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Probus families, one from England & one from Australia on a Viking tour in China

Members of Probus travel, have fun and make friends. Recently two Probus families, one from England and one from Australia, met on a Viking tour in China and shared some special adventures.


Pictured: The adults from the left – Shirley, John Thorne and John, Vivian Fairbanks

In addition to walking on the Great Wall, marching with the Terracotta Warriors and cruising on the Yangtze, John and Vivian Fairbanks of the Probus Club of Aldridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom and Shirley and John Thorne of the Probus Club of Hobart Macquarie, Tasmania made a special visit to the Cen He Primary School in the Sha Shi District of Jing Zhou City, China. Their visit with the Viking tour group made a significant material difference to the on-going education of the pupils.


At the school, the children sang, danced and demonstrated martial arts as well as welcomed these Probus families into the Grade 4 classroom. It was quite an exciting visit for the children as well as our Probians.

In addition, John and Shirley had a more personal adventure of family interest during and after their last breakfast in Shanghai. At the next dining table was a local family with a young child of 18 months. After John and Shirley had clearly finished their breakfast the quiet mother asked if they could have a combined photo – possibly (John thinks) because of the grey hair! The photo was duly taken by the restaurant staff and Shirley and John engaged the young couple in conversation sharing names, occupations and hobbies. It came about that the two adults were named Ivan and Vivien, however their son did not have an English name. 

Vivien asked John and Shirley, would they name the son. The special family name of “Brendon” was offered and accepted!  In effect Shirley and John now have new family members in China including a “great-grandson” named Brendon. Vivien has kept in regular  contact via social media with excellent English!

Now that really is fun and friendship.