Division O Toastmaster annual session ends on exciting note


By Rubab Fatima Rizvi

— Amidst its contest season, Division O held its annual conference at the Dammam Hotel on Friday under the leadership of its director Toastmaster Madhusha Nanayakkara. Division O is one of the most outstanding divisions of District 79 that has a history of producing District Champions year after year.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Oasis of Opportunity, Overture of Obsession.” This theme was mirrored throughout the conference from the decor, contest proceedings, colors, backdrop, to the functionaries and background music. The conference reflected a strong team spirit and warmth among its members. The audience consisted of toastmaster, dignitaries and guests from all across the Kingdom who had attended the conference to witness the extravaganza.

The conference commenced with the recitation of verses from the Holy Qur’an by Youth Leader Nuha Irfan Khan and was then taken over by the Chief Sergeant-at-Arms, TM Vijay V. Balasubramanian. The banner parade was gracefully carried out by TM Fatima Saeed and TM Ruwan Prasanna Assellage. It allowed the clubs and the areas to flaunt their achievements over the past year.

The conference was chaired by TM Albin Joseph and TM Manohary Sivarajah. The Chief Judge of the conference, a profound and humble gentleman, DTM Sathish Kumar along with his capable team of 15 judges from across Saudi Arabia, selected the most deserving contestants as the respective winners.

The conference witnessed four electrifying contests; Table Topics Speech Contest, International Speech Contest, Evaluation Speech Contest and Humorous Speech Contest that were conducted by their respective Contest Masters namely DTM Sadia Irfan Khan, TM Rameshi Wijesuriya, TM Shabana Zakir, and TM Abdul Naser Bawazir, respectively.

There were a total of six contestants in each of the four contests who exhibited their stellar public speaking skills.

One of the biggest highlights of the conference was the motivational speech by the highly-respected District 79 Director, DTM James Taruc, and the incredibly inspirational keynote speech given by the Past-Division O Champion and District 79 Champion, TM Naqi Haider Rizvi. Both these speakers touched the hearts of the audience with their uplifting messages of optimism.

The conference saw the release of the colorful Division O magazine by its dedicated Publication Manager, TM Mumtaz Seema Rizvi, and Editor-in-Chief, TM Rubab Fatima Rizvi.

The Event Management team was led by TM Prabhagaran Ramasamy and the Contest Operations team was led by a veteran Toastmaster DTM Abubakr Nazeer.

The Registration Team was led by TM Narasimharao and V.S.R. Rampalli, who not only displayed immense hospitality in welcoming all the attendees but also conducted an exciting Raffle draw at the end of the contest with many Toastmasters winning prizes.

The conference witnessed segments of awards and recognitions throughout to felicitate the functionaries, leaders and dignitaries. The Awards Team that was led by TM Ashfaq Mohammed produced the most glorious trophies and awards.

Several important District leaders were present at the contest; DTM James Taruc [District 79 Director], DTM Abdul Gafoor [District 79 PQD], DTM Omar Farooq (District 79 CGD), TM Mohammad Afthal (District 79 Administration Manager), TM Cecille Valencia (DAD), DTM Manivannan Manivasakam (DDD), TM Abdul Fettah Ennayal (DJD), TM Fahmi Abdel-Qader (DQD], among others.

The conference ended on a high note with an air of jubilation, cheering and celebrations to honor the Division O Champions. The party poppers burst by TM Sibte Haider Rizvi, one of the Sergeants-at-Arms, escalated the exuberance of the ambiance.

TM Minuri L. Wijesekara stood 1st Place in all four contests. TM Rubab Fatima Rizvi stood 2nd Place in International Speech and Evaluation Speech Contests while TM Ziana Azhar stood 2nd Place in Table Topics Speech Contest and 3rd Place in Evaluation Speech Contest. TM Sharmila Selladurai stood 2nd in the humorous speech contest, while TM Makki Hussain stood 3rd. TM Chathura Dissanayaka and TM Amjad T Shahid both stood 3rd in the International Speech and Table Topics speech contest respectively.

The 1st Place winner of each of the four contests will now represent Division O at the upcoming Saudi Arabia Toastmasters Annual Conference [SATAC] 2018 in Jubail from April 19-21.