Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kuala Terengganu Annual Conference for District 51 (KT2014)

4 Days by Kuala Terengganu Beach

There we were by sandy beaches of Kuala Terengganu at the Primula Beach Hotel for the KT2014 Annual Conference for District 51.  This was the very first time the Conference has ever been held on the East Coast of Malaysia.  I must say I was impressed by the Conference particularly since there is only one Toastmasters Club in Kuala Teregganu to anchor and assist the organizing committee from the Klang Valley and that is Lekor TMC. Nevertheless they pulled it off.

Hot dry days by the beach is what I remember particularly on the one day I was able to walk along the beach and sip coconut water – from a glass and not from the shell, regrettably, but then it’s all about the experience right?  Plus, the actual coconut looked humongous and I didn’t think I could conquer it. The interesting thing was that was there was not one person in the water, no locals and no tourists, for the very good reason that swimming there is a remarkably dangerous exercise, as there are rip tides and sudden plunges in the seabed.  Anyway, once the Conference started there was no time to go on the beach, and to be honest, I didn’t set foot outside the confines of the hotel once it started. 

The opening night dinner took me aback.  It was an outdoor buffet dinner with hawker style stalls all around the dining area.  The food was excellent, one of the best opening night dinners that I recall, from almost 15 years of attending Conventions(the old term for what is now called a Conference).
On Saturday, the opening day was memorable, as the keynote speaker for the day was the current Toastmasters International President, George Yen, of Taiwan, and his wife Jorie Wu.  Interestingly, husband and wife are Toastmasters, with Jorie being one of the first District Governors for Taiwan.  She conducted one of the afternoon educational sessions, RISE With Toastmasters, while the other afternoon session was conducted by Mohamad Ariff – Finding Your Irresistible Voice.  Ariff’s session was memorable, as he was a superb showman, with a fabulous voice, and 3 simple take home points – Smile, Speak Slowly, Pause.  One thing that blew me, and a lot of others, away was his low and compelling voice.  As a matter of fact one of the MC’s for one of the subsequent events, actually took his advice, speaking slowly and in a deeper voice, than his usual voice, and I must say he sounded better.

The highlight of the Conference, the speech contest was memorable and of quite a high standard.  The International Speech Champion, Palaniappa earned his win with a compelling tale of how he made peace with his wife after years of conflict, while the Table Topics Champion, Cyril Jonas from KL, mixed humour and a useful message, with his take on the table topic – A promise is a debt unpaid.

All in all, it was a great trip, and I had a wonderful time.

Write up by G Sivalingam, DTM

KT2014 Annual Conference for District 51

D51 International Speech & Table Topics Contests - 4 May 2014, Kuala Trengganu
3 Official Timers L - R : Andrew Tan, AG P3.  Henry Fu, DUTC.  Lakhmichand MA, Bangsar TC

D51 Table Topics Contest Winners, 4 May 2014, Kuala Trengganu
L - R : Eric Low, Div W Governor - Contest Chair.  Kiang Faang Pyng - D51 Governor, Teh Tian Yen - 2nd Place
Cyril Jonas - Champion. Lim Pei Ying - 3rd Place.  Wendy Wong - LGET

D51 International Speech Contest Winners, 4 May 2014, Kuala Trengganu
L - R : Wong Mei Ying - 2nd Place.  Palainiappa Subramaniam - Champion. Robert Ram - 3rd Place

International President George Yen with wife Jorie Wu (both seated). G. Sivalingam & Henry Fu (far right)