Tralee Toastmasters lost a very dear friend and club member recently. Tim Aherne joined Tralee Toastmasters many years ago as a supremely enthusiastic member. He gave some fantastic speeches, memorable by their thorough research and passionate deliveries. Tim also excelled in his answering of Topics. Table Topics is one of the many skills learnt in Toastmasters. A Topic is given, and without any preparation, one has to speak on that topic for two minutes. Tim made us all smile upon receival of a topic. Usually members stand up when responding, and answer the topic from their place. However Tim used to walk up to the lectern and deliver what can only be described as a “mini speech”, incredibly articulate and beautifully presented. His wealth of wisdom and philosophical view of life was always a privilege to experience.
Tim joined the ranks of our committee in the role of Sergeant –at –Arms. Included in this role is the preparation of the meeting room, ensuring there are club supplies, etc. Tim took on this responsibility with admirable conscientiousness. He arrived at least an hour before the meetings started and laid out the room, ensured all promotional material was clearly displayed. He meticulously hung signs all the way from the outside door, in the hallway, and as far as the meeting room. In a world full of technology and the printed word, Tim’s eye-catching, beautiful hand-writing adorned all these posters. The one that everyone smile was “If it’s 8, you’re late”
Tralee Toastmasters prides itself in having very high standards, and our meetings are quite unique, in that they always start on time. Whilst this is part of Toastmaster training, we in Tralee have to acknowledge that it is really because of our dear friend and member, Tim, that we have such impressive punctuality in our club-often commented on by guests.On the dot of 8pm at every meeting, Tim rang the bell with gusto. At the tea break, once again, Tim, our affectionate disciplinarian took great pleasure in reminding us it was time to recommence the meeting.
After many years in this role, Tim sidestepped into the Guest Greeter role. Every guest (and indeed member) received the warmest of welcomes and was touched by that broad smile we all came to love. Tim made everyone feel special, and offered support and encouragement to all.
One of our most recent and favourite memories of Tim, was our Christmas party, when he enthralled us all with an endless stream of songs, rendition after rendition. This was the one night he was no rush home, it was as if he knew on some level that it would be his last Christmas with us.
Exactly a year ago, the club presented Tim with a “Guest Greeter Award” for the contribution he had made to the success of the Tralee Toastmasters. On that memorable and deeply moving occasion, Tim was presented with a Golden Handshake Trophy to symbolise all his golden handshakes. That night, one of the speeches was dedicated to Tim, and finished with the now poignant “Tim, we are deeply appreciative of your loyalty and dedication to the club, but it is your presence that brings us most joy”
Alas, Tim we do not have you anymore, but your presence and spirit will live on forever in our club, in the high standards you have set.
We in Tralee Toastmasters extend our deepest sympathy to Tim’s family, his wife Marie, daughters Veronica and Linda and all his extended family and friends.
Thank you Tim, míle buíochas for the memories, it was a privilege to have you in our midst.
Ní bheidh do leithéid arís ann.