PHILIPSBURG:--- Soualiga Corporate Toastmasters Club on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 in the evening had a session with the new political candidates on the different party lists for the upcoming election. The University of Sint Maarten was the venue for this event. The parties contesting the upcoming election had the opportunity to send a candidate on their list that will participate for the very first time in the election process. The following parties were represented: Help Our People Excel, HOPE in the person of Mercedes van der Waals-Wyatt: United Sint Maarten Party, the US in the person of Early Charlemagne; Democratic Party. DP in the person of Mario Coocks; United Peoples Party, UP in the person of Armand Meda and National Alliance, NA in the person of Rene Violenus.The evening started with the packed room together with the candidates singing the Sint Maarten song. The Soualiga Corporate Toastmaster club President, Tamara Groeneveldt then introduced the candidates to the Toastmaster and what it stands for. “The Toastmaster is a club that trains persons in the art of public speaking. An environment is created where the persons learn to become a better speaker and a leader in the community. The Soualiga Corporate Toastmaster Club is the club for civil servants. We meet the first and third Wednesday of the month at the A.C. Wathey legislative Hall come join us if you want to learn and become a better speaker and a leader in the community.”
The Vice President Education, Sanjana Manek then introduced the rules of the Table Topic-A-Thon to the candidates. “You are allotted one minute to answer a question that will appear on the screen and the moderator will repeat the question for clarity,e-timer” she said. “Because Toastmaster pays attention to time, we-timer that will look into your use of the time allotted. There will be 3 rounds of questions.”
The moderator, Joy Arnell, then guided the candidates into the session. “You are required to answer the question ask. The question you got will be the question you will have to answer. There will be no rebuttal and the questions are not of a political nature. Use your time wisely.’” She said
The evening was very much excited as the candidates did their best to answer questions like: “what is your favorite song? What was the most resent event where you laughed till you belly hurt? Explain the saying Aspire to Inspire Before we Expire.” We heard that “my father and my dog and the passing school children had me laughing so much so that I almost pissed my pants.” We also hear that one zouk song was the one I love because me and my dancing partner are tall persons and that is excellent for the dancing of a zouk.” We where electrified when we had to get up, dress up and show up. “The positive energy should keep us going and moving into the positive direction so we can bring about the positive change.” We heard that “It is important that we aspire to the noble things of life. We have to inspire other to follow to the positive and when we expire leave the legacy that all can follow and accomplish positive things in live.” We have been thought to “forget about the crooks, vote for Marvio Coock.”
In the 3rd round the candidates where given the opportunity to sell their candidacy in 2 minutes time. All the candidates did a very good job and promoted their self and their party to the best of their ability. “I can say that the evening was well spent and the public present had the opportunity to see the candidates speak on their feet. No speech was prepared and no debate was held. But rather we get to know these candidates a little better.” Some of the candidates’ confessed that it was not what they had expected. Some went to a special session in their camp to train for the Table Topic-A-Thon” said Leito.
The president thanked all for being present and the candidates for their impromptu and natural participation and invited persons who want to be part of the Toastmasters training process to get in contact with any one of the clubs here in Sint Maarten.