The Voice Gavel Club’s return to Ottawa added a fifth chapter to the annual tradition that is the retreat – and the competition. On November 15th, 2014, Gaveliers brought their speaking skills and winning determination to the stage of the nation’s capital, vying to come out on top as the best comedians, critics, and, awed by potato peelers, Hamlets in the eyes of our esteemed guests and judges, the Parliament Hill Toastmasters. Of course, the club would not leave Ottawa without having issued them a challenge, and so the Gaveliers clashed head to head with honourable Toastmasters Ari Schwartz and Dave Isaacs in debate over US aid to Israel. The competition was a brilliant display of passion, eloquence, and wit – a resounding success through and through! The tremendous collective efforts of Cohort 5’s members, our mentor Lubna Zaidi, and our esteemed guests from the Parliament Hill Toastmasters made this all possible and as successful as it was, and we extend our thanks to all that contributed so meaningfully. Of course, the club could not head home without the usual festivities, nor without paying their proper respects. While we shopped, explored Ottawa’s vibrant downtown markets, and experienced some great culinary delights, our visit was framed by our time at Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial. Perhaps what made our trip to Ottawa this year truly impactful was the warm welcome we received from a city still in shock, and so we joined the mourners for Corporal Nathan Cirillo. Lest we forget.
The Voice Gavel Club Cohort 5 carries onward from its time in Ottawa as a more united and experienced club – one step closer to greater things.