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As we celebrate International Toastmasters Day we recognize the oldest Club in the District!

1958- The founding father

The Georgetown Toastmasters Club was founded by Mr. Derek Adamson. Mr. Adamson returned to Guyana, the land of his birth in September of 1958, after a five-year sojourn in Canada. For four of the years in Canada, he was a member of the Valleyfield P.Q. Toastmasters Club.

1959 - The first Toastmasters meeting and club charter

From a prospective 40 men with whom Mr. Adamson held discussions, the first meeting attracted only three persons. The next five attempts saw an increase to six. Based on encouragement from his wife, a final attempt yielded better results and a provisional executive committee was formed.

The first official meeting was held on the 18th day of March, 1959 at Woodbine Hotel, Georgetown and on the 26 th day of June, 1959, the club received its charter from Toastmasters International.

1969- The spawning of new clubs

The Georgetown Toastmasters Club is the mother of a number of clubs which were formed in Guyana from as far back as 1969 in the mining community of McKenzie (now Linden). Many of the clubs did not last until the advent of the Gafsons Toastmasters Club. Ever since, that club has been involved in one way or another with almost all clubs that were formed in the country.

1970- Women are now welcome to join

Since Toastmasters was a men’s venture, the club persisted in that vein up until the mid-1970s when Toastmasters International welcomed women. In Guyana, there was a parallel Toastmistress Club which was incorporated into Toastmasters after it opened its door to women. It was not until 1979 that four women were in the lineup. With the entry of women, there was a notable decline in males in the club and also those who served on the executive as Secretary.

1989- The first female President of Georgetown Toastmasters Club

In 1989 Toastmaster Joan Swami became the first elected female President of the club with the second in 1993 being her Toastmaster batchmate Cycelyne Kellman.

1989 and beyond

Today there are 13 clubs in Guyana with a membership of over two hundred and seventy. The Georgetown club has been actively involved in various educational and social activities. It has provided leaders at the District level, the highest being (formerly) District Governor in the person of Ewart Adams, DTM. To date, the club has achieved many awards including the Smedley Award, Talk up Toastmasters Award, President Distinguished and Select Distinguished. The club has also produced six Competent Toastmasters and five Distinguished Toastmasters.


Georgetown Toastmasters Club

Bernard Wilburg, IP3 Vice President Education

Georgetown Toastmasters Club

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Unknown member
Oct 23, 2021

Why hasn't there been any mention of the fact that the club may well hold the longest-serving member in Guyana and possibly the Caribbean?

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