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The Foundation Meeting was held on Thursday, 12 March 1998 in the Ryedale Room, at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club.

110 prospective members attended the meeting of the proposed Ryde City Combined Probus Club.

The meeting was chaired by Eric Bond (substituting for Jan Cutler, Director of Community Service of the Rotary Club of Ryde and Convenor of the proposed Probus Club). Also, in attendance was John Higgins, President of Rotary Club of Ryde, Peter Icely who was Chairman Rotary District 9680 Probus Committee, and other assisting members of the Rotary Club.

Eric Bond introduced himself as Chairman, and called on John Higgins who extended a warm welcome to all present. He pointed out that Probus was a community Service project of Rotary and had been shown to satisfy a need for retired men and women. Peter Icely addressed the meeting on the purpose of Probus, its relationship to Rotary and the fact that it was not a service club and did not entail a commitment from the members in this regard. The cost of belonging to Probus was modest. Each Probus Club was autonomous but there was a central administration through Rotary, known as the Probus Centre, which maintained certain standards and a recognised constitution. Only a Rotary Club can form a Probus Club.

The Chairman, Eric Bond, spoke of his Rotary and Probus experience and emphasised that a good Probus club provided enjoyment through gathering with fellow members and friends at interesting meetings and outings, in a friendly and informal atmosphere.

Members voted to hold monthly meetings on the third Monday of each month. It was resolved to accept all applications from those present as Foundation members.

The Standard Probus Constitution was adopted.

President John Higgins invested Bob Malone with the collar of President of the Ryde

City Combined Probus Club and congratulated Bob on his election as Foundation President of the new club.  He was grateful to those who had agreed to serve with him on the Management Committee and was sure they would all work together as an effective team.

The first committee meeting took place at the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club on Monday, 23 March.

A further Committee meeting was held on Monday 6 April.

After the first Inaugural meeting we had 125 Foundation members, but final numbers would depend on receipt of payments by those members and consideration of other applications by the committee.

At the Committee Meeting held on 4 May 1998, it was stated that membership was now closed and a waiting list was established.

At the 18 May 1998 General Meeting it was reported that we had 122 Foundation members, plus 15 new members and a waiting list with 12 names on it and more would be added after the meeting that morning. The first Newsletter was distributed at this meeting.

By July our meetings had settled into a regular pattern, and were well attended.

Membership had steadily grown and had been capped at 142.

This brings us to our first Annual General Meeting, held on Monday, 15 March 1999.

Outgoing Foundation President, Bob Malone, presented the Annual Report reviewing the first year of operation of our Club. Treasurer, Margaret Kennedy, presented the Financial Statement for the Year. Bob thanked the Management Committee “for the constructive and harmonious way in which their various duties were performed during the year. When we came together at the start of the year each was completely unknown to the others. Right from the outset we were organised and performing our allocated tasks. Working with them has been an honour and the source of much personal satisfaction in implementing my own mission statement.”

At the conclusion of our first year, membership stood at 148.

Extract from “The First 20 Years” author Marj Martin

 The history of our club has been written by Marj Martin, our Newsletter Editor, and published in the book “The First 20 years”.

Foundation members - 2018