The Traveling Gavel

Clubs that capture the Traveling Gavel should email and within a day.

Current Location of the District 31 Traveling Gavel

Updated June 16, 2017


June 5, 2017 was a critical day in the history of the Earth. Responding to a tip of an unauthorized alien incursion, agents G1, G2, K, L1, L2, M and R departed ToastWizards central headquarters at Raytheon BBN Technologies (“Where Wizards Work”) and traveled to Acton to rescue the Isaac Davis Club in Acton from a Gavelon travelling in a small red-colored craft. We spotted and subdued the alien, then had a great meeting with the Isaac Davis Club, which allowed us to learn how a club with a long and proud history runs a meeting. We were rewarded with a chance to fully participate in the meeting and took home a few new ‘tricks of the trade’ to think about in our own club as well as the lovely and ever elusive Traveling Gavel.

Afterwards we retired to the Crossroads Café for a nosh and Agent R discovered what an Onion Martini was! All in all an amazing evening and we thank the Isaac Davis Club for their hospitality and generosity.

Front (L to R): Sandeep Goel, Alice Leung (Agent L2), Colleen Rock (Agent R), Sanjay Tyagi
Standing: Gary Budiansky, Hank Fitek, Jagdish Bakshi, John Griffith (Agent G1), Peter Deng, David Lintz (Agent L1), Andrew Gronosky (Agent G2,) Anne Marie Kavey (Agent K), Mike Mateo (Agent M), Vicky Maynard

Updated May 11, 2017

Isaac Davis Club

On April 19, 1775, Captain Isaac Davis and his brave company of Acton Minutemen marched to Concord to participate with the other colonists in the fight against British occupation. The Acton Minutemen joined the charge across the Concord North Bridge. Captain Isaac Davis was heard to say “I have not a man that is afraid to go” as they joined the battle!
History repeated itself on May 8, 2017. Peter Deng, President of the Isaac Davis Toastmasters Club, led the march to the Concord Library. The mission was different this time. His club’s trek was to find and relocate the District 31 Traveling Gavel. President Deng was heard to say “I have not a Toastmaster that is afraid to go,”as the covert team left their Acton Library Headquarters and headed for Concord.
The 4 Isaac Davis robbers encountered surprisingly little resistance when they finally got to the Alcott Toastmasters Club. In fact, the Alcott Club added them onto the evening Toastmasters agenda. They ran a fine Toastmasters meeting. The Isaac Davis Club would love to come back to visit again sometime in the future.
The District 31 Traveling Gavel was successfully stolen. Rumor has it that it is locked up somewhere deep in the cellars of the Acton Library.
Thank you to Kevin Feeney and Marie Bankuti for their help and hospitality in arranging the evening. Thanks to the Alcott Toastmasters Club for being so welcoming to the incoming robbers!
Photograph: Alcott Toastmasters members (left to right) – Jim Gonzalez,  Dotty O’Donnell,  Alyce Nelson, and  Kevin Feeney.  Isaac Davis Toastmasters robbers (left to right) – Peter Deng, Aruna Sonti, Gary Budiansky, and Hank Fitek.

Second photo shows the gavel being taken straight out of Alcott president Kevin’s hands.

Updated January 18, 2017

Alcott Toastmasters

Congratulations to Alcott Toastmaster’s raiding party – Alyce Nelson (Chief Instigator!), Kevin Feeney, Dotty O’Donnell, and Jim Gonzalez! On Wednesday evening January 11, they attended and participated in the Sales and Marketing Toastmasters Club Meeting. This club, which meets at Constant Contact offices in Waltham, have had the Traveling Gavel only since November 2016. They were sad to see it go so soon, but happy they got to meet our great team! The Traveling Gavel now resides with Alcott Toastmasters in Concord, MA.
A special thank you to Steve Burnell and Mark O’Hara for working with Alyce to integrate members of Alcott Toastmasters into their meeting. The Sales & Marketing Toastmasters is an outstanding club. In addition to the Traveling Gavel (he he he) we went home with lots of great ideas for our own club and our speaker and evaluator received terrific and valuable feedback.
Yes, we think the gavel will be quite happy in Concord!

Updated November 10, 2016

Sales & Marketing Club

From the Sales & Marketing Club in Waltham… On Thursday, November 10, 2016, four members of the Sales and Marketing Toastmasters club visited FM Global Norwood to capture the Traveling Gavel! It was well kept and treasured during its 170-day stay in Norwood and we thank the club for their hospitality, good nature and, of course, the gavel. They are indeed a friendly, gracious group and we are very happy to have met them.

