PROBUS is an association of retired and semi-retired persons who join together in autonomous Clubs throughout the world to stimulate thought, interest and participation in activities at a time of life when horizons are narrowing and opportunities to make new friends is limited.
The word PROBUS is an abbreviation of the words PROfessional and BUSiness, but membership is not restricted to these two groups. It embraces also former executives of Government and other organizations and, in fact, any person who has had a measure responsibility in any field of endeavour. The basic purpose of a Probus Club is to provide regular gatherings of persons who, in retirement, appreciate and value opportunities to meet others in similar circumstances and who enjoy a similar levels of interest.
The emphases in the clubs:
is to be simple in structure and free from the constraints and obligations of service clubs.
to involve members in minimal cost.
is primarily directed towards providing fellowship and the opportunity for development of acquaintance.
is to seek members who are compatible with one another.
The club meets once or twice each month, either from 10h00 to 12h00 with refreshments provided, 12h30 for 13h00 for a luncheon meeting usually lasting until about 14h30 or a late afternoon meeting. A guest speaker is normally invited to address the meeting.
Visits, (between meetings), to places and organizations of particular interest to members, are organized and social, theatre or sports activities are arranged. Extended holidays and overseas tours have been organized by some clubs.
Arising out of their membership and activities there is a self generating goodwill and a sense of belonging. The fellowship and cordiality evident within the clubs ensures that Probus will have a highly successful future.
Some important features:
The Clubs are non-political and non-racial.
There are Men’s, Ladies and Mixed Clubs
They are non-profit making and non-fund raising
All clubs are sponsored by Rotary, but on formation are autonomous, independent of Rotary and independent of each other.
Past membership of Rotary is not a requirement for potential members of Probus. In fact most Probians have not been Rotarians.
There is no restriction on the number of members from any one vocation.
Probus members may be active members of any other club or organization.
Membership fees usually don’t exceed R50-00 per year A meeting levy is charged to cover the hire of the venue, lunch or beverages.
Spouses and guests are invited to participate in most outings and in special functions.
The history of Probus
The clubs spring from two main roots, the “Campus Club” founded by the Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City and the Probus Club founded by the Rotary Club of Caterham in England in 1965 and 1966 respectively.
Since then Probus has spread worldwide and clubs continue to be established at a rapidly increasing rate.
In the Southern African sub-region, the first Probus Club was established in 1977 in Durban and Probus has since spread to many other regions of South Africa. The Western Cape Association , (Cape Town, West Coast and Garden Route), has 45 accredited clubs catering to the fellowship needs of more than 2000 Probians.
To preserve the integrity and reputation of these autonomous clubs, they adhere to a constitution and suggested bylaws. This has proved to be a very successful basis for serving the needs of retired people in many countries in which the Probus movement is now flourishing.
In Southern Africa the Probus Council and Probus Regional Associations, encourage, advise and maintain a community spirit between clubs, keep an up-to-date directory of Probus Clubs, and through the Probus Shop, distribute lapel badges and other regalia, as may be found necessary.