I read with interest your report in the Jan. 14 edition of The NEWS noting that the local Toastmasters Club was founded in 1994.
Being one of the sponsoring teachers of a public speaking program in Qualicum Beach Middle School, our aims and objectives matched closely those of the Toastmasters.
In company with Julie Pearce and Garry Nichols, we carried forward the ideals of Mary Hawkes who was awarded a trophy in 1978. Hawkes was a long-time resident of Coombs who could be found walking the hall of French Creek Elementary, listening to students talk.
The contest for students in Grade 6-8 was held every year as a major English project. Our program eventually assisted such figures as Miss Parksville and presenters at the University of Victoria.
When Garry Nichols died, Julie and I carried on until she moved to Vancouver.
As far as I know, this worthwhile activity continues.