Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Miri Convention - by Hadzrin Shah

You may have missed the recent Miri annual convention, but that doesn’t mean that you were not fed the whole experience through the many updates from District 51 website, or even tweets from some of the attendees.

So yes, the event was a success as it marks the very last conference that Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei toastmasters got reunited as District 51. Do enjoy the write up from our very capable TM Hadzrin Shah of his recollection what Miri convention is all about (besides the many girls’ contact that he had!)


At this point of writing, I am trying hard to recall all that happened in Miri from my vague memory. I remember what happened since my anxious wait at the LCCT airport before departing to Miri on Thursday. At the waiting hall I met LGM-to-be DTM Ramdas, LGET-to-be DTM Sue Chan and the Penang gang! Not to forget, and surely I did not, my dear friends Hakim, Suhana and my UEM Academy Toastmasters Club President Ridzuan. It was a whole happy Toastmasters family eager to board to trip to the convention.
The Miri Annual Convention 2010 from 21-23 May 2010 in, of course, Miri, Sarawak, was the last District 51 convention to include Peninsula Malaysia, East Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. On Friday prior to the district officers’ election, the lobby was filled by campaign flyers and banners by the candidates vying for the top posts in District 51 and the new District 87.

There’s nothing much I have to tell about the elections that pursued, except for one havoc moment which to me actually defined the highlight of the event. Division W proposed to split into Division W and Division G. Suddenly out of nowhere from the calmness of the ballroom, came up a suggestion… to rename Division G to Division X! The arguments that ensued create quite a scene that the decision making had to go down to the ballot paper. In the end, Division G was to remain. But it was the day the members opened their eyes to Division X as the future in the making.

Later that night, I remember we were entertained by a musical from Kota Kinabalu Toastmasters Club who were celebrating their 20 years anniversary. It was sweet, and taking pictures with the girls who performed was sweeter.

On Saturday, nothing much happened apart from educational sessions and run-offs. Our favourite uncle from Hilton PJ Toastmasters Club, ATMB Stephen Fernando was at his usual best. Nonetheless we could already see new talents who have earned their right to give Stephen a run for his money.

Then came the grand Gala Dinner. All the delegates were dressed to kill. The ladies were stunning in their black and white dresses and evening gowns, the gentlemen were elegant in their suits and I was so super awesome, tuxedo-clad. The night was fantastic, and again, the pictures I took afterwards with all the girls were marvellous.

The next day, it came down to the grand finale, the final of the contests. The Table Topics contestants set the stage alight with their mind-blowing diverse ideas in tackling the topic. But the International Speech contest was the bomb. I don’t need to add more, you know the ending yourself and I was so happy and super elated that Stephen Fernando won! Uncle, you’ve earned your chance to have a crack at the World Championship again.

It was only after the whole convention has ended and after I boarded the flight back to KL that I realised, the whole weekend was totally super tiring. Nevertheless I went back a happy man, knowing that I have enjoyed so much in a memorable last-one-together-before-we-go-apart convention. District 51 and District 87 will open a new chapter in their fresh books, but all the recollections and memories, together with the girls’ contacts in my phone – plus one on my palm – will forever remain to stay.

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