Probus clubs mark 40-year milestone

THE friendships, fun and social benefits that Probus provides its members appears to be a driving force behind why the organisation has lasted 40 years in Australia.

SOCIAL: Julie McAllister (Tomaree ladies), Lorraine Fenemore (Nelson Bay ladies), Paul Phillips (Tilligerry), Ray Davies (Raymond Terrace men's), Carol Phillips (Tilligerry), Julia Redlich (Fingal Bay), Ann Gibson (Port Stephens), Allen Beard (Tomaree men's) and George Hammond (Port Stephens). Picutre: Ellie-Marie Watts

SOCIAL: Julie McAllister (Tomaree ladies), Lorraine Fenemore (Nelson Bay ladies), Paul Phillips (Tilligerry), Ray Davies (Raymond Terrace men's), Carol Phillips (Tilligerry), Julia Redlich (Fingal Bay), Ann Gibson (Port Stephens), Allen Beard (Tomaree men's) and George Hammond (Port Stephens). Picutre: Ellie-Marie Watts

Each of those attributes were described as primary reasons as to why members from seven of the Port’s 10 Probus clubs enjoyed being part of the movement when the Examiner caught up them on March 4.

Allen Beard, from the Tomaree club, said Probus had enriched his life after he moved to Nelson Bay from the United Kingdom eight years ago.

“Three of four months after we moved here I joined Probus,” he said. “As a result, I now have a rich circle of friends. I owe Probus a lot.”

It was a similar story for Julia Redlich, from Fingal Bay Probus, who moved to the Port suburb from Sydney.

“I had given lots of talks to clubs in Sydney and met some lovely people,” she said. “We all had something on common. When I moved here I saw that there was a club just down the road from me. I joined the club and everyone is just so friendly.”

Probus, derived professional businessmen and women, is for semi and retired men and women. It was established in England in 1966 to cater for retired Rotarians. Probus is now a worldwide organisation.

Nelson Bay, Tomaree and Raymond Terrace each have men and women only Probus clubs, while Tilligerry Peninsula, Fingal Bay and Medowie are all mixed clubs.

The Nelson Bay-based Port Stephens Probus Club is also mixed and has the largest membership in the area.

Formed in 1983 it is the second oldest club behind Nelson Bay men’s Probus, which was established in 1979. The Raymond Terrace men’s club was established in 1984, making it the third oldest in the Port.

George Hammond, president of Port Stephens Probus Club, said there was a danger of having too many clubs in the area.

“Overcrowded Probus clubs suffer from lack of members,” he said.

Each club offered its members something different which is why Mr Hammond encouraged anyone looking to join to attend a couple of meetings to see if they enjoyed attending.