Probus club issues invitation to retired folk

Published on: 30 Jan 2017

A CLUB for retired businessmen is looking for new members to join in its fortnightly meetings near Kingswood.

Kingswood Probus Club is running an open morning at 10.30am on Thursday February 9 to let prospective members find out more about the activities that take place.

An international series of clubs, Probus takes its name from PROfessional and BUSiness, the former career choices of its members. It was created as a social outlet for retired or semi-retired men, and many have links to local Rotary clubs, although Probus clubs do not fundraise. 

The Kingswood branch, formed 42 years ago, is one of the oldest in the UK. The 44 members meet every second and fourth Thursday of the month at 10.30am at Warmley Community Centre in Deanery Road.

Former club president Keith Hunt, 74, from Downend, has been a member for four years and said the family feeling of the club was what attracted many members.

He said: “People have said it’s what keeps them going after retirement. When it first opened the club was invitation only, and there was a long waiting list because we have a maximum of 50 members.

“But because people are tending to retire later now, often working past 65, we’ve got the space to invite other people who want to find out what Probus is all about to come along and see us.”

Club members range in age from 61 to 92, with an average age of 80, and come from all over South Gloucestershire, Bath, and Bristol, including Hanham, Downend, Chipping Sodbury, Easton, Emersons Green and Winterbourne.

They share a background in some kind of business or professional life, with careers from former Bristol Rovers footballer to newsagent represented.

As well as fortnightly two-hour meetings, they have the chance to take place in three day trips and two holidays each year, to which partners are also invited.

After the last meeting of each month, members go out for lunch together, and other pub lunches are arranged during the year.

Keith said: “Each fortnight we have a speaker come along. They’ve covered all kinds of topics such as volcanoes, local railway lines and photography.

“We’ve run more than 1,500 events since we were set up, and we think that might be the record for the UK.”

Anyone interested in joining can get in touch via the club’s website www.kingswoodprobus.co.uk

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