Category Archives: Health and wellness

Summary of Toastmaster Presidency 2017

04714198 MCBC Toastmasters


20 August 2016 – Club Humorous Speech

Participants: Nora Ah Poe, Tina Brockway, Jane Crosbie, James Hippolite, Barry Shaw, Florence David, Lynette Wall, Jane Crosbie, Ross Middleton

3rd: Barry

2nd: James

1st: Tina

3 September 2016 – Club Table Topics

Participants: Fiona Hippolite, Lynette Wall, Ruth Malo, Melanie Alican, Elliot Ikilei, Ashlyn Hart, Ross Middleton

3rd place: Elliot

2nd place: Fiona

1st place: Ruth

11 February 2017 – International Speech

Participants: James Hippolite, Ross Middleton, Molino Garcia, Jonas Kuhn

1st: James.  James went on to place 3rd in the Area contest.

11 February 2017 – Club Evaluations

Participants: Ashlyn Hart, Patrick Mariner, Lynette Wall, Molino Garcia, James Hippolite

1st James: James did not place in the Area contest.


Turning Tides – Wellington – 12-14 May 2017

  • Keynote speaker: 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking, Mohammed Qahtani of Saudi Arabia.
  • Banner Parade
  • District Council Meeting: voting on new national Executive
  • International Speech Contest: hearing the best of the best.
  • Dinner & Dance

Hold on to Your Dreams – Invercargill – 18-20 November 2016

  • Keynote Speakers: Mike Alsop, John Parsons
  • Humorous Speech Contest
  • Banner Parade
  • District Council Meeting: deciding to split the country into 2 districts.
  • Dinner & Dance


Competent Communicator (6)

  • James Hippolite
  • Barry Shaw
  • Fiona Hippolite
  • Molino Garcia
  • Florence David
  • Steve Lamb

Advanced Communicator (2)

  • James Hippolite (ACB)
  • Jane Crosbie (ACB)

Competent Leader (3)

  • Fiona Hippolite
  • James Hippolite
  • Ruth Malo


10 new members:

July 2016 Ashlyn Hart
Steve Lamb
March 2017 Amit Sharma
April 2017 John Chen
Manju Malik
May 2017 Desiree Crosby
Eva Hutchison
June 2017 Manu John
Sonia Ng
John Barben


  • Iliganoa (Nora) Ah Poe
  • Tina Brockway
  • Jane Carswell
  • Florence David
  • Manohar David
  • Min Hu
  • Steve Lamb
  • Christine MacDonald
  • Trish Stack
  • Fritz Tuaa
  • Joe Tuilua
  • Lynette Wall

New Executive

Role Start 2016 End 2017 New
President James Hippolite James Ruth Malo
VP Education Tina Brockway Jane Crosbie Jane
VP PR Melanie Alican Ruth Melanie
VP Memberships Barry Shaw Barry Amit Sharma
Treasurer Barry Barry Manju Malik
Secretary Christine MacDonald Warren Christie Barry
Sargent-At-Arms Molino Garcia Molino Patrick Marriner

Distinguished Club Programme

How did we achieve it?

Goals to Achieve    Goal    To Date Status
Education (A maximum of 6 will count toward DCP credit.)
1 Competent Communicator (CC) awards 2 2
2 More Competent Communicator (CC) awards 2 4
3 Advanced Communicator (ACB, ACS, ACG) awards 1 1
4 More Advanced Communicator (ACB, ACS, ACG) awards 1 1
5 Leadership Awards (CL, ALB, ALS) or Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award 1 1
6 More CL, ALB, ALS, or DTM award 1 2
7 New members 4 4
8 More new members 4 6
9 Club officers trained June-August 4 6
Club officers trained December-February 4 5
10 Membership-renewal dues on time Y 2

Engagement Speech

Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is James, I am Tane’s dad.

I have asked to be allowed to speak: to mark this happy occasion with a few appropriate words, to which Tane has graciously granted me his permission.

First of all, I wish to thank you all for coming, to share and celebrate the occasion, but especially those who have travelled the farthest.  I see a few Wellington friends here: (name them).  Welcome to you.  Welcome to Tane’s Aunty Naomi, who travelled all the way from Dunedin.  Where have other people come from?

I wish to express my immense joy and pride in my son, especially at this time.  When they were growing up, my 3 children always knew these 3 things:

  • We loved them all equally; there are no favourites.
  • If two of them argued unreasonably, then the 3rd one won the treat. This was usually Hamish.
  • I have always been proud of each one of them.

Tane was born on Star Wars day: May 4th, 1997.  I infected him with the love of science fiction early, and we’ve enjoyed discussing many shows of that genre.

