Highnooners Toastmasters celebrates 50 years

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) — A lot has changed in the past 50 years.

From the price of gasoline (a gallon of gasoline cost an average of $0.36 in 1972) to the average family income (in 1972 the average family earned about $11,000 a year).

But one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the success of a local Toastmasters group.

The Highnooners Toastmasters club was formed on November 1, 1972.

Fifty years later, the club is still helping people overcome their fear of public speaking.

This is no ordinary Toastmasters meeting. It’s a celebration. Highnooners Toastmasters Club #1371 was formed 50 years ago. Mike Deisz was a founding member. He remembers starting the club and rocking the boat a bit by letting women join.

“I couldn’t think of a reason why they shouldn’t. They joined in and did well. And they were good speakers,” Deisz said.

The Highnooners club is one of the first clubs in the world, if not the first, to allow women to become members. June Hanson was one such woman.

“I was a little scared, a little shy, but what a pleasure to meet again,” she recalls.

Now, 50 years later, women like Hanson and men like Deisz are carrying on the tradition of Toastmasters not only by becoming better, more confident speakers, but also better leaders in the community.

The Highnooners meet the first and third Tuesday of the month at the BSC. You can find out more about the band on their website.