Installation Night 2014

President’s Opening Address: After Every Storm, There Is A Rainbow

Fabulous & fantastic Friday, Guest of Honour, Jaslyn Tan, Division B Governor, ACS, ALS, Yap Boon Liang, Area Governor, CC, CL Gayle Wong, Fellow Toastmasters and guests.

Thank you for your participation, dressed in colours of the rainbow, and a big thanks to the members who have helped to decorate this place.

A special thanks to EXCO who have supported me in the smooth running of this club. An extraordinary thank you to all members, who stayed united and remained faithful.  All of you allowed yourself to be stretched and scratched and intentionally adjusted your lives to come to 2 different meeting venues during the term. It is because of the unity and faithfulness within the club that we were able to ride through the challenges of membership growth, different meeting venues, taking up appointments, organized the 30th anniversary for 300 people, just to list a few. Let us continue to walk in this difficult and challenging yet rewarding journey together as a family.

During my speech on Installation night last year, I remembered Christopher said “I will follow you”. I know it has not been easy, but you have all honoured your promise to “follow me” and for this I am very grateful.

This is my last Opening Address. I don’t know whether to be sad or to rejoice.

When I was installed as President, I said that when there is no trial, there is no triumph. And if there is no storm, there is no solution.

Today I can say that, after every storm, there is a rainbow – and this is the title of my speech.

Let me share with you one rainstorm we encountered recently.

As of 2 weeks ago, our Club had achieved 8 goals. We were one goal short to qualify for President Distinguished Club.

We were so near yet so far. The EXCO searched frantically for a member to help achieve the last goal in the leadership track.

Then, someone said to me that this would be impossible to do at this 11th hour.

I told him, I will not look at the problem, but will seek divine help instead. When we have a problem, we must seek help and look for a solution, not focus on the problem. So I turned to Heavens and said, “God, when you prompted me to be President, you promised me that when I walk through the waters, I will not drown, nor will fire be able to burn me up because you said that you would be with me. You are a God who gives success and so I believe that because you put me here, this club will succeed to be President Distinguished. However, how are we going to achieve this at this late hour?”

Then, an idea came to me prepare 1 of the 2 presentations of the Successful Club Series. I went through the Toastmasters Directory and booked 5 slots for 2 speeches in 3 clubs last week. ANZ TMC who told me I could present last Friday informed me last minute they re-scheduled their meeting to lunch time yesterday. Luckily I had booked 2 slots for last Saturday in a Project Day organised by AdvanCity Toastmasters Club, even though I was only prepared for one presentation speech.

With divine help, revelation and energy, I prepared the 2nd presentation in less than an hour and presented 2 Successful Club Series speeches on the same day, thus clocking into Toastmasters International, the ALB award. This was the 9th DCP goal for our club to qualify for President Distinguished.

God gave me the energy to do this in spite of my busy work schedule, jet lag from a business trip, and an activity packed family wedding, all happening concurrently.

Without storms, we would not press in for solutions. See the rainbow?

Tonight’s evening of rainbows celebrates the storms we encountered during this term, that turned out to be a blessing for all of us. We are wiser because of our mistakes, stronger with a bigger membership base, more united and steadfast to continue to walk in our 31st year in Toastmasters.

Storms and EXCO go hand in hand. We will continue to encounter storms, big and small. But remember that rainbows come after storms and it is for us to choose to focus on the right thing – storm or rainbow!

The secret to prevailing over every storm is to remain united and faithful to one another. May this Club, under the new EXCO continue to enjoy the same unity and faithful support you gave to me.