Fremantle Gourmet is chartered

May 12, 2008

That’s the charter date, but there has been so much activity at World Headquarters with chartering clubs that it was only posted by Toastmasters International on May 22.

Congratulations to Ross Wilkinson in particular

Ross Wilkinson
Ross Wilkinson

Ross has been working tirelessly on this project since March 2007. The concept is an Advanced Club which meets monthly at a restaurant for good food and great meetings.

There have been problems

    Chefs have left restaurants which had to close down. (It wasn’t because of Fremantle Gourmet – well, we hope so, anyway!)

    Numbers weren’t big enough for other venues.

    Double bookings!!

But Ross and crew kept going and now the club is fully established. Their story can be a model for other members considering setting up similar Gourmet club in the city and to the north and east.

Read the full story below.

Congratulations to the official founding group and President Steve Barry

It’s Been A Long Journey

Back in early 2007, Fremantle Gateway Toastmasters had 32 enthusiastic members all chaffing at the bit to present speeches and this presented a “problem”. Even with the club’s three to four speeches per week, each member would only have the opportunity to present a speech, on average, once every two months. That meant it would take almost two years to complete a Competent Communicator Manual or two Advanced Manuals.

Several Gateway members wanted more speaking opportunities, so Gateway’s VPE Jeanette Farrar, planned an additional Speech-A-Thon meeting. As President, Ross Wilkinson suggested that we use a restaurant as the venue for this meeting and the Villa Roma Restaurant in Fremantle was the venue for that first meeting on 29 March 2007. The night was a huge success with six speeches being given. A great night was had by all.

On the way home, Ross made an off-the-cuff comment to Steve Barry, that if we held other dinner meetings with the same level of enthusiasm, we could easily form a new advanced club. Steve’s response was “Why not”?

Why not?

And the words ‘Why not?’ started the journey of forming the Fremantle Gourmet Club. Fremantle Gateway Toastmaster Club sponsored the development of the Fremantle Gourmet Club.

Since then we have held meetings at a wide variety of culinary locations, which include the Irish Pub, Vietnamese, African, Italian, Thai, Fremantle Workers Club, Picnics in the Park and home cooked BBQ’s.

Besides the quality of speeches, the superb meal and the great social aspect of the Fremantle Gourmet Toastmasters Club, members also benefit from the intense group evaluations.

Using the highly successful Western Founders Toastmaster Club method of group evaluation, speakers receive very productive and beneficial recommendations – Mind you, it’s not for the faint hearted, but ‘WOW’ do we learn how to improve.

The Fremantle Gourmet Toastmasters Club finally had sufficient members to charter the club at our 8 May meeting – 14 months after the original meeting.

It’s been a great journey forming this new Advanced Club.

The Club Charter Committee is:

President – Steve Barry – W21 Area Governor
VPE – Ross Wilkinson – W28 Area Governor
VPM – Mark Richards – Western Division Governor
VPPR – Jackie Perriman – Fremantle Gateway VPPR
Treasurer – Jeanette Farrar – District 73 Secretary
Secretary – Raye McNally – Fremantle Gateway President
Sergeant At Arms – Kyle Blight – Fremantle Gateway Member

Steve Barry
President Steve Barry

Ross Wilkinson
Founder Ross Wilkinson

The Fremantle Gourmet Club sponsors are Ross Wilkinson and Lynda t’Hart with the club mentors being Vicki Post and Jackie Perriman.

If you wish to attend one of the Fremantle Gourmet Toastmasters Meetings, these meetings are held at 6:15pm for a 6:30pm start on the second Thursday of each month, please email Ross Wilkinson at or contact him on 0412 383 386.

Yes, it’s been a long journey to charter Fremantle Gourmet but it’s been an exciting and worthwhile journey.

3 Responses to “Fremantle Gourmet is chartered”

  1. Avatar for Mark Richards Mark Richards says:

    Well done Ross and everyone involved with setting up Fremantle Gourmet.
    The club is a vibrant, energetic and fun club to belong to, with delicious meals at top restaurants and great speeches, it is a recipie for success.
    Well done,
    Mark Richards,
    Western Division Governor

  2. Avatar for Damian Chong Damian Chong says:

    Well done and congratulations to Ross and the team involved with Frmantle Gourmet. You join the few clubs in the world to focus on food.

    Great concept.

    All the best in the following months in nuturing the club to great successes.

    Damian Chong
    LGM 2007-2008.

  3. […] Gourmet is another great success story – in collaboration with Ross Wilkinson again.  Steve was the inaugural President.  You can read the story of the foundation of that very successful club and Steve’s pivotal role in it at Fremantle Gourmet Charter […]

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