Continuing with Barrie Goult's speech "We were fortunate enough, with the assistance of our Vancouver friends in having the Chilliwack Charter re-activated. With the assistance of a well-known Victorian, George Wilkinson, it was possible to form the Union Club within weeks of the meeting of the International Convention Directors meeting in Seattle in 1945. We were thereafter joined by the Totem Thunderbird Club, when its charter was presented by President McCrillis, who was welcomed to Victoria by Mayor Percy George [who was Mayor from 1945-1951].
A speech by Barrie Goult, PDG., ATM.
The Educational Vice President, Dr. John Hardie, has asked me to say something this evening about the early history of the Club.
Thirty-five years have elapsed since we received our Charter, and in those years approximately 600 men have made their way to our meetings and have the training we have given them, to their own benefit, and to the benefit of the Community.
It was Frank Paulding, a Y.M.C.A. Secretary, who first brought the idea to New Westminster and then to Victoria, from Santa Ana, were Ralph Smedley, a devoted Y.M.C.A. Officer, had been responsible for forming a club “to afford practise and training in the art of public speaking and presiding over meetings, and to promote sociability and good fellowship amongst its members”. Other clubs were soon formed in Los Angeles and Anaheim. They took the name of “Toastmasters".
Upon his return to Canada, Frank Paulding interested a group in New Westminster, but they did not apply for a charter. Shortly thereafter he was transferred to Victoria, and there formed, this Club, which was the first to be chartered in the Dominion. The Federation of Toastmaster Clubs in the United States then took the title of “International”
According to the old minutes of Club No.38, Col. Don McGugan “was the first to pay his dollar" Col. McGugan, who was awarded honourary membership in the Club in 1954, was, therefore, the FIRST dues-paying Toastmaster in Canada.
In 1935, Paulding became the first Deputy Governor. The President of the Club was the late J. H. Hill, whose discourse entitled "A Pair of Jack Boots” is renowned. The Vice President was Thomas Scott, and the Secretary-Treasurer, the late Johnny Johnson, for many years of the Oak Bay council and sometime Reeve, Col. J. N. deSalis. a former member of the Royal Engineers, and a renowned marksman was Sergeant at Arms. It was he who gave us the handsome trophy, presented to the best ten minute speaker of the year. In the event of a tie, the trophy is presenter to the speaker who in addition to his speaking prowress has been of greater service to the Club.
It in the early days, members of the Club competed against members of the “Y Speakers’ Club” for the Rose Trophy, presented by a local jeweler of that name. It was first won by Tom Denny.and later by Gordon Walsh, Col. McGugan, Alex McCabe, myself, Harry Garland, Charlie Holmes, and Ed Clark. In 1944 the trophy was won by Dr. R. J. O'Neill, now of Vancouver, who later went on to win the District 2 speaking contest.
In that year the Club left the Y.M.C.A. and in 1945 Franklin McCrillis of Seattle, International President-elect indicated that there could be District status for British Columbia if we could charter five clubs in the Province. At that time, only two existed - First Canadian and the Vancouver Club. A club in Chilliwack had relinquished its charter, We were fortunate enough, with the assistance of our Vancouver friends in having the Chilliwack Charter re-activated.
the assistance of a well‑known Victorian, George Wilkinson, it was
form the Union Club within weeks of the meeting of
For what little I had done, I was appointed first District Governor of District 21, which, then as now, covers all British Columbia and was the first Canadian District.
This Club provided two other District Governors - the late Ed. Whyte (1946), and Bill Gazzard, now of Toronto, (1951). I know of no other Canadian Club so honoured.
The Toastmaster idea has been spread to various parts of the world by travelling members. Viv. Shoemaker, now back at the Y.M.C.A., on his transfer to Winnipeg, founded a club there. In 1951, Harry Olden left to reside in Johannesburg, South Africa, and founded the first Toastmaster Club in that city. Another of our members founded a club in Australia.
The 21st. Anniversary of the chartering of the Club was celebrated in 1956, when Harold Cliff was President. It was attended by the International President Vincent MacIntyre, and the District Govnr. Les Corfield of Nanaimo. Visitors were welcomed by Mayor Percy Scurrah.
It was this Club that suggested the Golden Gavel competition to the old Union Club, as a means of interesting the members and publicizing Toastmasters, Then, as now, it was a competition under TM auspices for those, with less than 18 months public speaking experience. It is under the control of the Area Executive. Last year the competition was won by our own Dr. John Hardie, and this Year the competition travelled full circle when its direction fell to 1st. Canadian.
I joined the Club in 1941. with Don Smith, who recently retired from the management of the Ocean Cement Company, and the late John Scott, Registrar of Vital Statistics for B.C. My only regret is, that I was not, a charter member, and did not know the club in the days of Judge Clarihue, Art Slocomb, Viv Shoemaker and Bill Bayliss, all charter members and all here this evening.
One of the great pleasures of membership was knowing Ralph Smedley, and with his kindly assistance, proceeding through the B.B.T. course. He shared an interest in the history of the north-west, and the correspondence between us, was to me, a great delight.
Ours has been an outstanding Club throughout the years. It the first to be chartered in Canada; it was the first to provide ,three District governors for District 21; from it stemmed Clubs in Winnipeg, South Africa and Australia. It was the first Club - and perhaps the only Club in the world - to celebrate St, George's Day, and each April to display the magnificent St, George's day flags presented to us in 1954 by that pioneer member, Vic. Gilbert. I know of no other club with its own coat-of-arms. It is one of few Clubs having a roll of honour for those of its members who served in the 2nd. World War, And it was.from this Club that plans for the.District were made, and the idea of the Golden Gavel competition emanated.
One can only hope that its magnificent past is indicative of the future, and that in the year 2005 - which is but a short 35 years away there will be a new generation gathering about the table, some perhaps, remembering with, advantages this day when, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the First Canadian Club.