History of D79P

History of D79P

History of Toastmasters International District 79P

District 79P also known as GTC or the Gulf Toastmasters Council has a wonderful history. The first club in Arabian Gulf was Manama Toastmasters founded by American oilmen and few Asian Businessmen in the year 1964. In ARAMCO by the employees Dhahran Toastmasters Club (1059 U) from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia was chartered in 1978 which was followed by Riyadh Toastmasters Club 6897U started in 1987 in American Community Center by American nationals. The Leader club Manama and the following 20 clubs are listed as per their charter date.

Line Club Club # Year Location District Head
1 Manama Toastmasters 2916 U 1964 Manama, Bahrain DTM Vaijay Baloor
2 Dhahran Toastmasters 1059 U 1978 Dahran, KSA DTM Nazeer Gazaq
3 Riyadh Toastmasters 6897 U 1988 Riyadh, KSA DTM Horace, Nola Thomas  DTM J P Pattanaik,
4 Indian Club 1836 U 1989 Manama, Bahrain DTM Ponnuchami
5 Oasis Club 8258 U 1991 Damam, KSA DTM Mathews Kurien
6 Tanglaw Club 287  U 1995-05 Jeddah, KSA
7 Abu Dhabi 1950 U 1995-08 Abudhabi, UAE
8 Mabuhay 6059 U 1995-10 Riyadh, KSA
9 Dubai Chapter 7492 U 1996-04 Dubai, UAE DTM Mohammed Murad
10 Falcon Club 6632 U 1996-06 Riyadh, KSA
11 PRTC 8490 U 1996-01 Riyadh, KSA
12 Doha Toastmasters 7148 U 1997-01 Doha, Qatar DTM Sonny, DTM Manoj
13 Kohinoor Club 9209 U 1997-10 Riyadh, KSA
14 Sand Dunes 2789 U 1997-12 Riyadh, KSA
15 Ranao 3082 U 1998-04 Riyadh, KSA
16 Sri Lanka Club Toastmasters 8286 U 1998-06 Manama, Bahrain
17 Kuwait 7980 U 1999-02 Kuwait
18 Desert Diamonds 9462 U 1999-04 Riyadh, KSA
19 Muscat Toastmasters 6646 U 1999-07 Muscat, Oman
20 MILLENIUM 6664 U 1999-11 Dubai, UAE
21 City of Gold 8154 U 1999-01 Dubai, UAE

Some 24 years later the second club was chartered in Bahrain the Indian club Speakers Forum in Oct 1989 by then Toastmaster International president DTM John F Noonan when he visited Bahrain.

On a business visit to Bahrain Wellington Nevis visited Manama Toastmasters Club and along with A Ponnuchamy and Vijay Boloor (2916U) and Indian Club Speakers Forum (1836U) from Manama, Bahrain held a joint meeting of the three clubs in Manama. In this year There was only one contest the humorous speech contest, It was such a great success, that they decided to repeat the same again in 1990. In 1990 once again the joint meeting of three clubs were held in Bahrain.

Oasis Toastmasters (8258U) was chartered in 1991 in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Oasis Toastmasters Club also joined the group in 1991.

Riyadh Toastmasters Club, the only club in Riyadh since 1987 joined the group in this year and became the fifth member.

Until this year, during each conference, which was always held in Bahrain, Contests in three categories, namely Table Topics, Evaluation and International Speech were held with one participant from each club taking part in it.  The winners were only the best Speaker, best Evaluator and best Table Topics Speaker.

GTEC in its first meeting in 1993, decided to have:

  1. Different clubs hosting each year’s annual conference
  2. Every year to have International Speech Contest, Humorous Speech Contest, Evaluation Contest and Table Topics Contest during the Annual conference.

It was at the end of such a meeting in 1994, during the “business session” that Horace Caviness proposed to form a “body” to oversee the affairs of all the clubs. This “body” was named Gulf Toastmasters Executive Committee or GTEC. At that time there were five known active clubs.

In 1995 more clubs came into existence in Riyadh and UAE.

GTEC unanimously decided to form Gulf Toastmasters Council (GTC) with all participating clubs as members.


At that time there were nine clubs in Arabian Gulf. The primary objective of GTC was to work towards creating Toastmasters Territorial Council and later to strive to form a Toastmasters District in the Arabian Gulf. The GTC business meetings were attended by Club Presidents and Club Vice-Presidents (Education) or their proxies.  A constitution was drafted and was provisionally adopted.

