Metchosin Toastmasters group to host ‘Christmas Around the World’

‘Chosin Chatters’ and Pearson College students celebrate international customs and food

Holiday customs from around the world will be celebrated in earnest when Metchosin’s toastmasters group, the ‘Chosin Chatters, hosts students from international school Pearson College at their second annual “Christmas Around the World” event, Nov. 25.

This year’s students will share stories of holiday celebrations from their home countries of Israel, Palestine, the Bahamas and the Ukraine, and they will all be speaking in English, even though most are new learners to the language.

“They’re just brilliant kids,” said Debby Volk, a relative newcomer to the toastmasters group who’s taken in students from Pearson College in the past. “It should be an interesting evening.”

“While not everyone celebrates Christmas, the season is certainly a celebratory one in most countries and cultures,” said Alison Harle, ‘Chosin Chatters past president. “One of the most wonderful things about (Pearson) College is the opportunity for our Metchosin and East Sooke communities to share in holiday customs from around the world.”

The evening came together last year as a way to connect the community, spread awareness about public speaking and to help the College’s students grow their skills and feel a sense of belonging.

“It was that time of the season. The students’ families aren’t always around,” said current ‘Chosin Chatters president Larry Conarroe. “And just their influence, bringing their culture and different foods and sharing that with us. It was touching for them, to know they’re not alone.”

The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Metchosin Community House, 4430 Happy Valley Rd. Admission is by donation of a non-perishable food item, or cash for the Goldstream Food Bank. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, contact the ‘Chosin Chatters at info@chosinchatters.org, or drop in at any club meeting, held Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Metchosin Community House.