His names means “Sunday Man”.  He was born on a Sunday, and was in church the following Sunday.  I’m pleased to report, he has never chosen to leave since.

Tane, in Maori means “man”, kind of like “Adam”, because he was our first little man.

Tane lived 6 months in Africa from June to December 1997.  He left NZ as a 7 week old new-born and returned a 7 month old rug rat.

Tane was baptised July 4th, 2005, when he was 8 years old, at his original home church of Wellington Elim.  I baptised him, because we were home-schooling him at that time, and we were his Bible teachers.  A funny thing happened when I dunked him: his bottom came up.  I froze, because I didn’t know what to do next (“he’s not completely immersed!”).  Somebody had to remind me to let him up.  No harm done.

We moved into Manurewa on May 18th, 2013, when Tane was 16.

He met Jess at a Church Youth Group in 2014.  They have been inseparable ever since.  When Tane went with Jess to her second school ball in 2015, is when I knew this was getting serious.

I couldn’t be happier for Tane in his choice of girl.  Jess has won me over, despite my reservations about their youth, for many reasons, these are just a few:

  • She’s a most excellent cos-player. For those not initiated into geeky things, this means she makes and wears her own costumes to science fiction conventions and such.  For 2 years running, Tane & Jess have won our church costume talent show as: Tarzan & Jane one year, and Mary Poppins and Bert the next.
  • She’s beautiful. ‘Nuff said
  • I doubt she knows this, but I was very impressed by something I overheard said one particular day. In our own wedding vows, Fiona and I promised mutual love and respect, but individually, I promised to support her and Fiona promised to follow me.  This may be quaint now, but it’s a vow we’ve always kept.  What I overheard was, while Tane was trying to sort out his tertiary study options, moving back to Wellington was a possibility, to which Jess’s response was a matter-of-fact, to paraphrase a certain Bible verse, “where you go, I will go.  Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.”  Jess, you won my heart then.  John and Donna, I congratulate you on raising a wonderful daughter.

Tane proposed to Jess while on holiday in Paris on 17 August 2016, which brings us up to date.

As of yet, there is no wedding date to announce, because Tane has just learned he has been accepted into Unitech’s Drama Programme.  This potentially means 3 years of tertiary study.  Realistically, I would expect a wedding before then, so watch this space.

In conclusion, an engagement is a fun, but also serious occasion.  It is a binding promise, of the further commitment to come.  It is an opportunity for them to say to us, “This is our intent” and for us to say to them, “we will support you”.

To that end, will you please be upstanding, charge your glasses, and repeat after me: “we will support you.”

Humorously Speaking Project 1

Humorously Speaking

Project 1 – Warm up your audience


  • Prepare a speech that opens with a humorous story.
  • Personalize the story.
  • Deliver the story smoothly and effectively.



Title: The (On-Going) Adventures of a Motorcycling Noob.

Opening joke:

  • Setup – Imagine, if you will, it’s a cold, wet, miserable morning and I’ve got school. I don’t want to go, but my mum makes me get up. It’s my first day and she wants me to make a good impression. (Pause)
  • Punchline – After all, I am the Principal. (Pause)

Introduction (honorifics)

  • Setup – What’s a Noob, I hear you ask?   A Noob is short for someone who is new to something and therefore is allowed to make mistakes. Like me, with Motorcycling. Before 2013, I’d never attempted to get a motorcycle license. (Pause)
  • Punchline – After hearing these next 3 stories, you as fellow Auckland commuters, may wish I’d never started! (Pause)