Get in touch with the club to capture the gavel for your club!


Updated May 30, 2016
FM Global Norwood Toastmasters Club

The District 31 Traveling Gavel has a new home! FM Global Norwood Toastmasters Club captured the gavel from the Clean Harbors Toastmasters club on May 25, 2016.  Kalyn Magazu, Joe Nunes and Joanna Blaney truly enjoyed visiting this club, meeting the members of this club and being a part of their meeting.


Updated December 9, 2015
Clean Harbors Toastmasters

Clean Harbors Toastmaster club captured the Traveling Gavel from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Toastmasters Club, with some of their fearless members on December 9, 2015. Pavel Milonov, Sarah Slayton, Kristine LaRocque, Michelle DeStefano, Grace Landy and Dan Bartholomew each stepped out of their comfort zones and participated in the MIT meeting.

According to the Club’s President Dan Bartholomew, “It was a memorable experience for the daring group of Clean Harbors orators, one they won’t soon forget.”


Tuesday Toastmasters at MIT Club – 00680823
Updated December 9, 2015

Robert Tamulis, Club Vice President Public Relations, Brian Melket, Club President and Roger G. Swenson raided Friday Toastmasters at MIT on Friday, November 27th. It was a small, but so very fun meeting after Thanksgiving. Tuesday TM normally meets Tuesday
nights from 6:30-8pm, but we made it to the noon meeting. After the meeting we had a lunch meeting at Legal Seafood.

A picture was taken with the Presidents of the Tuesday club, Brian and the Vice President Education Robert Forbes and Mehmet Akif Cetinkaya.



Toastmaster@MIT is the current owner of the District 31 Traveling Gavel.

Updated October 28, 2015

2015-10-26 18.57.02-Trav-Gavel2

Toast Wizards of Raytheon BBN Technologies (“where wizards work”) invited Toastmasters@MIT (8843) to attend their meetings and vie for the Traveling Gravel.  We announced our intention on the first attempt, but we were unable to gain enough pirates to make the raid.  Our second attempt was like A Call to Arm, not even enough time to warn the Toast Wizards of our raid.  We secured the bounty on Monday, October 26, 2015, bringing it back to Cambridge territory.  The last time the prize was held in Cambridge was just over 2 years ago, September 17, 2013 by the SMMA club.

Toast Wizards consider themselves a young club.  You wouldn’t know this if you visit their club.  In only 1 year, they have set a standard on what direction a club should head in so as to earn the Distinguished Club Award.  Our VP Ed has visited Toast Wizards 2 other times, each time they have sweated the details in preparing for their meetings.  In this raid, they recognized our team and graciously invited us to participate in the Halloween Themed Table Topics, candy included for the participants, (needless to say, we raided those as well (yumm!).

In this scene, the Toast Wizards surrendered the Traveling Gavel to Toastmasters@MIT (from left) Susan Hart, Brian Melket and Robert Forbes (VP Ed) receiving the hand-off from David Lintz.

The Traveling Gavel now resides with Toastmasters@MIT on the MIT Campus – Building E17-139, 40 Ames Street, Cambridge MA.

Raiders are welcome to our weekly Friday afternoon meeting during the hours of 12:00-1:00.  We expect to be raided soon, so don’t wait!  You can email us at

Toast Wizards

Updated August 31, 2015

Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known to all and sundry that Toast Wizards,whose name derives from Raytheon BBN Technologies’ unofficial slogan “where wizards work”, captured the Traveling Gavel in a daring pirate-and-wizard raid on Hanover Toastmasters on Monday, August 31, 2015.

We encountered little resistance, but much hospitality and eloquence.
The Hanover Toastmasters graciously invited us to participate in their
meeting. The leader of our raiding party, David Lintz, offered a fitting
Word of the Day: “Shenanigans” — complete with a dramatic reading of a
scene from South Park. This was a great opportunity for our young club
to learn how a more experienced group of Toastmasters delivers their
speeches and runs their meetings.
Here is the scene of the capture, with Hanover Toastmasters surrendering
the Traveling Gavel to Toast Wizards (from left) David Lintz, Alice
Leung, Ann Marie Kavey, and Andrew Gronosky.

The Traveling Gavel now resides with Toast Wizards at 10 Moulton St.,
Cambridge, MA. We invite all would-be privateers from the District to
contact us through our web site at to announce your “raid” and
attempt to claim the Traveling Gavel as your rightful plunder! We look
forward to your visit.

Updated July 21, 2015

Hanover Toastmasters currently has the Traveling Gavel.  We captured it on 11/12/14 from Spirited Speakers Toastmasters of Middleboro.  Since then, we have been displaying it proudly at our club meetings, but look forward to a visit from another club to capture it for themselves!

