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|All you want to know about PROBUS Clubs
Sponsored by Rotary International
|PROBUS - Tomorrow's Vision for Active Retirees
A commended Rotary community service activity
|WHAT IS PROBUS?
|PROBUS derives from two words, PROfessional and BUSiness. It is an association of retired people who join together in a non-political, non-sectarian International Club which provides a regular opportunity for them to meet like minded folk, make new friends and expand their interests.
Members join together in clubs, the basic purpose of which is to provide regular opportunities to keep their minds active, expand their interests and enjoy the fellowship of new friends. The basic purpose of a Probus club is to provide regular gatherings of persons, who, in their retirement appreciate and value opportunities to meet others in similar circumstances and similar levels of interest.
All clubs are sponsored by Rotary Clubs, but on formation are self governing, but must always remain within the limits of their Constitution. The involvement of a Rotary sponsoring club with a Probus club varies. Rotary clubs typically approach retired or semi-retired candidates in their community and organize the formation of a club. Once established, the club becomes an autonomous organization and its members take over leadership. Potential Probus members are not required to be past members of Rotary. Fewer than 10% of Probus members are former Rotarians.
|HOW BIG IS PROBUS?
|Started in England by two ex Rotarians in 1965, today it is estimated there are over 325,000 Probus members, in approximately 4,500 clubs worldwide. PROBUS in NZ started in 1974 and in AUS in 1975 both, unlike in the UK, directly under the control of Rotary International.
Most other countries have followed their example including Netherlands; all Ireland; Belgium; South Africa; Canada; Chile; Cyprus; France; India; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; Spain; USA; Bermuda; Germany; Zimbabwe; Trinidad; and Portugal.
More recently Ladies Probus Clubs, and Mixed Probus Clubs have been formed across the World.
Some Clubs comprise only men, some only women and some have both. Visitors are always made welcome although it is only courteous to contact the Secretary a few days beforehand.
|PROBUS FACT SHEET|
|Retirement can come too early for many people who want and are able to remain active. Probus clubs are organizations for men and women who have retired from their profession or business and want to maintain a social network with others who have similar interests. Each Probus club is sponsored by a Rotary club and meets at least once a month for fellowship and to hear guest speakers.
The involvement of a Rotary sponsoring club with a Probus club varies. Rotary clubs typically approach retired or semi-retired candidates in their community and organize the formation of a club. Once established, the club becomes an autonomous organization and its members take over leadership. Potential Probus members are not required to be past members of Rotary. Fewer than 10% of Probus members are former Rotarians.
Since 1985, the Rotary International Board has encouraged Rotary clubs to initiate projects that address the needs of a growing senior
(over age 60) population. At its March, 1994 meeting, the Board reaffirmed its commitment by urging Rotarians to organize and support PROBUS clubs as a commended community service activity.
|Probus clubs were first formed, as an acronym for Pro(fessional) and Bus(iness), in the early 1920's in Saskatchewan, CANADA, and in New Haven, Connecticut, U. S. A., the latter devoted to helping people with mental retardation, physical disabilities, and autism. Because they were not restricted to retired Professional and Business leaders, and had a different objective, they are (were) not associated with our present mainstream of Probus clubs worldwide.
The name was fused into a different type of club in England, and the first non-sectarian Probus club specifically for active retirees was formed in 1966 by the Rotary Club of Caterham, England to allow retired professionals to continue to meet together for fellowship. The previous year, the Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City, England, formed the "Campus Club" that had the same purpose. The two soon merged and flourished under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Bromsgrove, Birmingham, England.
In 1974, Probus expanded into New Zealand and by 1976 the idea had spread to Australia. The first Probus club for seniors in North America was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Galt in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada in 1987. Although Probus membership has its greatest concentrations in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, clubs today exist in all parts of the world, including the U. S., Belgium, India, South Africa and several other countries in Africa and Asia.
Except for the Probus service clubs mainly in Connecticut, U. S. A., Probus Clubs worldwide are not service organizations and are non-sectarian and non-political, although members are largely active volunteers in many community organizations.
Clubs are formed to provide social events and schedule speakers to keep members up to date with community issues and happenings. Many members have formed smaller interest groups for hobbies such as sports, entertainment, bridge playing, fishing, travel, computers, etc.
While numerous individual members regularly offer assistance with area community service projects, (if one should check the individual service activities of members in any given club, the average member would probably carry out far more volunteer service than those in most service clubs),...
Probus Clubs pride themselves on their independence and freedom from the responsibilities of a service club. The structure of the clubs is simple, and members are not required to attend a minimum number of meetings.
Probus clubs have no central governing body but Probus Centers have been established internationally by country to disseminate information and assist clubs. Offices are staffed largely by volunteers and operating costs are met by member contributions.
A worldwide web page (www. probus. org), containing essential information on Probus, includes worldwide chat groups, a new bed and breakfast program for travel, and information about forming a Probus Club.
The International Probus Network (IPN)
Conceived and formed in 1996. An informal group whose members have an opportunity of meeting together on the Internet, and discussing any matter among themselves - excluding political or religious topics. (A chat room).
The International Probus Network (IPN), originally named the Informal Probus Network was conceived and formed in July 1996 by Wilf Beer of The Woy Woy Probus Club Inc. of Australia. The initial idea was to form a series of Chat Groups, whose members had the opportunity of meeting together on the Internet, and discussing any matter among themselves - excluding political or religious topics.
A new kind of Probian Fellowship on the Net! IPNA1 was formed in 1996, centered in Australia with a nucleus of 14 Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Probians. This Group did provide a new opportunity for Fellowship on an International scale and it wasn't long before Wilf Beer found himself forming other Groups.
There are now four groups operating, two based in Australia, one in Canada, and one in the UK. By design each Group is international in composition. At present (June 2002) there are about 150 Probians participating, who link approximately 300.000 members worldwide in
There are men's clubs, ladies clubs and combined clubs. Membership is open to anyone of good character and who has had some measure of responsibility or achievement in any field of worthy endeavor.
Some clubs place a limit on membership until a vacancy arises. New clubs are formed when the need becomes apparent to the local Rotary Club.
The Emphasis is on Clubs
• Being simple in structure and free from the constraints and obligations of service Clubs.
Activities normally fall into two parts:
1. A formal meeting on a set day/days each month. This comprises a club business session, a coffee break followed by a guest speaker and/or discussion on a topic of mutual interest.
2. Outings to places or organizations of interest to members, theatre, social or sporting occasions. These may include overnight trips, tours and walks.
Clubs, whilst self governing are required to adhere to a basic set of rules of operation in order to preserve their integrity and reputation. These rules include:
Clubs are non political and non sectarian. They are non profit making and non fundraising. Presidents usually hold office for one year however, in mitigating circumstances the time limit maybe extended to two years.
Annual changes provide a variety of leadership. The Probus Centre-South Pacific Inc is the administrative and service centre in Australia/New Zealand and Rotary maintains contact and a continuing interest in it's progress.
WHAT DOES PROBUS DO AND WHEN?
Each Club has a common Constitution and is run broadly on the same lines and has similar aims. Each Club meets regularly, once a month, on a day of the week as determined by the Club members.
Probus provides an avenue to fill the void when a person retires from their vocation and provides opportunities for active retirees to meet with like minded individuals, keeping minds and bodies active and expanding interests and activities on a social level and to enjoy fellowship of new friends.
LINKS TO OTHER PROBUS SITES
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