Long-Time Member Became the Heart of Vancore
There are times in life when we’re called to meet a moment with a few carefully chosen public words. This week was one of them.
Beloved long-time Vancore Toastmasters member, Susan Chew — a larger-than-life spirit who was in so many ways the heart of the club — passed away at age 94.
Susan was a member of Toastmasters for 30 years, in three clubs, including more than 10 years at Vancore, and even started a youth leadership club.
So at our Vancore Toastmasters meeting we held our first-ever wake.
The conversation naturally flowed out of reminiscing about Susan’s presence on the club and how she personally touched many of the Vancore members.
Those members who knew Susan tried to capture her for the newer members who never met her. There were laughs and a few tears. Susan would have loved it. (Except she’d have liked more jokes.)
“Susan was an inspiration to me. I love how she embraced speaking partly to keep her mind sharp, and for the cameraderie she found in the club.”
“Susan was always an inspiration! The stories of her life were amazing. She had done so much, met so many people, and loved. I remember she used to bring photos, handwrite our nametags and make everyone feel welcome.”
~ Mary Lou
“What a legacy she left at Vancore Toastmasters and anywhere she touched.”
“Susan showed us what is possible. I loved her spunk. I got to know Susan when she made a special effort to come out to New Westminster to support me at my public talk. We later went for lunch at The Waffle House, the restaurant she started in 1955! A natural storyteller, Susan described the people and events in vivid colour. What a privilege to spend time with an incredible woman who was ahead of her time.”
“She was/is an inspiration in so many ways. She will be deeply missed. She was a sweetheart and accomplished so much in her life. We were lucky to have her in our presence for as long as we did!!
I loved her life stories, sassiness and always presenting ways to improve ourselves and the club. She showed up for socials whenever she could. I got a kick out of how bold she was…never worried about being PC. 😂 She was so committed to Toastmasters!!”
“I credit Susan a lot for the fact that I saw the light, completed the levels and got my own Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). What I didn’t realize then was how much all the meta activity would help me grow as a speaker and a leader.
Over time, we made a point of going for coffee after our club meeting and I learned more about her large family here and her many experiences.
I think that we were very lucky that she chose Vancore and her legacy has remained. My Toast…here’s to Susan Chew, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). She broke barriers, took chances and did the work.”
Susan’s verve to put herself in front of audiences and out in the public eye brought her many interesting opportunities and enriched her life.
Read about Susan Chew’s life here or in The Unbreakable Susie Chew
This is why you practice public speaking, folks.
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