Friday, October 1, 2010

Sir Christian Bonington

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There were two interesting talks presented by Sir Christian Bonington, CBE yesterday at Sunway University College – he’s an acclaimed British mountaineer who has made something like nineteen expeditions to the Himalayas, including four to Mount Everest and even climbed Annapurna II as well as making the maiden ascent from the south face of Annapurna. According to Wikipedia, the Annapurna peaks are said to be the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb. In the afternoon talk, he gave us an insight into his Everest climb with the Norwegians and using his mountaineering examples, he shared with students and faculty the link between what he does so successfully on the mountain with business practices today. Then in the evening, he gave a lecture “Some Very Special Anniversaries” which is part of the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers Series – contributing towards lifelong learning and intellectual empowerment for the community – where he related his mountaineering adventures, and which I hastened to add is different from his earlier talk. Anyway, on both occasions, the audience marveled at his remarkable exploits and they saluted him for his derring-do, determination and tenacity.

And he is also the Chancellor of Lancaster University, UK – who’s here to grace the 2010 Graduation Ceremony of Sunway University College today.

My last Toastmasters meeting for September was productively spent at the same venue, i.e. Sunway University College. I was the evaluator for an impassioned speaker, Lincoln Leong who delivered his Advanced speech from “The Professional Speaker” manual. In fact, all 6 speakers delivered their advanced speeches and most of them excelled. Ahem, again, I was voted the Best Speech Evaluator at this meeting – which I suppose, speaks well of my evaluation skills!

I have always enjoyed the Toastmasters meetings at this club and yesterday was no exception. What’s more, it was very well-attended and visiting Toastmasters identified themselves as coming from seven different clubs. And I could really sense the energized enthusiasm that enveloped the meeting room, and I knew instinctively that all of us would have a great time! Truly, it was a great meeting!

Liverpool lived a charmed life as they earned a hard-fought goalless draw with FC Utrecht in a Europa League Group K tie. Liverpool’s Roy Hodgson may take solace in a clean sheet for his side and the fact they remain top of their group but their slow rate of unexciting progress will be a concern. And the Reds could have written a different story if only Fernando Torres had netted a close-range shot when he was fed the ball from Dirk Kuyt.

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