GTC business meeting had representatives from fourteen clubs and during this meeting the constitutions was formally adopted. The GTC Officers Election was held for three positions in GTC for a term of 2 years. The goal was set to be a Territorial Council by 1999. They elected officers were:

In this year representatives from nineteen clubs attended the Annual Business meeting of the Council. The Toastmasters work continued with enthusiasm and vigor to achieve the Territorial Recognition. This year the ritual annual gathering of Toastmasters in Arabian Gulf which used to be known as Annual Conference, received the status of Annual Convention. The most popular word GTC which stood for Gulf Toastmasters Conference became a glorious part of history. But the term GTC is used as Gulf Toastmasters Council and the conference became GTAC – Gulf Toastmasters Annual Convention. Also for the very first time the Annual Convention was not held in Manama, Bahrain and it was hosted by Doha Club 7148U in Doha, Qatar. Manoj Megchiani was the GTAC1998 Chairman. During the closing ceremony of GTAC2000 GTC Governor set the goal for GTC to strive to get the Provisional District status by 2002.

In July the GTC received the recognition from Toastmasters International as a Territorial Council. It was a land mark in the Toastmaster movement in Arabian Gulf. The same year Jordan had it’s first Toastmasters Club, which was only for the women. The very first women’s Toastmasters Club was formed in Jordan. UAE region hosted GTAC1999 and the Chairman was Major Mohammed Murad CTM, CL. During this convention twenty two clubs participated and the election for 1999 ~ 2001 was held during the business session. Goal was set to get the Provisional District Status by 2002. By a resolution the tenure of the GTC officers were reduced from two years to one year.

Second area was formed in UAE comprising Abu Dhabi Chapter, Dubai Chapter, City of Gold and Millennium chapter and the elected Area Governor was K. S. Manian CTM. Oman had its Toastmasters Club and the Toastmasters of Oman visited GTAC1999 as guests for the first time.

Toastmasters of Riyadh led by Riyadh Toastmasters Club hosted GTAC2000 with the co-host Manama Toastmasters club. The Chairman was David Lloyd CTM, CL from Riaydh Toastmasters Club, Vijay Baloor Coordinator and Janaki Prasad Pattanaik DTM as Chief coordinator. During this convention twenty six clubs participated. The same set of officers continued to build the Territorial Council. Jordan was made the member country of GTC by TMI. Third Area was formed in Bahrain and ATM A. Ponnuchami was elected as the Area Governor

Manama Toastmasters Club hosted GTAC2001 the Chairman was Santosh Pai ATM. During this conference 30 clubs participated. The GTC election was conducted and the officers were as follows:


The Area one in Riyadh was split to create two new areas named Four and Five. A new area was created in Oman, the elected Area Governor was Mahmood Safar CTM. Area Two in UAE was spilt to create two more areas. Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar had special officers from GTC office known as GTC Coordinators. The first Executive committee meeting was conducted in Amman hosted by Toastmasters of Jordan. Three Divisions were formed. Division A comprised of Saudi Arabia and Jordan was led by Governor Syed Abuzafar CTM. Division B was led by Governor DTM Royston Fernadez which comprised of UAE and Oman. Division C was led by Governor Vijay Boloor which comprised of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait. By December 31, 2001 there were 45 clubs and the number required to form Provisional District was met. By June 2002 a total chartered clubs went up to 62 and 11 clubs were in the making. There was no election and the same set of officers continued to build the Territorial Council. Jordan was made the member country of GTC by TMI.

The Toastmasters who served as GTEC Chairpersons are:

Year Chairperson Club Membership
1993 Horace Caviness DTM Riyadh Toastmasters 6897U
1994 Enolia Thomas CTM Riyadh Toastmasters 6897U
1995 Vijay Boloor ATM Manama Toastmasters 2916U
Year GTC Governor Club Membership
1996 Mathews Kurien ATM Oasis Club 1059 U Al Khobar
1997-99 Mathews Kurien ATM Oasis Club 1059 U Al Khobar
1999-01 Manoj Megchiani ATM Doha Club, Doha, Qatar
2001-02 Janaki Prasad Pattanaik DTM Riyadh Toastmasters Riyadh,
2002-03 A. Ponnuchami ATM, CL Indian Club speakers Bahrain
2003-04 Mohammed Murad DTM Dubai Toastmasters Club

Since our beginning back in 1964, District 79P today is a tribute to the Hundreds of members who have passed through the Clubs in the last 40 years and who have contributed in their own ways to the growth and establishment of Toastmasters as the leading communication and leadership training organization in the Middle East.

We have had many fine leaders and success stories – all too numerous to mention here.  But… in the years to come we look forward to even greater success.


This history has been compiled and revised over many years. Our thanks are extended to those who made their records available, contributed research, wrote and edited the material. In particular, thanks go to Austin Nevis, DTM Janaki Prasad Pattaniak , DTM A Ponnuchamy, DTM Mathews Kurien.

Written by

Vijay Boloor, ATM-G

2nd May, 2003
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