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             **  GUEST SPEAKERS PAGE  **

    PROBUS  – Friendship, Fellowship and Fun

  Each month our speaker convenor, Don Uren, organises for a guest speaker to address members.


Our guest speaker for the start of 2018 (10th January) was 

Don Horsborough....."Puffing Billy".   

Don spoke about the famous Puffing Billy Railway in Belgrave, giving it's history and how the many narrow gauge rail tracks came to be in the Colony of Victoria before the turn of the century (19th into 20th century) and the present operation. While the train no longer carries livestock and timber, it was in danger of being closed due to a landslide in 1953. Public interest resulted in the formation of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society. Run by volunteers and with the blessings of Vic Railways and assistance by the CMF by-passed the landslide and reopened the line to Menzies Creek in 1962, Emerald in 1965, Lakesidein 1975 and finally to Gembrook in 1998.

Don was well qualified to present the information on Puffing Billy and answered many questions from members at the conclusion of his presentation.  

 Here is a little about Don's background.

Don became a volunteer in 1991 when he retired from paid employment.  He served as an Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force for 21 years before seeking industry experience.  RAAF service was followed by more than 15 years as a human resources manager in the public and private sectors of the rail industry.  The rail industry where he’d most recently worked, appealed as the place to be, so it wasn’t a difficult choice to become a volunteer with Victoria’s famous Heritage Steam Railway.

In a voluntary capacity, over a 26 year period, Don has worked at the heritage steam railway as a booking clerk, station- master, retail assistant and more recently over a 4 year period project managed the interviewing, scheduling and publishing of a PBPS Book “Saving Puffing Billy”.  He has served as an elected member of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society Executive Committee and has recently chalked up 600 speaking presentations throughout Victoria since joining the Speakers Panel in August 2000.  In 2004 Don succeeded (the late) Laurie Bunn and became Coordinator of the Visiting Speakers Panel.  During his time as Coordinator Don has spent hundreds of voluntary hours administrating the Speaker’s Panel activities in addition to undertaking speaking engagements and selling shop merchandise to those attending his presentations.

Don lives in Rowville with his wife Beverley. He believes it is important to preserve the unique history of a working heritage steam railway.  

                                          Well done Don U on asking Don H to Mansfield 

Guest Speaker for November was Mr.Alex Green -

                     - CEO of Mansfield Shire..

Alex gave us an insight to how he has come to live in Mansfield and a little of his family history.

He presented an excellent view of the Shire workings and many of his aspirations for the future.   He explained the financial constraints the state government has placed on councils in regard to rate increases. Alex was roundly applauded and presented with a bottle of fine red wine for taking the time to speak to us. 


Our October guest speaker was Ms. Katie Lockey, principal solictor at the Mel, Ryan and Glen Legal practice,.

Questions concerning matters which Ms.Lockey raised were answered with style and aplomb; she is a very talented, knowledgeable and erudite lawyer.

Her office is located at: 

9 High Street

 MansfieldVictoria 3722

03 5775 2744



September 2017's guest speaker was Ms.Dawn Breadon.  Her talk and Powerpoint presentation was from her trip some years ago going from the tip of South Africa to the UK, travelling with a group of like minded people from all parts of the globe.   It was enlightening and enthralling presentation with many questions from members after her talk.