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Our History

Blackburn Bellbird Probus Club was formed on 8th October, 1993, when a few influential members from other Clubs in the Nunawading area came along to tell us how wonderful Probus was.  Stan Harper was the Convenor and he rang Joyce Smith about becoming Secretary and she told him to find someone else.  On the day of the meeting he announced that Joyce was to be Secretary. (He did the same thing to Rob Syme as Treasurer)  Starting with 100 members,  the original committee was:

President - Graham Lydiard (Rotarian) Vice President - Ailsa France; Secretary - Joyce Smith

Treasurer - Rob Syme; Speakers - Elaine Gunst;  Membership - Ralph Hislop

Liaison - Ron Smith; Bulletin - Fred Dodd

Visits & Entertainment - Joan Wood;  Teas - Lorna Bell and Stella Emonson

One of the first outings was to Williamstown and was so popular it attracted two busloads, much to Joan Wood's delight. Initially, the Secretary's job was very easy as there was little correspondence, so quick committee meetings took place after the monthly meetings.  It took a few months to get the show on the road.Lorna and Stella did a great job in the kitchen and set a good example that continues to this day. Elaine did a great job getting speakers - without the resources available today she often used people she knew - who were always interesting. Our membership limit has been changed on numerous occasions from 100 - 130. Treasurer Rob would probably agree that his job was a little easier in the early days than it is now with money from all the trips and outings to be collected. Fred was co-opted from the second meeting to produce the Bulletin which, for many years, was printed by Rob Syme. Ron Smith was on the committe from the start and attended regional meetings as well as attending to all the legal stuff.

Some clubs are very serious whereas ours has always been about having fun!

(With thanks to Beryl Macdonald who compiled a booklet about the beginnings of Blackburn Bellbird Probus and who kindly allowed extracts to be included in this website).