Meet D108: Division B

B stands for Brave, Bold, and for the largest Division of our District.

4 countries – Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

4 languages – English, Finnish, Lithuanian and… Spanish!

All of that in one division, full of surprises!

It’s time for a great trip across the Baltic Sea, together with Division B member – Jurgita Keblytė!

We start from the top – literally, as Vaasa Toastmasters is the most northbound club in whole of our District! They have some very close neighbours – Turku Club, which is only 335 km away, Tampere Toastmasters, 240 km away, and 8 more clubs in Helsinki, a stone’s throw away. A Finnish stone’s throw is about 420 km.

However, their very closest neighbours are Virtual Speakers, as this club meets literally everywhere – on the Internet! They were online before it was cool!

Finland holds many more surprises.

Helsinki Toastmasters is the first club in this country – it was them who showed that despite the silly stereotypes, Finns can be social and friendly, and great public speakers!

Then there is the MiB Toastmasters. Every person in our organisation is busy and ambitious, and members of this club are a living proof, as they have two jobs – at work they perform their duties, at home they are full time mothers. Yes, MiB is meant predominantly for working moms!

And you can also say ¡Hola! to the members of Finlandia Toastmasters, as their club is a Spanish speaking one. ¡Muy bien!

The journey leads on to Estonia. Don’t be misled! This little country holds the oldest club in Division B – Toastmasters Tallinn club was founded back in 2001. They have kept the Toastmaster tradition ever since. They also have a younger sister club – Tallinn Talkers, known for fearless public speaking.

Latvia is a home to one Toastmasters club at the moment. This first Latvian club, Toastmasters Riga, was founded in 2012 and they have been storming on ever since. They are the home club of Humorous Speech Champion 2016 and have prevailed in other contests, eg. best promotional video in Baltic countries in 2017.

Last but not least, our journey ends in Lithuania. This beautiful country hosts 6 diverse clubs – both English and Lithuanian speaking, both corporate and community. Lithuanians are known for their leadership skills – their clubs keep on giving birth to district officers!

Confident Voices Vilnius is home club of the current Division Director, Mantas, as well as the Immediate Past Division Director, Dovile, who now serves as the Program Quality Director.

Toastmasters Kaunas English gave the district three Area Directors – Julius, Lukas and Giedre! But they don’t forget about public speaking either – their member, Farussil, is the Humorous Spech Champion 2019.

Vilnius holds also the oldest club in Lithuania – First Toastmasters of Lithuania, founded in 2008.

Phew, this was some journey! It’s not easy to bring together people from four different countries, speaking four different languages, and yet Division B manages this perfectly. They connect Finnish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian qualities in a great mix of leadership, communication, knowledge and community. They even meet outside of official Toastmasters events – in 2018 they organised a special Baltic Toastmasters Retreat, where they could all get together. Let’s all learn from these wonderful people!

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