The City of Parksville has proclaimed February as Toastmasters Month. On hand for the proclamation ceremony Thursday

February is for Toastmasters in Parksville

Popular Soap Box event set for Feb. 3 at Parksville conference centre

More than death, public speaking has often been cited as the number one fear of humans.

The local Toastmasters club president says her group can provide life-changing experiences for people trying to overcome that fear. On Thursday, Mayor Chris Burger proclaimed February as Toastmasters Month in Parksville.

“One of the main reasons people join is to overcome a fear and what they find is a warm, safe environment to do that,” said Arbutus Toastmasters president Kristen Nickells. “It’s a really safe place to fail and people overcome their fears and they change their lives.”

Arbutus Toastmasters club welcomes everyone to its third annual soapbox forum, ‘So you think you can speak’ set for Feb. 3 at 6:45pm at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.

“Our soapbox event drew 60 people last year, so we’re encouraging soapbox speakers and guests to come early,” said the local club’s past president Kirk Walper.

Some facts about Toastmasters, both locally and worldwide:

•  Arbutus Toastmasters was founded in 1994 by Parksville’s David Gooden.

• This year is Toastmasters International 90th anniversary. The first club meeting was held in the basement of the YMCA in Santa Ana, California on October 21, 1924. From one club, the international organization, headquartered in California, has grown to 14,350 clubs with over a quarter-million members in 122 countries.

• Toastmasters is a non-profit educational society that teaches public speaking and leadership skills; members assist each other through Toastmasters self-paced learning projects and positive speakers’ tips.

• Toastmasters in British Columbia is one of the largest Toastmasters districts in the world. It has grown so much that in 2014 a new district will be added to make room for a growing membership in the province.

• Arbutus Toastmasters Club says it is a dynamic club, receiving numerous awards from Toastmasters International including President’s Distinguished Club.

• Since 1994, the Arbutus club says 200 local people have experienced life-changing effects of Toastmasters speaking and leadership programs including two civic politicians, Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek and Parksville city councillor Peter Morrison.

Just Posted

Assessments needed before Parksville beach cleanup could get green light

Permits, reviews would cost city an estimated $164,000

Joint effort helps extinguish shop fire in Coombs

Firefighters quickly contain blaze that spread to nearby trees

Parksville’s Kurz runs 160 kilometres in less than 24 hours

Former Ballenas athlete raises more than $8,000 for Terry Fox Foundation

Island farmers concerned with Agricultural Land Reserve changes

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting in Nanoose Bay

Parksville resort fire caused by flammable gas used to extract oil from cannabis

Investigators detail reasons for explosion and blaze that destroyed building

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Most Read