Honoring Claude Schilling

On September 29th, after the Humorous Speech Contest, Claude Schilling was honored at a small event at a local hotel. Claude is putting a hold on his Toastmaster activities while he pursues another dream and the three clubs in Eau Claire wanted to thank Claude for his leadership over the years.

Vic Galafano, of the Chippewa Valley Toastmasters, presided over the evening activities and was at his best by deftly telling all of us jokes about Claude’s parrot.  Claude does not actually have a parrot but as Claude himself has said, “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story”.

Many people rose to tell personal stories of Claude’s leadership in Toastmasters and it was easy to see that he has earned the respect and admiration of all Toastmasters in Eau Claire.

Claude’s wife,  Corrita, took the center of the room and gave a heartfelt recognition of Claude that was emotional for many of us.

I won’t go into all the memories and the humor that was shared that evening but it was a wonderful tribute to a community leader. We should all strive to become the leader that Claude has been in this area.

The evening concluded with an Ode to Claude Schilling .

(Later we  learned that this was also his birthday and it made this more fitting.)

An Ode to Claude Schilling

May Happiness seize thee, Claude, our friend,
O Toastmaster leader extraordinaire!
Your service to mankind will surely append
Another one’s history here in Eau Claire.

Your Time and your Talent share a witty blend,
And your precious wisdom, spoken with a smile,
Reveal true greatness and they do but extend
The myth and the legend of you without guile.

‘He was no myth of history,’ the historians defended.
‘Claude led the area through the difficult days.
All here know he frequently wended
His Wisdom to everyone like a fire ablaze.’

‘Older than dirt’is his friendly approbation,
And ‘Toastmaster sandwiches’ are now eaten every day,
‘The meat is the substance for the evaluation’,
Our Toastmaster Leader communicates this way.

Our Leader among Leaders respectfully teaches,
With an integrity and courtesy that we commend,
That in Toastmasters there are ‘No Free Speeches’
And that we should complete objectives to the very end.

May Happiness seize thee, Claude, our friend.
May the shackles of mediocrity never arise,
The misfortunes of this world you will surely transcend,
To us, your fellow Toastmasters, you are ‘Claude the Wise’.

Chippewa Valley Toastmasters
Club 6173 District 35