Correspondence from PROBUS Global

This is a message received from PROBUS GLOBAL, the international forum for Probus Clubs which is based in Canada.  Our Coulsdon Probus club secretary Ian Payne has replied on our behalf.  Should any member of our club wish to add to what Ian has written or would like more information please contact Richard Furlong and he will put you on his list for Probus Global Newsletter.

Dear Jim Mulvey,
A message from Richard Furlong, President of PROBUS Global:
We plan to publish a PROBUS Global Newsletter for the first quarter on March 28th.
We are requesting articles from our PG members, please note the theme for this newsletter and send your articles to:
Theme: How well has your Probus Club survived COVID and what next?
What outstanding thing/s has/have your club done to keep your PROBUS club “alive” during COVID?
What should the club do when it can meet “normally” again?
What are the future challenges for your Probus Club?
We always welcome suggestions for other Newsletter content.

This is the reply given by Ian on behalf of Coulsdon Probus:

Even before Covid-19 our numbers were falling. Ever since Rotary decided to keep their members beyond age 65 for their voluntary activities value, Probus suffered the loss of that route of attracting members. Our current average age is 81 and rising as our numbers fall – currently 30 active, 5 companions and 6 widows who are invited to events.

However, we lost only three members during the pandemic and we kept members’ interest by increasing the frequency of our newsletter from monthly to fortnightly and making sure every member received a copy – this kept members in touch with each other. Information came from individuals and our Almoner whom members kept informed. Zoom was impractical with such a non-technical group, but the Committee met a few times by Zoom or in a garden when that was permitted.

When meetings resumed in July 2021, we had very good attendance and our speaker programme recommenced. We pulled out all the stops in December for our Christmas Lunch which we turned into an open meeting with partners and guests invited – 50 attended and we haven’t stopped talking about it since.

We had to cancel our January meeting due to Omicron, but overall, morale has been maintained and we have attracted a few new members to keep our numbers stable. We are planning a major outing in July and are co-operating with other close Probus Clubs who are all eager to help fill up their coaches.

The sad news is that we’ve had 8 deaths since April 2021 (of whom 2 were among our active members and 6 since July not related to Covid) but morale is still high and members want to keep going as long as possible.

Ian Payne

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