Qatar: ICC ONE, ICC ADVANCED & ICC EVES TOASTMASTER clubs jointly organized a farewell party for DTM Vijaya Monteiro. The nostalgic event called ‘TEARS & CHEERS’ was graced by senior Toastmasters, Division and Area Officials and Club members.
The Presidents of the 3 ICC clubs, TM Venkat Sriram, TM Asha Shiju and TM Abhijit Kuwalekar declared the meeting open. The Toastmasters of the day TM Latha Ramakrishnan & TM Abhijit Kuwalekar exuberantly anchored the day’s proceedings. The theme of the day as ‘TEARS & CHEERS’ truly reflected the mixed emotions of the day as a blend of the tears at the end of a journey and the cheers for the future. Timer TM Girija Chari & Media Representative TM Muneer Sheikh ably manned their duties.
The highlight of the meeting was the soul stirring farewell speeches of the dignitaries and club representatives. LGM DTM Saquib Raza Khan, representing the ICC ONE club, described DTM Vijaya as ‘the strongest personality he has ever come across’. He said that she was his personal mentor and was often called ‘Miss Perfect’ and ‘the Club Wikipedia’. TM Mou Bera, representing the ICC EVES club, described DTM Vijaya as a passionate and dedicated leader who had been a motivating force to many Toastmasters. DTM Malini, representing the ICC Advanced Club, described DTM Vijaya as a compassionate person and said that her best trait was her ‘never say die’ attitude.
DTM Sonny Varghese, Founder member of Toastmasters Qatar fraternity, praised DTM Vijaya’s devotion and commitment and said that she would leave a vacuum that would be acutely felt by all. Finally, DTM M.I Farid, Founder of ICC Toastmaster clubs, depicted DTM Vijaya as a person with a ‘heart of gold’ and said that what he liked best was the awesome carry home messages in her speeches. Members of the audience were invited to speak impromptu wherein TM Philip Cherian spoke of DTM Vijaya as an inspiration whose speeches always set the stage on fire and TM Shainy Kabeer described DTM Vijaya as a loyal club Mentor who had nurtured ICC EVES club as her own baby.
In her reply speech, DTM Vijaya thanked everyone for being a family to her. She said that though Qatar is a small place in the map, it will always have a big place in her heart because of all the love and support that Toastmasters has given her. Her husband Mr Baptiste also expressed his heartfelt gratitude.
DTM Vijaya, a post graduate in Sociology & Psychology and a B.Ed. in Special Education, has been actively involved in the Toastmasters movement since 2005. She achieved the coveted ‘Distinguished Toastmaster’ title in less than 3 years. She has adorned many leadership roles – Founder president of ICC EVES club and of ICC ADVANCED and President of FILCOM club. She was Area Governor of Area 43 in yr 2007-2008 and was voted the Best Area Governor in District 79. She has conducted numerous Speechcrafts, Youth Leadership programs, Judging and other educational programs. She represented Qatar in District International Speech Contest 2006.
Mother of a special needs child Vanessa, DTM Vijaya is currently building ‘PHULPAKHARU’ – a residential care facility for children with special needs in Mumbai which will facilitate the care of 225 children on completion. The first phase of the project is due for completion in April 2015. The project is funded by ‘The Tithlee Foundation’, a trust envisioned and initiated by the Monteiro Family. http://www.tithleefoundation.com/index.htm The ICC family of clubs contributed Indian Rupees one lakh towards the Tithlee Foundation as a gesture of support to her humanitarian venture.
TM Mythili, Padmini and Viji presented a fusion of Classical and Bollywood songs which had the audience clapping and joining in with fervour. TM Kumar Naidu strummed his guitar and sang a beautiful farewell song. The last item was a beautiful keyboard recital by Gavelier Avinash Naidu. The meeting ended with a cake cutting ceremony where everyone gathered to get a slice of a huge homemade cake personally baked by DTM Vijaya .