Athlone Toastmasters celebrated its 25th anniversary in the Prince of Wales Hotel recently.
Toastmasters from around the country attended the event including distinguished guests, Mayor Alan Shaw; special guest speaker, Marie Pyne; and the Toastmaster governor for the UK and Ireland, Jim Hegarty.
The event was held to honour members past and present. Distinguished Toastmaster Helen Keenan, a member for all of its 25 years initiated proceedings with a description of the history of the club from 1987 to today. The club was initiated originally by a young Limerick man, David Mullins, who set it up the club as an alternative to the local social scene. Helen made particular reference to the late John Twomey from Limerick Toastmasters, one of the initial sponsoring clubs. John would religiously travel from Limerick every second Tuesday to help support this fledgling club. Pat Bolster and Hilda McHugh (of Limerick Toastmasters ) also made big contributions of their time and knowledge. Pat and Hilda were honoured guests at this celebration. The other sponsoring club, Ennis, was represented by current president John Moran and the special guest speaker Marie Pyne. Marie was also the guest speaker at the chartering night in 1987.
Athlone Toastmasters continues to meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from September to May. Its primary goals are to help members to develop public speaking and leadership skills through support, encouragement, and positive feedback from fellow members. The club has a strong mentoring culture where the mentors and those mentored learn from the process.
The president for 2011-2012, Tom Murray, closed the meeting by acknowledging the contributions of all of the guests present and wished Athlone Toastmasters the best for the next 25 years.