Probus is an association of retired men and women who join together in autonomous clubs throughout the UK and internationally. The name PROBUS is derived from the words PROfessional and BUSiness, but club membership is not restricted to people from these two groups. It also embraces former executives of government and other organisations and, in fact, any person who has some measure of responsibility in any field of endeavour. The purpose of a Probus club is to provide regular gatherings of persons who, in retirement, appreciate and value the opportunity to meet others in similar circumstances and with similar interests.
The emphasis is for Probus clubs to be:
- Simple in structure.
- Free from the constraints of service clubs.
- Involve members in minimum costs.
- Directed primarily to provide fellowship with the opportunity for development and acquaintance.
- Made up from members who are compatible with one another.
The activities of Probus clubs usually fall into one of two categories:
- Two meetings per calendar month on set days, the meeting starting at 10.00 am and finishing at 12.00 noon. Each meeting comprises 30 minutes coffee break, 15 minutes club business and then 60 minutes to hear a speaker, including any questions and discussion on the subject of the talk.
- An informal luncheon meeting from 12.00 noon to 2.30 pm once per month, at a local hostelry.
Additional activities include visits between meetings to places or organisations of particular interest to members and occasional social and sports activities.
Probus stimulates thought, interest and participation in activities at a time of life when horizons are narrowing and provides opportunities to make new friends.
Probus Club of Beaconsfield
The Probus Club Of Beaconsfield was founded in March 1986 by the late Ian Shepherd. Ian had returned to Beaconsfield after a few years of retirement in the Cotswolds, during which time he had been introduced to the Probus principle. He realised that there were a significant number of men in the Beaconsfield area who had joined the ranks of the retired.
Ian made contact with a number of enthusiasts who were prepared to start a new Probus club and the “Probus Club of Beaconsfield” was established. The club was based on having meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, each meeting starting at 10.00 am, with a speaker giving a talk on any subject other than politics or religion.
The club meets in the centre of Beaconsfield New Town at Revolution, Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield, HP9 1QX. This venue has good facilities, together with an adequate car park. The size of the meeting room limits club membership to a ceiling of 80 members.
Ian Shepherd’s leadership ensured that men who, having already enjoyed a successful and interesting career, have had their retirement years greatly enhanced and have in fact, become integrated into a community that they barely knew before. The style of the club under his guidance was one of informality, with few rules and with no concept of status. Ian acted as Chairman and Secretary of the club and brought together a Committee made of members who wished to contribute and who, together, developed a social calendar involving wives and, as time passed by, widows. In 1995 it was realised that some months contained five Thursdays and the idea of having a Ladies Meeting, for partners and widows, when there was a fifth Thursday was born and has continued ever since.
In 2003 Ian Shepherd was elected to the newly created position of club President, in recognition of the contribution he had made to the club over the seventeen years since its creation.
The talk given at each meeting forms the main business of the club and these amount to some 27 each year, including the ladies’ meetings. The speakers cover a broad range of topics and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Club members are also encouraged to give talks themselves. All talks are of a high standard and are usually very well received. Many of the speakers say how much they have enjoyed their visit, commenting on the warmth of their reception and the depth and understanding shown in the discussion and questions following the talk. The club has digital High Definition audio/visual support, available when required.
In addition to our talks, the club has a wide ranging social programme in which wives and partners actively participate. This is well supported and activities include:
- Annual Dinner (before Christmas).
- Annual Spring Lunch.
- Annual Summer Supper.
- Beer and Skittles (Every Summer – mystery location).
- Concert/Theatre visits.
- Overseas and UK trips.
- Special days out.
Since the formation of the club, the membership has remained around the ceiling figure set at 80 and, on occasions, men wishing to join have had to be placed on a waiting list. However, this has never turned out to be a problem. If you are interest in joining our Club, please send us your name and details of the best way to get in touch with you by using our Contact Form.
The club is well established on a sound footing with a strong membership base and faces the future with confidence, there being no reason to doubt its continuing success.