Where Does Probus Fit In?

Probus Clubs offer fellowship and friendship among retired men and women and give them the opportunity of mixing socially with the kind of people they associated with during their working lives. Many retired people, of course, are happy with their own interest, or perhaps they follow a sport or have a hobby, but equally many have a quiet life at home or just pottering around the garden. What your retired man or woman often misses is the camaraderie and repartee they had with busy colleagues in a busy office.

Probus puts you in touch with like minded people with whom, over lunch, you can find so much in common. Probus fights shy of politics, religion and racial prejudice. Men and Women tend to have their own Probus clubs, however in Chichester both are equally welcome.

The unique aspect of Probus is that every club is a law unto itself. There is no central office and no levies to be paid. Clubs tend to create a program of activity that suits their own particular membership. Some clubs are strong on sporting activities such as golf and bowling and then there are more sedentary clubs that enjoy a regular lunch with speakers on topics of mutual and local interest.

A Potted History

It all started in 1965 when some older Rotarians were not too thrilled with the prospect of being “put out to grass” when they retired.

Rotarians Fred Carhill of Welwyn Garden City and Harold Blanchard of Caterham both conceived the idea of Probus at about the same time and started club meetings. One group was initially called the Campus Club, but in due course they became known as PROBUS (PROfessional BUSiness people). We now embrace people who have had responsibility in any field of endeavour.

So from those slow beginningss, the late Sixties and Seventies saw a vast expansion of clubs. An article in the Rotary International News Sheet mentioned what Probus stood for and new clubs sprang up here, there and everywhere. Today there are well over 1500 in the UK alone.

In the mid 1970’s a visiting Rotarian (Cliff Johnson) discovered Probus. Australia now has 1250 clubs and New Zealand 250 plus. We now have Probus clubs all over the world!

What has Chichester Probus Club to offer?

Our club, The Chichester and District Probus Club is a monthly luncheon club, which was formed in May 1969 and now meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Crouchers Hotel near Chichester. We have some excellent speakers on a wide range of subjects as some of our recent examples show: Rear Admiral John Lippiett, The Mary Rose Project, Surgeon James HIcks Prostate Health and John Barclay, Past President of the MCC.

Meetings begin at about 12:15 for 1:00 to allow members to have a pre lunch drink and a chat. We usually have around 50 members attending for a reasonably priced two course lunch. There is a modest subscription to cover administrative costs.