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Before our meeting on 23 May, the club held its AGM for 2015-16, chaired by Dave Minzey. The 19 members present elected a new committee for the next Toastmaster year which runs from 1 July to 30 June.

Normally, the  club President can only hold office for one year at a time but as Tony Fasulo only took over from Emmanuel Bolade part way through the year, he was eligible to continue. Members duly voted Tony in as President for a ‘second term’.

The full list of officers for next year is:

President: Tony Fasulo

Vice President – Education: Steve Whiting

Treasurer: Jenny Chalmers

Vice President – Membership: Ian Haynes

Vice President – PR: Victor Taufa

Secretary / Vice President – Mentoring: Essie Rewane-Adejare

Sergeant at Arms: Esha Sokhi

Congratulations to first-time committee members Esha, Essie and Victor. The first date in the 2016-17 calendar is Club Officer Training on Saturday 9 July at Cranfield (10 am to noon). All members are welcome to attend this training session – you don’t have to be a club officer – particularly if you would like to learn more about what each role involves and meet members from other clubs in the area.


Yesterday’s post prompted an instant response from our Swiss correspondent, Brian Bollen. In September 2012, Brian completed the Jungfrau Marathon in the shadow of the Eiger. Well done No 2762! And if any other Eldergate members have completed a marathon – and have photographic  evidence – let me know and you will be added to the wall of honour!

Congratulations to our EasySpeak guru and all-round IT expert Gonza Avila on completing the 2016 London Marathon. Gonza got lucky in the ballot for places and, in true Toastmasters style, decided to ‘go for it!”

Gonza completed the 26.2 mile course in just a shade over 4 hours, a fantastic achievement. However, there were consequences, notably missing the club meeting next day – “I was expecting to be there but I did forget about the apocalyptic pain within your whole body after you run 26 miles!

Please note.


`if you are considering joining us at a meeting,we have a Meet up site.

You can see when and where meetings are held,and sign up to join in.

Date Club Venue Contact
Wed 9th Sept 6pm Cranfield Speakers Building 33, Chapel entrance, 1st floor, Learning & Development room, Cranfield Campus
Beds, MK 43 0AL
Thur 17th Sept 7:15pm North Bucks Speakers The Well Community Centre in Willen, East Milton Keynes (just off the H4) MK15 9AA
Mon 21st Sept 7:15pm Northampton Speakers Northampton Old Scouts RFC, The Clubhouse, Rushmere Road, NN1 5RY
Thur 24th Sept 7:15pm Bedford Speakers Fox and Hounds pub, Goldington Road, Bedford MK40 3EB
Mon 28th Sept 6:30pm Eldergate Toastmasters National Badminton Centre (just off the H4), Milton Keynes MK8 9LG
Sat 3rd Oct 12:30pm Area 44 Building 38
Cranfield Management Research Institute (CMRI)
Cranfield Campus
MK43 0AL
Sat 17th Oct Division G Hemingford Abbots Golf Complex, Cambridge Road, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 9HQ
Fri 13th to Sun 15th Nov District 71 Blackcat Conference Wyboston Lakes Executive Centre,
Bedford MK44 3AL

Have you ever wondered what goes on at a meeting?

North Bucks has a Showcase evening,where you can see how Toastmasters can improve your speaking and leadership skills .

Our club has recently produced 2 members whose speaking skills have led to their representing our Division at National Contests.

This evening ,we can show you how our meetings can give proven results in your personal development.

The programme is a fraction of the cost of many courses,with incredible results.

Come as our guest,free of charge,and see why Public speaking is fun.


Take a look at our Facebook page.




Agreed at the meeting on 24th June 2015 following a reshuffle due to the changed availability of the previous elected incoming officers.

Congratulations to my fellow Toastmasters:

Office Toastmaster District 71 Easyspeak
profile & contact
President Daniel Sandars
Vice President Education Maria Pawula
Vice President Membership Matt Lambert
Vice President Public Relations Minjie Cai
Treasurer Esther Marchant
Secretary Gustavo Imhof
Sergeant-at-Arms Vicky Lester

‘Bletchley – Home of the Codebreakers’ as the road signs say. On Tuesday 16 December, Bletchley was also the venue for Eldergate’s Christmas meal and Tall Tales competition, jointly hosted with our friends from the Grapevine Business Network. The event was held at The Brasserie @ MK College, right next to Bletchley Park, the home of the computer as well as the codebreakers.

At the most basic level, computing is all about binary codes – 1 or 0, positive or negative, true or false. Could our audience crack the code and work out which of our Tall Tales speakers were telling the truth and who was spinning a yarn?

