by social secretary Eddie Petrie were all well attended and enjoyed by members and friends. The Tartan Day event held in the Angus Council debating chambers was organised by Jim Smith. Four excellent speakers, Bob Stewart, Andrew Buist, Rev Brian Dingwall and Douglas Wares delivered speeches on aspects of World War One to an audience impressed with the power and depth of feeling expressed by each one.
The new executive committee was elected: president - Muriel Smith, immediate past president - Alex Rae, education director and vice-president - Jim Smith, secretary and press officer - Helen Fleming; social secretary - Iain Orr; archivist - David Affleck.
After refreshments, eight members performed five-minute readings. Jim Gbb started with his title ‘Orange is the New Black’ – an exposition on Hallowe’en; Bob Stewart read an extract entitled ‘With the Troops in Palestine’ by Rev Millar of Forfar from 1917; Pamela Howat revisited her childhood with reading from ‘The children of Green Knowe’ by Lucy M Boston. David Affleck recalled his school days of Shakespeare with three readings from ‘Henry V’ and ‘Macbeth’. Ron Harrow gave two short poems by Robert Service, ‘Going Home’ and ‘My Job’, both based on World War One. Graham Carr chose ‘The Running Sky’ by Tim Dee which included ornithological eloquence. Jim Smith performed three of his own hilarious poems, ‘Hot Milk’, ‘Ladies in Heaven’ and ‘Her 2nd chance’. David Binnie read ‘MacBeth in a Nutshell’ by James Muirden giving the entire plot of the play in four minutes and 39 seconds.