To those gone…

Along the way it happens that we lose friends.

They leave an indelible mark in our hearts: the one left by fellow travellers, the one left by those who looked at us kindly when needed, the one left by those who gave their hand.

The District dedicates this section to those who have left us, and whom we miss so much.

Mathilde Pak

Mathilde, we will miss you!

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved friend and fellow Toastmaster Mathilde Pak, immediate Past President of OECD Toastmasters in Paris. Mathilde passed away the morning of 6 July 2021 at the age of 36 in Paris. Mathilde was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2019.  

Mathilde joined OECD Toastmasters in February 2017 and was one of the most active and committed members of her club. Over the years she served as treasurer, Vice President Membership, and President. She was the only member in the history of OECD Toastmasters who won the annual speech contest twice. She organised and participated in many additional projects in the club, the Area and the Division, as well as mentored several members. She was also known as the club’s best recruiter; bringing several new members to the club with her contagious enthusiasm.

Toastmasters played an important role in Mathilde’s life. Even in difficult times, when she was going through heavy treatments, she continued to show up for meetings and engaged actively in all kinds of Toastmasters projects. She was famous for her endless energy, creative ideas and care for others. Mathilde was on a constant mission to make the world a better place: she taught people around her how to live more environmentally friendly, she supported people when they went through difficult times, and she actively reached out to new members to make them feel at home in our club.

Mathilde’s speeches are legendary: she used a powerful voice, fantastic humour, dance moves, singing, acting and liked to dress up for a theme. In April 2021 she delivered an impressive speech in her club meeting about her battle against cancer. Rather than a sad story, the speech was full of positivity, strength and wisdom. As Mathilde said, some people think a glass is half-full, others think it is half-empty, but the point is you must fill the glass yourself.

We cherish the many beautiful memories of Mathilde, her wisdom, love, humour, energy and optimism.