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On the anniversary of our 30th year Glynnis Jones was asked if she would put together a history of our club.

As we have recently celebrated our 35th year we feel that it would be appropriate to again visit our history as so well compiled by Glynnis.



Good Morning Ladies & Gentlemen & again Welcome to this our 30th Anniversary Meeting.

I have been given the privilege of telling you a little about the Probus Club of North Brisbane Inc so let’s look back on a bit of history. Thirty years ago (minus 3 days) the Probus Club of North Brisbane was born.

The beginning – Probus started in the UK in the mid 1960’s and reached Australia about 10 years later. Rotary was the driving force behind its formation to provide a companionship & stimulus forum for retired PROfessional (PRO) and BUSiness (BUS) men, hence the name, PROBUS. The first Probus Club in the South-West Pacific area was formed at Kapiti Coast, New Zealand, in 1974; the first in Australia at Hunters Hill NSW in 1976 while the first here in Queensland at Toowoomba during 1978.

The Inaugral Meeting of our Club was held at the Bai Jai Club, Clayfield, on Monday 11 May 1987. The meeting was called under the sponsorship of Brisbane North Rotary Club and at that meeting, a Resolution was passed that a Probus Club be formed. Time passed and around mid 2010 that Rotary Club folded and the sponsorship was taken over by Aspley Rotary Club.

Sixteen (16) interested persons attended and it was resolved that all applications to join, up to and including the next monthly meeting, would be classified as Foundation Members. Twenty-four (24) were inducted at the first meeting, which was held here at Kedron-Wavell Services Club, on 15 June 1987. A Standard Constitution was adopted, members of the Management Committee were elected and the Probus Club of North Brisbane was up and running. The Annual Subscription was set at $10.00pp. It was to be a men’s only club.

Norm Booth was the first elected President and at this point, I would like to say a little about Norm. He and a few others were responsible for the formation of what became PAQ. He also started the Qld Probian magazine. He organised tours, produced a constitution for incorporation of clubs and achieved accreditation of all Australia & New Zealand Clubs. He remained a member until his death in March 2007.

Membership had risen to 33 by March 1988 and a call was made for members to introduce interested friends to the benefits of being a member. Due to the subsequent rapid growth of the Club and to keep it manageable, in March 1989 it was voted that the membership level be set at 60. This was lifted to 70 in November 1992 and 120 in November 2008 which it still is. The highest membership has been 107 in October 2009. Currently it is 92 plus our 1 non-active member, Keith.

In November 2004 the Club became incorporated.

Sadly we have lost many of the original members but two (2) of the Foundation Members, inducted at the first meeting, are still members to this day, namely: Keith Kyle and Graham Ledlie. As you heard, we have just recently lost one of the Foundation Members, Ivar Berglin, who passed away just 19 days ago. Rest in Peace, Ivar.

Both Keith and Graham served on a variety of Committee positions since the inception and, although they cannot now regularly attend meetings, we thank them sincerely. We are delighted that they are with us today.

 Six (6) Foundation Members, including the current two (2) were able to attend our 25th Anniversary Lunch on 28 May 2012 and were presented with commemorative pins in recognition of their long membership.

Having 2 still being members since 1987 is quite a milestone. There is quite a gap of still current members between 1988 and 2000 and I feel a few long standing members need a mention here - Tom Keegan, Terry Woolnough & John Laurent (all inducted in 1994), Ken Morris (1995) and Noel Smith (2000).

Over the years, we have presented 4 Life Memberships – Norm Booth & Ron Back in 2006, Ivar Berglin in 2009 and Ken Morris in 2012, all for outstanding services rendered to the Club over many years.

Since its inception, ladies have always supported the outings and, by invitation, attended an occasional meeting and one I came across when they were invited was when the Guest Speaker was a former Test Pilot with the De Haviland Company and it was deemed that ladies have always been interested in (and I quote) ‘those daring young men in their flying machines’ (unquote). On the other hand, one they were not invited to was when the subject was ‘Pearls’ – wonder why!

Around 1993 the ladies started organising morning teas on the same day as the men’s meeting, on the initiative of Ruby Back and these were enjoyed for many years.

Then came 2009 when the Club voted to let women in and it became a combined club. Of the 45 ladies who joined that year, 22 are still current members. It is interesting to note that a current member, Gloria Thornton, was our 100th member and was inducted in June 2009. 

Numbers have fluctuated over the past few years but with so many other organisations catering to our age group I feel we are holding our own with some years better than others.

I am not going to bore you with figures and statistics on that front but I assure you that many members have willingly given their all in holding positions on the Management Committee and services in other areas over these past 30 years and that has kept this Club going.

Some things have changed over the years as is to be expected but Guest Speakers, Trips/Visits and Autobiographies have been permanent monthly features since it started. Thankfully with some foresight the club retained copies of Norbris News and had the monthly newsletters bound into a hard-cover book each year so we are fortunate to have all copies since the very first Bulletin No 1/87 dated 29 May 1987. I wonder how many other Probus Clubs can attest to having that much history on hand.

It makes interesting reading to glance back through back copies of Norbris News and it is so important to have them as they are after all a record and part of our history. They contain a hive of information and there are some real gems amongst them – such as:

The very first Visit/Tour was (and again I quote) ‘A get to know each other’ lunch time snack cruise on the PW Kookaburra Queen. Lunch was a ‘Bogle’ which is a European style bread roll and meat filling with ample salads. Tour cost $10.90 per person’ (unquote). The following month they had a bus visit to the Expo 88 site combined with a tour of the Performing Arts complex followed by a 3 course lunch at the College of Tourism and Hospitality – cost $10.00pp. August saw them enjoying a Hinterland Tour with a BBQ lunch for the princely sum of $20.00pp.......  and lots more.

Included in the very first edition, the ladies were not forgotten – there was a ‘Ladies Segment’ (bear in mind this was a men’s only club at that time) –

(1) To keep shrubs watered while away on holidays: ¾ fill a beer bottle with water and push open end into the ground at an angle of 45 degrees, eight inches from the stem. It will provide water for up to 4 weeks.

(2) To stop a dog chasing cars: Attach a heavy piece of chain under the collar so that it does not reach the ground. When the dog runs, the chain whacks him on the shins. He soon stops!

On the occasion of our 25th Anniversary we reproduced a copy of this very first Norbris News for members who attended our celebration lunch and we have a few copies circulating today although we now claim it as being for our 30th Annivserary.

Now - a little history of Norbris News. The newsletter was originally produced in the booklet form, which entailed printing, folding, stapling and then hand delivered to all members by the Bulletin Officer and a small band of helpers. Each year the cover sported a different colour - blue, pink, green, yellow.

In April 2012 with rising costs, the current format was approved hence the emailing/posting method was started. It certainly made it much easier for the Bulletin Officer.

Over the past thirty (30) years we acknowledge and accept the changes that have taken place but the initial concept of Probus is still the same and still important – FUN, FRIENDSHIP, FELLOWSHIP.  Please, let it continue.

So ends a brief history of YOUR Club. Thank you for listening.

 Glynnis Jones 

 Membership Officer

 8 May 2017