Our “posse” is made up of (from left) Meredith Smith, Stacey Shipman, Suzanne Coyle (Spirited Speakers president), Jane Anderson, Srinivasa Karra.



updated May 2014

Spirited Speakers of Middleboro, MA is now in possession of the coveted and recently well-traveled Traveling Gavel! As they were hatching their plan to snatch it from Global Glossophobes of Rhode Island, it moved thrice: 1st to  Advanced Access in Brookline, then to Talk of the Town in Newton, then back to Rhode Island at Rhode Island Advanced Toastmasters. They raided the RIAT Monday night meeting and brought it back to Massachusetts!

updated August 2014


We cordially invite visits from all District 31 clubs to capture the gavel themselves. Three members from a club in good standing need to visit TOTT and participate in our meeting to capture the gavel.  We encourage competition among clubs–there have to be several clubs vying for posession of this coveted trophy and we would love to host a battle for the Traveling Gavel. Please contact us prior to any of our meetings and we can give you roles.

Full details on the Traveling Gavelprogram can be found at the District 31 web site, under the ‘Extra Curricular’ drop down menu.

The photo at right from the evening of Tuesday July 15th shows Talk of the Town members, Nancy Murphy, Susan Harrington and Mark Connell grabbing the Traveling Gavel from Advanced Access Toastmasters President Scott Green, who himself had, only the week before, participated in a raid upon the FM Global Glossophobes (Club #843267) of Johnson, RI to bring the Traveling Gavel back to Massachusetts.

While this was a somewhat unorthodox method of capture (since Nancy, Susan and Mark are all members of TOTT, in addition to being members of Advanced Access), we left the meeting with the gavel and the blessing of Scott. In the true pirate spirit of raiders, we have continued to assert that possession is not just nine-tenths of the law, it’s everything.

We welcome raiders to join us at 7pm on any 2nd or 4th Wednesday of the month, at 345 Walnut Street in Newtonville at the Newton Senior Center.

District 31 Traveling Gavel Find New Home

July 2014


“I always wanted to grow up and be a pirate” said Scott Green, President of the Advanced
Access Toastmasters #3574270 in Brookline, Massachusetts. “This was my first successful raid!”

The team of Kurt Faustin, Shauna Green and Scott Green captured the elusive Traveling Gavel from the FM Glossophobes #843267 on Thursday, June 26th in Rhode Island.  Nothing, not  even a car accident and traffic jam on 128 that caused our pirates to travel the distance of two miles in forty minutes was going to stop this trio from obtaining their goal.

Kurt Faustin, 2nd place winner in the District International Speech Contest gave a speech and Scott Green, 3rd place winner in the District International Speech Contest helped out as General Evaluator and Shauna Green, Treasurer of the Advanced Access Toastmasters
participated in Table Topics.

“This is what it’s all about!”, said Scott.  “Going to other clubs, meeting new people and
sharpening your Toastmasters skills.”

President Green wanted to find a creative way to lure more guests to the advanced club and found out about the program on the District 31 website.  The Advanced Access Toastmasters Club meets the third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in Brookline, Massachusetts at the Brookline Interactive Group at 46 Tappan Street.  They meet on the third floor.

The “Traveling Gavel” program encourages Toastmasters from all clubs to visit each other and to engage in each others meetings.  As a reward, the visiting club gets to claim the gavel as their reward.  But watch out, the FM Glossophobes led by Michelle Raymond, Gina Fiontella and Stephen McGrath have held the gavel twice and are already conspiring to get it back.

The gavel currently resides at:    FM Global Glossophobes, Club #843267
The FM Global Glossophobes captured the award from the Saturday Brunch Bunch of Cumberland, Rhode Island who captured it from the FM Global Glossophobes!  Evidently, those Glossophobes are shooting for a new “Boomerang Award”.  Dressed up as the mob from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the Glossophobes raiding party included Gina Fiontella, Haneefah Abdulla, Kathleen O’Brien, and Michelle Raymond.


What is the Traveling Gavel?

The District 31 tradition of the Traveling Gavel was established November 4, 1995 by Karen Purple.  The purpose was to encourage clubs to visit each other, share talents and knowledge of communications and leadership, and extend the fellowship of the Toastmasters organization. This tradition has become a fun and rewarding experience for both the host and capturing clubs. Since the creation of the Traveling Gavel, it has graced more than 30 Toastmasters Clubs. Six clubs have held the honor twice: Clinton, Achievers, Tri-County Talkers, Gateway Gabbers, Quincy Toastmasters, and Central Artery Tunnel.  Most recently, the FM Global Glossophobes were added to this list with their second capture in a few months.

