I recently participated in a memorial service for a fellow Toastmaster.
Remembering Dick Churchill
The gentleman who passed on November 18, 2016, is Richard (Dick) Churchill. He was a member of Toastmasters for close to 50 years.* He even met the founder of Toastmasters, Ralph Smedley. Dick died from complications related to an infection exacerbated by diabetes.
This man was a constant figure in our Toastmasters District. Dick was always supporting, helping, and guiding anyone and everyone. He was also very active in his community church and a local writers group. Needless to say, his memorial service was well attended.
What was so evident was the confidence and skills exhibited by those in attendance who were Toastmasters. They accounted for about two-thirds of those in attendance. During the time of sharing, most of the non-Toastmaster friends chose to stay by their seat. They declined the use of a microphone. The Toastmaster friends eagerly stood, many walked to the front of the room. They seized the microphone. They all spoke with confidence and clarity. The family members, estranged from their father for a long time, had NO idea of the impact their dad made in the community. Were surprised how many lives he touched. Consequently, all the family members were profoundly moved and grateful.
It never ceases to amaze me the communication skills the Toastmaster program instills in its members. It is evidenced by clarity, focus, ease and grace when a Toastmaster is communicating – in any arena. The memorial service was made truly memorable, thanks to Dick’s career as a Toastmaster, and all of the Toastmaster friends he endeared along the way.
*Toastmasters is a world-wide non-profit organization dedicated to the development of communication and leadership skills.