Patience Clottey recounted her young son’s solo journey through the heart of West Africa following a missed flight which had dramatic consequences, including an encounter with a leopard! Jamie McGee recalled how his claustrophobia stemmed from a childhood fall down an old well in Stantonbury. Jonathan Worth recreated a ghostly experience on a merchant ship anchored at night off the coast of Portugal, while Ian Haynes reminisced about a birthday performance at MK Theatre as a part-time pantomime pirate in Peter Pan!


True or false? A split decision in every case as each speaker managed to pull the wool over the eyes of many in the audience. It emerged that Patience and Jonathan were telling it straight while Jamie and Ian were exercising their imagination. Jonathan picked up the prize for most entertaining speaker.


Tall Tales speakers – Ian, Patience, Jonathan and Jamie

Earlier, the Grapevine Christmas-themed quiz was won by the ‘Out of Focus‘ team comprising Ian and Linda Haynes, Patience Clottey and Mary-Ann Avotri. The team name? We all wished we had brought our reading glasses for the picture round – echoes of last year’s winners, ‘Bad Eyesight’!

The food at The Brasserie is prepared and served by catering and hospitality students from the College: we were able to watch them on screen preparing our food. Afterwards, in true Toastmaster style, we were given the opportunity to ‘evaluate’ our meals as one of the chefs emerged from the kitchen with a large notebook asking for our feedback. What did you think of the soup? Was the duck too dry? Did you have enough vegetables?

Most of the comments were very positive, including from our chef Ty Harvey (left) – a graduate of the college, last year’s Tall Tales winner … and this year’s Christmas jumper champ! – although, as you would expect from a group of Toastmasters, there were a few constructive suggestions for improvement!

Many thanks to Trisha Page for organising the event; Brian Greenwood of Grapevine for setting the quiz; and the staff and students at The Brasserie for a very enjoyable evening.

If you missed it last year, there’s another chance to see this documentary by the poet, presenter and professor Simon Armitage. First shown in October 2013, it was repeated on BBC4 recently which means it is currently available on the BBC I-Player until 10 December.

Armitage looks at some of the most famous speeches in recent history and identifies what makes them so memorable. For a review of the programme, and how his conclusions relate to the Toastmasters’ approach, scroll down the Eldergate Members Blog page to November 2013.


Apart from the MK Toastmasters website, there are two other sites that are increasingly important to the day-to-day running of the Eldergate club.



This is where club members can sign up for speaking slots and all other roles at meetings. Previously, you really needed to attend a meeting in order to book a speech or to take on a role but now you can do this online.

Handy too if you find yourself able to attend a meeting you were expecting to miss: you can see at a glance what roles you could still volunteer for.

As a bonus, the more that members use Easy-Speak, the easier it will be for the VP Education and the Toastmaster of the Evening to organise club meetings as they can use the system to automatically produce agendas and to record who did what at every meeting.

You will need to log in to use Easy-Speak – just contact Gonza Avila (VP  for IT!) if you don’t yet have a username and password or if you have forgotten them. Once logged in, you can change your password to something more memorable.

When you have logged in, click on either the Meetings tag in the Toolbar across the top of the page, or on the date of the next meeting (3rd box down on right hand side). You can then sign up for any roles that are still available for that meeting.



This is a great way of publicising the club to people in the area who may be thinking about how they could improve their public speaking skills. Anyone searching Meetup for public speaking groups in the MK area will find the MK Toastmasters page coming up in their results.

Meetup gives the times and dates of all the local TM club meetings. If you join the MK Toastmasters Meetup group (for free), you will be notified of all upcoming meetings in the area on a regular basis.

Other features of Meetup include being able to RSVP, so that we know you will be coming to a particular meeting. You can also comment on a meeting in advance, and add some feedback afterwards: it all helps to show potential guests that we are an active and lively group that is worth checking out.


Other sites

Facebook – we have a Facebook page: search for Eldergate Toastmasters Milton Keynes on Facebook.

Rebelmouse – you can see what all 5 clubs in Area 44 are up to on this new site, managed by Daniel Sandars (VP Public Relations, Cranfield Speakers). Go to

Toastmaster International – the TI site contains a lot of helpful information and advice. You will need to log in to access some of it (yes, another username and password required!) Go to

Toastmaster magazine – you can now read the TM monthly magazine on your tablet. Download the app from the Apple® App Store, Amazon Appstore or Google Play store by searching for “Toastmaster Magazine.” To download the app, you will need to “Sign In” in the upper left and input the username and password that you use on the Toastmasters International website.

You can also read back issues from 2012 to the present day on the TI website without needing to log in.