Friendship and fun for later life
RETIREES are staying active in the community and maintaining friendships through the numerous Probus Clubs in the greater Bendigo region.
Recently the Probus Club of White Hills celebrated Probus Day, which aims to highlight the importance of elderly citizens remaining in contact.
President Glenys Billings said this year’s theme was Do a Friend a Favour however COVID restrictions, and bad weather, meant usual celebrations were altered.
“I asked members to celebrate in their own unique way and then post some photos to Facebook or our webpage,” she said. “I told them their celebrations can be limited only by their imaginations.”
Probus, an amalgamation of the words professional and business, is an international association for retirees and semi-retirees to meet, listen to community talks and presenters, and go on trips together.
White Hills Probus was founded in 1994, and currently has 77 members, several of whom are inaugural members.
Ms Billings said while the group’s regular meetings have been disrupted by COVID-19 and only 20 members use the internet, they have been taking initiative with outdoor meetings and a “telephone tree” to stay in contact.
“Even though we can’t meet we’re fairly good at staying connected, that’s one thing we do stress in the Probus Club of White Hills,” she said.
“We do have what’s called a telephone tree and there’s 10 or 11 members who have a group of people each that they are to contact on a regular basis just to make sure they’re ok, or if they’re in hospital or need help with anything or are lonely.”
Joe Van Dillen is the secretary of Strathfieldsaye Probus Club, which was founded in 1999 and currently has just under 100 members.
He said he joined the club when he was semi-retired and loves it as a social outlet.
“It’s so important to be involved with other people and I’ve met some very lovely people at Probus, made quite a few friends,” he said.
“It does keep you active and social in the community, unlike Rotary and Apex and those that are doing things for the community, Probus is almost like a reward for people that are retired.
“Now you can just enjoy life, there’s no pressure, it’s just come along enjoy yourself and have a good time.
“Speaking for myself, it was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. I have been involved in other groups beforehand, but I just highly recommend it to anybody.”