Active ageing – Introduction to Probus Club
One way to remain active after retirement is to join a club such as a Probus Club where you will have an opportunity to meet and interact with other retired and semi-retired people and get involved in activities of mutual interest.
A brief introduction to Probus
A Probus club is a local association of retired and semi-retired professionals and business people and others who have had some measure of responsibility in any field of worthy endeavour – who are of character and are respected in their community. These clubs meet regularly for fellowships, guest lectures, and extension of their interests, typically once a month. These are not necessarily a club for “senior citizens” and are definitely not “singles clubs”. The word Probus itself is an amalgamation of (Pro)fessionals and (Bus)iness.
Though, once started Probus clubs are autonomous, they are all usually sponsored by a Rotary Club. In this context, “sponsored” means assistance in starting of the club and getting the Certificate of Accreditation, and not any monetary support.
Why did people start such Probus clubs and what do people get out of it?
To quote from their document:
Researchers have discovered abundant evidence of the need for retired business and professional people to associate with others of similar vocational or educational backgrounds. Their social or sportinq clubs, their voluntary work and their hobbies do not always provide this association. Generally, these people miss the intellectual stimulation, in the broader sense, provided by their former business, professional or executive activities. Within a short time after retirement, the desire to meet other in similar circumstances manifests itself quite strongly. The need may be met, for some and in part,
by groups organized for former staff by public companies or other large organizations. but most of these meet infrequently, and the great majority of retired people do not enjoy even these limited opportunities. The sense of isolation experienced by many people who fomerly held positions of.responsibility and challenge often leads to emotional stress that can result in actual physical illness. There is a need for peergroup companionship and intellectual stimulation, which is growing with increased longevity and the encouragement of earlier retirement. The rapid growth of the Probus movement provides further evidence of the need for this kind of associations.
What happens in a Probus club?
Probus clubs meet monthly for fellowship. morning coffee, a short business session and to hear an interesting guest speaker.
That’s only the beginning. Many arrange visits to factories, defense establishments, industrial complexes, police stations and plant nurseries. Most arrange short outings
- picnics, barbecues or visit to gardens and places of scenic or historic interest. Many organize extended tours of anything from one day to a few weeks - sometimes as a single club, sometimes in association with other Probus clubs. There are usually fellowship occasions with spouses and friends invited.
Many Probus clubs have a number of special interest groups within the club – such as music, art, history, sports, drama, walking, cycling, philately, computers, sailing, fishing, video, bridge and many more.
A Probus club, in fact, can provide all the enjoyment of any Service Club without the obligations of service, the attendance requirements and the classification system that are typical of other service clubs such as Rotary for example.
Joining a Probus Club
The Probus clubs are fairly active in India as well. There is one club in Chennai, one in Cheyyar (Tamil Nadu), one in Hyderabad, and one in Cochin. Please check http://www.probus.org/india.htm to get their latest contact information and to find out how to join them. There is usually a annual membership subscription (which varies from club to club and from time to time).