  1. Teaching Tane to Ride
    1. Setup – At around the same time as I was learning to ride for the first time, my oldest son was also ready to learn.   So we went out to a local car park and I did the IDEER principle: Introduction, Demonstration, Explanation, Execution & Repetition. Except, we didn’t get to the Repetition phase. I had just asked him to mount the bike for the first time and ride forward 10 meters, and stop, which he did perfectly. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to him that he needed to put his foot down.
    2. Punchline – The bike promptly fell over and smashed both mirrors.
    3. Recovery – We were done with lessons for that day.
  2. Pulling my first wheelie
    1. Setup – Most recently, and most alarmingly, I was waiting at the lights, at the head of the queue. (You know how motorbikes can just slide up the middle to the front? That’s me.) The lights went green and I started out, but my front wheel started to do a sort of shimmy. I thought I was going to fall off. I just managed to right myself and get the rest of the way home. I thought that maybe I hadn’t maintained my bike properly. Maybe some cable had come loose. So I got out the manual for the first time (as you do) to try to figure it out. However, the first pages told me exactly what I’d done wrong.
    2. Punchline – Turns out, I’d pulled my first wheelie!
  3. Motorway accident
    1. Setup – Just prior to that, I had had a serious accident on the motorway. It happened like this: I was burning up the road, just north of Manukau, when a family of ducks were in mortal danger. I had to swerve to avoid hitting them. My front wheel slipped on the extremely greasy surface, and I went down, in front of an on-coming truck. Somehow, the truck managed to stop in time, but I was already bouncing up, after having gouged out huge chunks of the motorway, and was somersaulting over the ducks (remember them?). The bike slid into the car in front (narrowing avoiding the ducks), which had to stop to render assistance (the car, not the ducks, silly. Do try to keep up.). My forward trajectory was finally arrested (in standard hero pose), and I calmly gathered up my fallen steed and wheeled it to the side of the road, forcing all 3 lanes to stop for me. The guy in the car who stopped (who actually had pulled out in front of me) was this little Chinese kiwi man, who was so shaken up, he asked me for a hug!
    2. Punchline – so I gave him one!
    3. Setup – 10 minutes later, an ambulance arrived. They asked me if I required assistance. You know, adrenaline does an amazing thing to a man’s body. I shrugged my shoulders and told them I was fine to go to work. They didn’t quite believe me, but toddled off, leaving some advice to get myself to A&E if “anything changes”. 10 minutes after that, the police arrived. They took our statements, then after about half an hour, let us go. The Chinese man was so worried about me, that he offered to drive me to work.
    4. Punchline – So I let him!
    5. Setup – I got to work, in time for a special morning tea (my real motivation for going). During that time, the adrenaline started to wear off, and I didn’t feel quite right. So I toddled off to A&E for an X-ray.
    6. Punchline – The truth is I had broken my arm in two places.
    7. Setup – I was in a cast for six weeks! I had to recount my story to my boss (in order to explain why I needed time off work).
    8. Punchline – His retelling of my story was so much better that I prefer his version to my more mundane one!


  • Setup – I’ve come to the conclusion that as a motorcycling noob, I’ve made a significant and sufficient number of mistakes:
    • Forgetting to teach Tane to put his foot down;
    • Forgetting to read the manual; and
    • Avoiding ducks on the motorway.
  • Punchline – That I may well be, the safest motorcyclist on the road today!


Spiritual Rhythms for Ordinary People

Sunday Service

  • 15 May 2016
  • Pastor Arnie Hall
  • Spiritual Rhythms for Ordinary People

2 Kings 18

  • Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, king of Judah.
  • In the eyes of the LORD, he was a good king.
  • He rebels against the king of Assyria (Shalmaneser).
  • The new king of Assyria (Sennacerib) responds with overwhelming force.

2 Kings 19

  • Jerusalem’s deliverance foretold (by Isaiah)
  • Hezekiah’s prayer for deliverance
  • Isaiah prophesies Sennachrib’s fall

Typical lesson:

  • If you’re in trouble, you should pray

In depth lesson:

  • We should follow the ways of the LORD
  • He had a relationship with God throughout his life.
  • He spent a lifetime connecting with God, for a moment as significant as this.

The rhythm of life means:

  • You get fit by moving regularly
  • You pray well by praying regularly
  • We need to be connected with God every day.


  • Telling God He’s amazing (partly because it helps us to remain focussed on His blessings)
  • Staying connected
  • Individual & corporate



This week:

  • I just got voted new president of Manukau City Baptist Church Toastmasters Club. There will be a transition period.
  • Completed 3 days workshop on Azure. I now know how to create a VNET.
  • Took a computer retailer to the Small Claims Tribunal. My second hand colour laser doesn’t print Cyan, so I want my money back. This was a fascinating process. A decision is due in the mail shortly.
  • Attended my first Krav Magra class. Very tough, but fun.


How to make a great marriage

Toastmasters Speech – Competent Communicator Manual

Project 2 – Organize your speech

Delivered: 29 August

Select your topic

  • How to make a great marriage

Make an outline

  • Poor
  • Improving
  • Good
  • Great

Develop the opening

  • Dave Meurer — ‘A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.’
  • Where-ever you are on the spectrum of marriages, there is hope that you can move up the scale. Even if it’s great, you can still “sharpen the saw”.

Draft the body

Who am I to talk on this topic?

  • Married 22 years
  • Been a participant or instructor on various marriage enrichment courses.
  • Knows what works (and what doesn’t). More about that later.

Where-ever you are on the spectrum of marriages, there is hope that you can move up the scale. Even if it’s great, you can still “sharpen the saw”.

Imagine a spectrum, from poor to great. (Use hands)

(I won’t do a “Patrick Jane” and attempt to Mentalise you by observing where your eyes are looking right now.)

