What a year!

It’s the 30th of June, already! I look back on the year and marvel at how quickly the time has flown. When I began the year as Division Governor for you wonderful members, I’ll confess there was a giant elephant in front of me. I didn’t have any specific goals really, other than to serve you as best I could in the way I thought I could actually achieve. I sat down in the holidays last July, scouted venues and booked everything well in advance. I sent out messages to our wonderful team and asked for people to contribute to the workshop opportunities I was creating. I had no idea what people would come back with, but those of you who attended will agree that we had some incredibly skilled presenters and stimulating workshops that taught us a great deal and were fun as well!

I learned to check the pub actually served lunch on a Sunday, that if you have to make the decision to cancel an event making the decision sooner is infinitely more desirable than later. I developed great relationships with people I didn’t know all that well before, which is a great privilege. Also a joy and privilege was the opportunity to visit every club in the division at least once and to share my experiences in the General Evaluator role. Clubs really benefit from an outsider’s point of view and I encourage you to actively seek out members from other clubs – invite them to your meetings and ask them for their impressions.

Let me outline some of the success we have enjoyed this year…

We had three new clubs charter this year. Over 50 of our members achieved their Competent Communicator award, over 20 members achieved an Advanced Communicator award and nearly 40 members achieved a Leadership award. I’d like to make special mention of three clubs who achieved 10 DCP goals – Woking Speakers, Maidenhead Speakers and Canterbury Communicators. Canterbury achieved a whopping 9 leadership awards and added 17 members this year, not bad for a club with 29 members. County Communicators also did well with Advanced Communicator (3) and Competent Leader (4) awards, particularly as they have 22 members. It’s not always the bigger clubs that achieve the most!

There is a great deal of quality across the division, and I saw it in the Club Officer Training organised by our wonderful team of Area Governors. They all went to great lengths to ensure the training delivered to our club officers was interactive, useful and of course fun. I also saw it in the quality of contests during the year, topped off by our very own Chris Boden being named District Champion and heading off to Kuala Lumpur to represent District 71 in its current form.

I would like to thank my Division team: Meg Heyworth in Area 55, Richard Murray in Area 37, Tim Rampton in Area 32, Christina MacGuire in Area 14 and Mark Emanuelson in Area 21. Without the input and support of this amazing team, Division H would not have been the first to achieve President’s Distinguished Division. Their support has been fundamental to our success and I am very fortunate to have them on my team.

Your incoming Division Team will serve you equally well, I am sure. Under the leadership of Bob Nisbet, DTM, I’ve no doubt the Division will continue to perform well. After all, there’s a precedent to uphold! I personally welcome the following members who will serve as your Area Governors in the 2014-15 year: Johanna Murray (37), Gordon Piggott (55), Wendy Benson (37), Tania Grant (14) and Tracy Miranda (21). You have an exciting year coming up, with the first District 91 Conference being held in bubbly Brighton in November. You have an awesome conference team and you have already demonstrated your willingness to work together (remember my request for funding the conference?). I’ve no doubt Brighton 2014 will be an incredible conference!

Which brings me to the new District 91. I am so grateful for the honour of serving you all once again, this time as Lt. Gov. Marketing. It’s a rare opportunity to shape and influence the growth of any district, let alone a brand new one. As I reflect on the amazing year Division H has had, surveying the crumbs on the plate of the elephant I have consumed, bite by tiny bite, I am very much aware of the even bigger elephant awaiting consumption in front of me! However, Division H members, you have prepared me well to serve in this role and contribute. I know that as long as I keep the well-being and best interests of our members at the forefront of my mind, our new district will be incredibly successful. How can we not be, with members like you!

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