The Abaco Lighthouse Beamers Toastmasters Club welcomed all to their Installation Ceremony on Oct.5 at Abaco Beach Resort’s Below Decks. The evening began with a mix and mingle followed by an opening prayer by Rev. Dr. Silbert Mills of the Bahamas Christian Network (BCN).
Newly installed officers for the 2013-2014 year are: Charmaine Bonaby, president; Felicia Russell, vice president of Education; Glender Knowles, vice president of Membership; Syrena Hollingsworth, vice president of Public Relations; Vernita Elliott, secretary; Tamar Roberts, treasurer; and Glen Fernander, Sergeant at Arms.
Toastmasters Glen Fernander and Vernita Elliott extended a warm welcome to all guests before continuing on to their Table Topics segment. Participants included Paul Knowles, Rory Major, Tamar Roberts and Charlamae Fernander. Based on their responses, Fernander gave the wittiest comeback and won the prize. Two more winners emerged from the ticket raffle.
During his remarks, Jamaro Thompson, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and Immediate Past President, presented the Year in Review for 2012-2013. As president, Thompson said that it was his goal to make the Abaco Lighthouse Beamers a stronger club.
“I decided that I would do this with all my vigor, and I want to say that it was an exciting year,” Jamaro recalled. “The thing that was most important to me was our integrity – that we were the club we said that we are, [and] that the results matched what you saw.”
Even though many of the installed officers recently joined the organization, Thompson said they have already done exceptionally well. After being a Toastmaster for 16 years, Thompson said that it wasn’t until his second term as president that he learned a lot more lessons.
President Charmaine Bonaby presented an honorary segment to past presidents, namely: DTM Kalesa Simmons (2009-2010); TM Julieth Stuart-McCafferty (2010-2011); TM Kenisha Cornish (2011-2012); and DTM Jamaro Thompson (2013-2013). She acknowledged their various accomplishments to the organization under their presidency. Bonaby called on each past president and bestowed a Medallion of Honour upon them for their contributions.
Keynote speaker, Division I Governor DTM Curtis Bryan began his remarks by telling the audience members that there is some type of leadership ability in all of us. He shared how becoming a Toastmaster had positively impacted his life while encouraging his colleagues to encourage others to join.
“Be a mentor for somebody; this evening showed what mentorship can be,” he expressed. “If you know someone who can be better, be a mentor to them.”
Bryan also reminded them to think big, to have vision and to believe in themselves.
After new members had been inducted by TM Bonaby, Area Governor TM Jethro Dixon assisted with the installation of officers. Before presenting them with pins, Dixon listed the responsibilities of each position.
“This was a weekend well-invested,” Dixon said. “Outside of the church, where can you get structure so inexpensively for your lives?”
At the close of the ceremony, special thanks were expressed to Grace Baptist Church for the use of their equipment, the Conch Inn, Abaco Beach Resort and Edrena’s Crafts.