October is Group Conference month for CWA of NSW and I feel privileged to have been invited to attend and open/speak at several throughout the month. The Conferences are a chance to celebrate the achievements of the past year and determine projects for the future, as well as the usual election of Office Bearers and debating of motions to be put forward for inclusion on the State AGM Agenda.
The invitations have, however, reminded me of the first time I was asked to open a Group Conference. It was for my own Barwon Group which for many, many years bucked the trend and held their annual conference in September to try and avoid the October heat in halls that had/have no air conditioning.
Whilst pondering what to say and thinking there’s got to be more to this than just saying “it gives me much pleasure to officially open your conference” I decided to so some research on the actual date to see if anything was recognised or promoted.
The meeting was to be held on the 19th September and my research revealed that it was and still is the day that everyone (maybe that’s a slight exaggeration) celebrates International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Avast and Arrr me hearties! I thought to myself, that’s interesting.
Luckily, my Rowena Branch was hosting the event, so I knew all the guests who had been invited and that they were used to some of my antics. So I hurriedly put together my props which consisted of the usual feathered hat, eye patch, scorched scroll and parrot, all the while practicing my Ahoy’s and Aye aye’s with just the right inflection.
The day arrived, along with the second thoughts; “What possessed you to think this was a good idea!!?”, “What if no-one likes pirates?”, “What if they don’t think it’s appropriate?”
Well … all I can say is “they” are not always right!
My parrot had a rum hangover and wouldn’t stand up, the string on my eye patch broke as I was putting it on, my carefully rolled and beautifully singed around the edges scroll was therefore difficult to open single handed and because by this time my nerves were totally shot, the well-rehearsed Arrr sounded more like an old crow in a shady tree on a forty degree day than a feisty pirate addressing the assembled land lubbers!!!
Eventually I was able to gather myself enough to complete the task at hand and utter a few more pirate-like phrases before sinking into my chair and silently vowing never to attempt such a thing again. My audience, however, seemed to think it pretty entertaining, definitely different and were gracious enough to even offer applause, which soothed my bruised ego somewhat and stopped me cursing “them” for getting me into the situation. It was however, not long after that we decided to move the annual meeting to October….
All jokes aside the month of October is filled with opportunities to raise awareness of particular issues that are important to our members including Mental Health Month, Ocsober, Pink Ribbon Breakfast Campaign, Sexual Violence Awareness Month, to name just a few. Take a look and find one that fits your day http://www.ourcommunity.com.au/calendar/#Oct2014