Happy New Year from First Oakville Toastmasters! It’s great to be starting a brand-new year, especially after the difficulties of 2020. Our club’s first meeting of the year (this Thursday) has the theme “A New Hope,” and I couldn’t have picked a better topic to begin 2021. And that isn’t just because it ties into my favourite film franchise.
This year more than ever, people have been looking for new reasons to hope. Everyone I’ve talked to since Christmas has been extremely eager to turn the page on 2020 and leave behind its many problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, we haven’t left the pandemic behind yet, which is clear from the fact that First Oakville Toastmasters’ meetings are still happening on Zoom, but we are staying hopeful for what the year will bring. One of the things that keeps me hopeful and positive for this year is the fact that the members of this club have been here for one another even when we aren’t able to gather in person.
We’ve adapted our meetings successfully to fit an online format for the first time in more than 60 years; our members have found new and creative ways of delivering speeches, and most importantly, we’ve supported each other and combined our strengths through difficult times. It’s this ability to adapt yet stay connected that is going to get us through to better times and opportunities this year.
That’s why I look forward to moving through 2021 with First Oakville Toastmasters: because I have the chance to learn, grow and stay connected to a supportive community, and to help others as they learn and grow; even if we have to be physically apart for a while to do it. I hope you will join me and the rest of First Oakville as we raise a toast to new hopes in the new year!