Probus clubs owe their existence to Rotary, after Rotarians foresaw the need to provide a meeting point for fellowship for men who had retired.
The first was formed in 1965 by Fred Carnhill of the Rotary Club of Welwyn Gardens, Hertfordshire, and was called the Campus Club. The second, founded in 1966 by Harold Blanchard, Commmunity Service Director of the Rotary Club of Caterham, Surrey, was called the Probus Club - "Pro" from "profession" and "bus" from "business.
Probus was adopted by the Council of Rotary International in Britain as a community service project and has expanded to over 500 clubs in Great Britain. Probus reached New Zealand in 1974 and Australia in 1976.
In February, 1981, five Rotarians in the Sydney area, all of whom had been involved in the formation of Probus Clubs, got together to share their experiences with the intention of preparing some basic information for Rotary clubs contemplating the formation of Probus clubs. They were District 9680 Past Governor R.S. (Bob) Burnett, Rotary Club of Turramurra; Past President W.A. (Bill) Jacobs, Rotary Club of Hunters Hill, Chairman of the District 9680 Probus Committee; C.A. (Cec) Short, Rotary Club of Turramurra and member of the District 9680 Committee; District 9690 Past Governor J.W. (Jim) Stanford, Rotary Club of Padstow; and C.S. (Cliff) Johnstone, Rotary Club of SydneyChairman of the District 9750 Probus Committee.
HOW THE PROBUS CLUB OF TURRAMURRA GREW
The first monthly meeting of the Probus Club of Turramurra Inc. was held on Friday 21 April 1995.
The newly incorporated Club had 49 Foundation Members. Although several of the original 49 have died, the main reason for leaving the Club has been moving out of the area.
Rotarian Ron Quarmby was responsible for getting the Turramurra Club up and running; and along with the first Management Committee, spent much of February and March 1995 reaching the first regular meeting stage.
The Club set a target of 70 members which was quickly reached. Eight new members were inducted at the May meeting; five at the June meeting; and the remaining two vacancies were filled at the July meeting.
Within a year of its foundation the Club had raised its membership ceiling to 85 and membership stood at 75 by March 1996. Somewhere along the way this target was reached and in the March 1997 issue of the Newsletter it was announced that the ceiling had been raised to 95 and eight new members were welcomed. The new ceiling was soon reached and a waiting list established.
In December 1999 the membership ceiling was raised to 100 and the five people on the top of the waiting list were inducted.
In July 2003 it was agreed to temporarily waive the membership ceiling and induct all of the people on the waiting list. The concept of a waiting list was then abandoned. The Club was then closed to new members until membership fell below 100. After further consideration the limit was raised to 105 members.
Membership is currently in the range of 85-90.