History

Podium Toastmasters:  A club steeped in history

From right to left: Founding members Jack Embrey and Jack Punter, former members Deanna Yeung and Dr. Doug Brown with his wife Bruna Brown return to Podium Toastmasters for the annual holiday party.

From right to left: Founding members Jack Embrey and Jack Punter, former members Deanna Yeung and Dr. Doug Brown with his wife Bruna Brown return to Podium Toastmasters for the annual holiday party.

The year was 1956 and two members were running to be president of Broadview Toastmasters Club.  One was Walter Keyes, a business owner in his late 30’s. The other was his young friend, Ian Thomas, an enthusiastic Toastmaster with a shock of red hair that gave a hint of his bubbling personality.  It was a classic match, and the outcome would have a dramatic effect on many lives in the ensuing years.

The Broadview members voted for experience. It was a good choice. Walter Keyes did a great job for the club which is still active today.

What became of Ian Thomas, the loser in that election?  Ian and Walter were good friends and there were no hard feelings or regrets over the election results.

Ian was full of enthusiasm and determination, eager to test his ability with a new challenge, determined to push ahead. What did he do? He formed The Podium Club and became its first president.

In 1956, there were three Toastmasters clubs in Toronto:  Toronto #1; Gavel & Glass, and the Broadview Club.  Each club was allowed, by Toastmasters By-laws at the time, to have a maximum of 30 members. The Bylaws also permitted 5 associate members, who could become full members only if one of the 30 members became inactive.  If a member missed three consecutive meetings, he automatically became inactive. At each meeting, there was a full house.

When Ian Thomas had his brainwave, he achieved three things: he formed a new club; he became its president; and he opened the doors for others to become active Toastmasters. He approached three associate members and three guests, and asked them to serve as his new executive.

The first executive of Podium Club:
Ian Thomas, President
John Shemilt, VP Education
Bob Parsons, VP Administration
Jack Punter, Secretary
Bert Onstad, Treasurer

The new executive decided to meet on Tuesdays at the Broadview YMCA, and the Podium Club was chartered on January 9, 1957.

Jack Punter
Excerpted from Podium Platform
May 1989

History December 14, 2013
camarederie

Camaraderie

We welcome all guests at Podium. Attend our meetings and see why Podium has been a warm and welcoming club for over 50+ years!

educational

Educational

With so many speaking opportunities throughout our meeting and the organization, you are bound to learn new leadership and speaking skills.

supportive

Supportive

With mentorship and a group of friendly members at our club, we provide on-going support to make sure you reach your speaking goals.

opportunities

Opportunities

Many of our members have used their new taught speaking and leadership skills to open new doors for themselves to enhance their  work and personal lives.