I have grouped the various courses of which I have either been a participant or instructor, into three Toolboxes for improving your marriage:

  • Fundamentals
    1. Relating Between the Sexes (Pre-Marriage)
      Dean Sherman from YWAM taught me that I need to be a whole person first, before I inflict myself upon another. Don’t bring my baggage into the marriage, and deal with it first.
    2. The Marriage Course (Alpha)
      The Marriage Course taught me to treat my wife as equal but different. The 5 Love Languages, for instance was great at explaining why sometimes it would appear that we were “talking past each other.”

      • Conflict Resolution
      •  The 5 Love Languages
    3.  Get a Hobby!
      No one person could or should fulfil your every desire. It’s unhealthy. Better to have some friends for a “time-out” occasionally. For instance, my wife can go with her friends to see Chick Flicks, so I don’t have to!
  • Parenting
    1. Growing Kids God’s Way
      A controversial series, which believes in discipline, but taught me the inverse triangle of responsibility.
    2. The Parenting Toolbox series
      Ian and Mary Grant are just great.1.Toolbox for Toddlers


      3.Primary age


    3. Preparing for Adolescence
      Necessary because you want your children to be strong-minded, independent & confident but also respectful, caring and engaged. Doctor Dobson’s 20 week course is fantastic.
  • Advanced
    1. Boundaries: When to say yes, when to say no to take control of your life.
      When your Yes means Yes and your No means No, then you can really say no to the good, in order to concentrate on the best. Learning to prioritise.
    2. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul
      We were created equal, but different. Find out how to harness a man’s innate desire to lead and be respected into positive areas of growth.1.Let’s face it: the greatest hindrance to a great marriage is a passive husband.

      2.Women want a man who will take appropriate initiative.

    3. The Bible: Beginner’s Instructions Before Leaving Earth
      Read the Instruction Manual from the Manufacturer.

The Conclusion

When I married my wife, she was a Quality Manager for a large computer company. Her mantra was “process of continual improvement.” This means, you can always improve. In our marriage, this has translated into attending a course together every year. Whether it’s marriage, or parenting or simply further our education, it’s an opportunity for us to continue to grow closer together. Because the world pulls you apart. Whether it’s work or kids or friends or other interests (although there’s nothing wrong with pursuing your personal hobbies), there’s always something pulling us in different directions. That’s why it’s vitally important to be intentional to spend time together enjoying each other’s company. Because eventually, the kids will leave, work will cease, but you’ll (hopefully) still be together. By building foundations early, you won’t be caught in the trap of looking at each other in 20 years’ time and realising you’ve marriage a stranger.

Actual Discourse

For Against
It’s an alternative point of view from naturalistic materialism, which brings comfort to many Christianity is too narrow a focus for our pluralistic society.
There is a spiritual hunger, not satisfied in any other way. Conflict with use of time/resources.   Spark shouldn’t be in this business.
Act as conscience (of the company) Harden up
Useful for therapy (improve employee life) We’ve already got HR & EAP
Better to have an opinion and move on, then to wallow in unbelief & inaction. Couldn’t we just exclude the Christianity aspect?
Another method of communication and community within the company.
Aligned, on the same page
Values-based directional counselling has great value.
Good exposure to alternative view increases tolerance. Bad experiences decreases tolerance.

What Would Chaplaincy Offer?

  • Basic Life Principles
    • Boundaries
    • Marriage Course
  • Personal, private confessional (active listening)
  • Directive counselling (talking)
  • Social community
  • Potential measurement: Brand value

Thoughts outlining how I think my session will go


  • When I previously introduced myself as “Chaplain,” that was an aspirational role.
  • I am a trained student of the Bible.

Does Spark Need a Chaplaincy?

For Against
(Assuming Chaplaincy implies Christianity) It’s an alternative point of view from naturalistic materialism, which brings comfort to many. (Assuming Chaplaincy implies Christianity) It’s too narrow a focus for a pluralistic society.
Other religions are tolerant of Christian services in an (admittedly post-) Christian society. Only atheists appear intolerant of Christianity in any form. In which case, just stay away! It’s all mumbo-jumbo and I don’t want any resources diverted into such an unscientific endeavour.
I see case after case of spiritual hunger in the workplace that is being unfulfilled. I want to help. Those people can go elsewhere.   Spark shouldn’t be in the business of fulfilling spiritual hunger.
There are some basic life principles that people are not being taught, which will improve their lives (and make their work life more tolerable). Harden up? Such as what?
The Boundaries Course has helped me.
The Marriage Course has helped me.
The Alpha Course has helped me.