D31 Traveling Gavel Protocol

There are specific protocols for the successful capture of the gavel:
A qualified capture of the gavel is made when three (or more) club members from a “raiding” club visit the current Gavel Host Club .  The capture team should participate in the Host Club’s meeting in some way, so call ahead to get on the agenda.  The gavel can also change hands at a joint meeting between the current gavel host club and another qualified District 31 club.

  1. The visiting Toastmasters “Capture” the Traveling Gavel at the end of the meeting; taking their prize home to celebrate at their own next club meeting.
  2. Once a Traveling Gavel is captured, the visiting Toastmasters must announce the new home for the Traveling Gavel by emailing and (within 1 day, please).  The new location (Club Name, Area) will be posted on the District website so that other Toastmaster Clubs can develop their plan to capture the coveted Traveling Gavel.  An image or two of the capture will help the District advertise your club’s accomplishment.
  3. Only members in good standing of clubs in good standing that meet at least twice a month are eligible to capture the gavel.
  4. The gavel can only be captured when at least 3 qualified members of a raiding club announce their intention and travel to the host club to lay claim to the gavel.
  5. If two or more qualified clubs attempt to capture the gavel on the same meeting:
    • the gavel goes to the club which is located furtheraway (the club meeting location).
    • If visiting clubs are equidistant, the gavel goes to the club sending more members.
    • If there is still a tie, the gavel is given to a club that has not previously held it.
    • If necessary, a coin toss or drawing may be used to identify a winning captor club.
  6. It is not necessary for the host club to tell potential captors that other clubs will also be attempting a capture.  This only adds to the urgency to plan your own raiding party.
  7. A Travel Log is part of the gavel package.  Host clubs are encouraged to use one page in the book to document the capture including the date and the list of “captors”.  It is also nice for host club to add comments about their experiences while in possession of the gavel.  All entries must be dated, signed with the name of the club listed.  The Travel Log is a history of this treasure, the District 31 Traveling Gavel.

Recent Gavel Travels

The FM Global Glossophobes are the current hosts of the Traveling Gavel.  No this is not a typo.  The Glossophobes took the gavel from Saturday Brunch Bunch in Cumberland, Rhode Island who recently took it from the FM Global Glossophobes Club about November 24, 2013.   Thanks Glossophobes for reporting the capture and providing a nice image!

Somerville Toastmasters stole the gavel from Framingham/Natick.  They hosted the prize for several months before it was captured by SMMA club in Cambridge on Tuesday, September 17th 2013.

The 2013 updated gavel was delivered to the Framingham/Natick club on March 20, 2013 at the club’s contest.  This club was chosen by the District 31 Trio, based on the club’s premier performance as of the date the updated gavel was ready for circulation.

The last documented stop of the 1995 Traveling Gavel was the Eastern Middlesex Club in Stoneham.  The Gavel was “surrendered” to EMS Club by Constant Communicator’s Kimee Doherty in the beginning of April, 2010 (ironically, April Fools Day).
Unfortunately, the trail of the lost Gavel grew cold and it could not be found.
(If you or your club captured the award from Eastern Middlesex and accidentally dropped it in the ocean, you can finally smile.  Eastern Middlesex Club has no record of it and has nobly taken the “hit” for the lost gavel!)

The Gavel was captured by Constant Communicators in Waltham from the Lakesiders club on March 22, 2010.  Eastern Middlesex attempted a Capture from Lakesiders at the same meeting but were thwarted by Constant Communicators who, as the more distant club, took home the prize.  The Waltham captors were:
Kimee Doherty
Rachel Drucker
Rose Bamford

The Gavel was captured by the Lakesiders Toastmasters club from the Boston Speech Party Toastmsters club on February 24, 2010.  Lakesiders Toastmasters that participated in the “Raiding Party” were:
Barbara Hayden
Carolyn Melbye
Liuda Dovydenas
Nancy Trimper
Bill Ryan
Lena Maxwell
Stephanie Isabel
Kristen Henshaw
Melissa Orso
and Ray Lombardi

The Gavel was captured from Quincy Toastmasters by the Boston Speech Party Toastmsters club on January 11, 2010.

Quincy Toastmasters acquired the Traveling Gavel from the Achievers Club in Foxboro on March 17, 2009.  It was captured by:
Brian Connolly
Tina Patch
Mindy Milman
Renee Fruzzetti
Kevin Murphy

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