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I’m delighted to inform you (if you haven’t heard already!) that Area 30 has achieved President’s Distinguished Area.   

This requires:

Distinguished clubs equal to at least 50 percent of the area’s club base plus one more Distinguished club and a net club growth of one.

In fact we presently have four Distinguished clubs, at different levels but with every chance of three becoming President’s Distinguished by 30 June.  Congratulations to State Street for achieving this, the highest club target, already.

This news is particularly pleasing for me as Area Director, as I can bask in the reflected glory of the success without having done any of the work!!

It has been a very rewarding year so far, with the opportunity to get to know many of you outside my own club, Capital Communicators, and to be able to witness at first hand the commitment and hard work that has led to the chartering of Livingston Speakers, the strong recovery in numbers at Linlithgow (enabling them to attain Distinguished status) and the continuing success of the other clubs.

When I joined TI, there was only one club in Scotland!!  Now we are heading towards 20 with two new Advanced Clubs planned.

None of this would have been possible without the dedication and commitment of our Division Director, Eoin McDunphy.  I’ve not given him an easy time on occasions, as I think there is too much bureaucracy, and too many boxes to fill and not enough true leadership.  But he has shown exceptional leadership himself in a demanding role, with growth and club successes throughout Scotland which must be the envy of most of the rest of the international organisation,

Sometimes an organisation can have a particularly good year, leaving successors with an impossible task for the future.  I do not believe that to be the case here.  The Area is in good health, but it is still growing and its clubs are continuing to work towards their goals of helping members change their lives for the better.

I can see no reason why our two new Area Directors, Lorna Bruce and Jacek Lasota, cannot oversee another very successful and rewarding year in 2016/17.

We’re not quite at year-end yet, so this may not be my final Will and Testament, but we can all enjoy June knowing that we are part of a President’s Distinguished Area.  Sounds good, huh?!

Thank you all for making my job easy and for your hard work and achievements throughout this Toastmaster year.

Edwyn Newman

Area Director, Area 30 (Division S)