“Adrian – it *is* about you!” – Outstanding Contribution to Toastmasters award

Adrian Melia was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to Toastmasters by President Balraj Arunasalam

Adrian Melia was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to Toastmasters by President Balraj Arunasalam

Popular photographer Adrian Melia was honoured in a very special way at his Toastmaster home club in Kildare town on Tuesday 24th October. In a break with normal proceedings, Toastmaster David Clinton interrupted the scheduled agenda for a few minutes with an important announcement.

A video message had been received from Balraj Arunasalam, President of Toastmasters International. Upon viewing the short video clip, Adrian Melia was left momentarily speechless as he learned that he was to be the recipient of “An Outstanding Contribution to Toastmasters International Award” for his years of service to Toastmasters International.

Jane Mooney, Division D Director, presented the award to an astonished Adrian, who revealed that that day was his 58th birthday, and that this was probably his best present yet. A clearly emotional Adrian read the inscription on the back: “It’s not about me”.

He said, “You know, that’s just it — it’s not about me, it’s never been about me, it’s about us and what we can achieve together. I accept this award for all of us, for Kildare Toastmasters and I am just happy that I could be a part of it.”

Adrian learned shortly afterwards that it had originally been planned to present the award to him at the Division D finals of the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests on 22nd October in Clonmel but he had taken ill and had to be admitted to hospital. Later that day Adrian would receive a great boost from the news that his friend David Clinton had just won the Division D Table Topics contest, and would be going forward to represent Division D in the District 71 final in Sheffield on 5th November.

Adrian continues his battle with cancer and continues his work. He continues to confound and to inspire people. While the inscription had read “It’s not about me”, it has to be said that on Tuesday 24th October, it was all about Adrian Melia.

Kildare Toastmaster meets every second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Silken Thomas Pub at 7.45pm. Join us and perhaps you too may have a life-changing experience. www.kildaretoastmasters.com

Postscript: We are sad to report that Adrian Melia passed away on 14 November. We extend our sincere condolences to his partner Jeannie and to all his family. Rest in peace.

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