Bid to boost battling club

MILESTONE: Hans Van Dorssen and Noeline Sandblom celebrate Combined Probus Club of Kardinia's 23rd anniversary with other members on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Hosking 199628

by Luke Voogt

A Geelong Probus club celebrating its 23rd anniversary this week could die out without recruiting extra members, its secretary has warned.

Combined Probus Club of Kardinia’s membership had halved from a high of 130 in 1998 to 61, despite Geelong’s growing elderly population, according to Des Nicol.

“It’s mainly because of age,” the 80-year-old said.

“When we formed (in 1996) most of our members would have been in their 60s and 70s.”

Death and serious illness had taken its toll on the club, Des said.

“We’re going to diminish at five or six a year. Our bones are getting a bit creaky.”

But the club had plenty to offer including singing, group trips, guest speakers, luncheons, historical visits and other events for seniors to socialise, Des said.

“There are a lot of older people in Geelong who I’m sure can join us but many of them aren’t aware Probus is there.”

Too many elderly people were trapped in “the chair watching television” and “not having much quality of life”, Des said.

But Probus offered the elderly an alternative way to stay connected and maintain good mental and physical health, he explained.

Extra members could help the club fund bigger or more interesting trips and events, Des said.

“And it might give us some fresh ideas.”

Geelong and district’s 47 Probus clubs have about 3800 members with an average of 81 members each, with many groups closing or merging as they shrink, Des said.

He encouraged anyone interested in joining Probus in Geelong to phone 52443005 or 0407 880 485.

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