AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

Probus Club of Kenmore Gardens – The Beginning

Mid 2001 the Kenmore Rotary Club initiated the formation of the Kenmore Gardens Probus Club. Probus Clubs were flavour of the month at that time, springing up everywhere and there were 5 formed in Kenmore at around this time. Apart from ourselves I can only recollect Kenmore Millenium and Kenmore Village as still in existence. The choice of "Gardens" to distinguish us from other Kenmore Clubs was to do with our first meeting venue, the Lakeside Restaurant at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, which had plenty of gardens around it.

A committee was formed towards the end of 2001 and received accreditation in March 2002. 

At a meeting on 1st October 2001, a decision was taken to go ahead with the proposed name change to Probus Club of Kenmore Gardens. At this and the second meeting on 5 November, the club’s first committee was formed. By the first committee meeting on 5th December, all vacant offices had been filled.

By February 2002, the club's applications for accreditation as a member of the national Probus movement and for membership of the Probus Association of Queensland had been accepted. One of the most important administrative decisions — the application for Incorporation — was undertaken over the next few months and on its being granted in March 2002; the club reformed as the Probus Club of Kenmore Gardens Inc. By the end of 2002, the club had a membership of 58.

Significantly, 2003 was the year in which the Probus Association Queensland (PAQ) began a move to further unite Queensland Probus clubs by starting up the PAQ network. with a grant from the Brisbane City Council. This resulted in a web-site of information about Probus, interesting speakers amd Outings as well as an email facility to keep clubs more easily and quickly informed of Probus events. Kenmore Gardens joined 60 other clubs as members of the network.

2004the third year of the club, saw the election of the club’s first female president. A number of new initiatives were begun during this year including the introduction of lunch time gatherings in the Botanic gardens after meetings. This allowed for more socialising and an opportunity to get to know the Mt Coot-tha gardens. Another initiative was the expansion of the number of special interest groups — a BBQ group, a book club, a dining group and a theatre group each coordinated by one of the female members of the club. In addition, a number of other female members took on other organisational work for the club. Also introduced was a lucky door prize to be given out at each meeting. Speakers continued to be a drawcard. Club outings continued to be popular and well-attended. 2004 was the year of visits to places historical such as the Workshops Rail Museum at Ipswich, the Naval Stores, Newstead House and Coochin Coochin Homestead. Christmas in July was spent eating a sumptuous repast in medieval style at a ‘medieval castle’ in Bli Bli and the year finished with a trip, subsidised by a grant from the Brisbane City Council, Bribie’s spectacular Medieval Abbey and ‘modern’ places on the program included Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm, and Moreton TAFE. A milestone was experienced this year when Probus — South Pacific invited clubs to have a say on proposed changes to the Probus constitution. Strategies were put in place to try and increase membership, with members encouraged to bring along friends who would be potential new members, and articles were written and placed in local publications to raise awareness of the club. The 60:40 ratio, formalised in a by-law put to the club, was almost achieved this year, and by year’s end, membership had risen to 64. The annual Christmas party was at a new venue, the Mt Ommaney Hotel Apartments, and there was almost 100% attendance for the first time. Qizzes, dancing, socialising, a carol sing-a-long and games were the order of the day and a delicious silver service two-course meal of roast turkey and pork crackling was enjoyed by all.

2005 saw further change in the line-up of committee members with some stepping down in accordance with the Probus cunstitution. This was the year in which the club acquired a banner. It was also the year in which a more formalised induction was introduced for new members. Outings got off to a flying start with a day-long visit to Brisbane's dams - Somerset and Wivenhoe — and historic Bellevue Homestead at Coominya. Other outings included a visit to local attractions around the Kenmore area (the Koala Hospital, the CSIRO); Amberley Airforce Base; the Golden Circle Cannery; as well as a morning tea at Government House and a brief talk from Governor Quentin Bryce. Another momentous outing was a day spent at Stradbroke Island which included members of the local indigenous community speeking about their culture and history. Later in the year, a group undertook a three day trip to the beautiful Bellingen Valley. An interesting range of speakers again kept club members enthralled during the year. They included local weatherman, John Schluter, who spoke about environmental matters as well as rain and the weather; Dr David Whiteman from QIMR; a researcher on melanomas; oral pachologist Dr Bill Young; Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Curator, Ross McKinnon; and wildlife officer, Nick Nattrass. Membership reached 77.

In 2007, Trips and outings for the year included: the Darling Downs and Toowoomba; Macarthur’s Museum; Australia Zoo; an overnight trip to Gympie (which included a ride on the interestingly named “Rattler” train); Tangalooma; and Norfolk Island.

Members were treated to an interesting line-up of speakers, being whisked off to Turkey by Colin Kennard (St Lucia Probus); given the inside gem on polio pioneer nurse Sister Kenny and On Our Selection writer Steele Rudd by playwright Paul Sherman: aged by the talk on the “Aged Care Maze” by Rachel Lane (Austock) & Geoff Sharp(Whittaker Mcnaught); sobered by Pastor Charlie Greer’s talk on the Pressures of working in a prison; and frightened out of their socks by Qld Detective Rod Sheldon by details of just how easy it is to be the Victim of credit card and internet fraud.

Subjects discussed by the club included the relative importance if intellectual and cultural interests, and how to sustain momentum of interest in club activities and outings. Another issue raised was that of donations to registered charities, including to major disaster appeals. On a specifically club-based level, issues raised included age and gender profiles of members, and co-opting and involving members in committee and interest group organisation. The issue of inactive club members also arose as five members had not participated in meetings or outings for a significant period. How to reserve places for such members within the 100 membership cap came up for discussion, it being decided that within the 100 membership cap, up to 10 could be inactive members.

The special interest groups continued to be a popular part of club life with the number of established groups expanded by the starting of a writers group in June.

The finances of the club became so healthy, the treasurer was charged with the task of looking into the best available term deposit for some of the club’s finances. As a result, the club began dabbling its feet in a stock market linked investment at 6.15%.

More effective use of the facilities provided at the Lakeside Restaurant (where the club meets) which were stressed by the numbers to be accommodated, and the dissatisfaction with the commercial biscuits provided for morning tea at general meetings took up some time. Of course, cost remained a much discussed issue in the decision-making on these issues.

An additional hospitality officer position was created this year to ensure there was someone to welcome guests, and identify members requiring assistance or some type or moral support. Christmas was celebrated at the Jindalee Hotel with a barbershop quartet providing entertainment.

... to be continued