Adrian Melia pictured with his award last week
Popular Leinster Leader sports photographer Adrian Melia was honoured in a very special way at his Toastmaster home club in Kildare town on Tuesday October 24.
In a break with normal proceedings, Toastmaster David Clinton interrupted the scheduled agenda for a few minutes with an important announcement.
A video message had been received from Balraj Arunasalam, President of Toastmasters International. Upon playing the video clip, Adrian Melia was left momentarily speechless as he soon learned that he was to be the recipient of an Outstanding Contribution to Toastmasters International Award for his years of service to Toastmasters.
Jane Mooney, Division Director presented the award to an astonished Adrian, who then revealed to all that it was his 58th birthday and that this was probably his best present yet.
A clearly emotional Adrian read the inscription on the back which read 'It’s not about me'.
He said “you know that’s just it, it’s not about me, it’s never been about me, it’s about us and what we can achieve together. I accept this award for all of us, for Kildare Toastmasters and I am just happy that I could be a part of it.”
Adrian learned shortly afterwards that it had originally been planned to present the award to him at the Division D finals of the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests on October 22 in Clonmel, but he had taken ill and had to be admitted to hospital.
Adrian has been fighting a prolonged battle with illness as he is suffering from advanced Stage 4 colon cancer, which has spread to his liver.
Later that day, Adrian would receive a great boost from the news that his friend David Clinton had just won the Table Topics final and would be going forward to represent Division D in the District 71 final in Sheffield on November 5.
According to the Toastmasters group, Adrian continues his battle with cancer and continues his work.
He continues to confound and to inspire people.
While the inscription had read “It’s not about me” it has to be said that Tuesday, October 24, was all about Adrian Melia.
Kildare Toastmaster meets every second and fourth Tue of each month at the Silken Thomas Pub at 7.45pm.
For more information, visit www.kildaretoastmasters.com