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Double celebration

On October 19, the Combined Probus Club of St Helena had a combined celebration: its 15th Anniversary and a belated Probus Day.

Like many Clubs, especially those in Melbourne experiencing the lockdown, meetings had transitioned to being online and Zoom became the popular tool for virtual meetings.

St Helena has been using it since April for committee meetings and since September for general meetings once they had purchased a licence for the software.

With Probus balloons conveniently placed in view by a number of committee members, the general meeting proceeded with approximately 71 of its 120 members joining in online. The Club held over the singing of Happy Birthday for Club members celebrating their birthdays during the month until after the tea break.

To celebrate the anniversary two of the Club’s founding members, Lois Beevis and John Cornish, gave brief presentations on the founding of the Club, the first meeting held almost exactly 15 years ago at the Greensborough RSL and of the people and the activities they organised. John and Lois became the first President and Vice-President respectively of the Club.

Of the 65 people attending that first meeting, 31 continue to be active Club members.

The final speaker was Jan Spiden, one of the Club’s newest members. Jan recounted some of her early history living in inner Melbourne and the move that her and husband Tom made to Montmorency with a young family and of their connection to community through membership of clubs, children’s schools and volunteering with local groups.

Those community interactions have brought them to St Helena, which now affords them the opportunity to broaden their connections and participate in the spirit of Probus.

The singing of Happy Birthday has become part of the Club’s monthly meetings and they continue the tradition in their Zoom meetings.

As encouragement to get the timing just right, the singing of Happy Birthday video clip from the previous month was played before members embarked on a rousing chorus to celebrate the Club’s birthday and of those members with birthdays in October.

The Club is nowhere near good enough to feature singing as a YouTube video just yet, but they are working on it.