Combined Gloucester Probus is all about fun, friendship and fellowship

Combined Gloucester Probus committee members Judy Earle, Joan Harwood and Peter Hazell.
Combined Gloucester Probus committee members Judy Earle, Joan Harwood and Peter Hazell.

Combined Gloucester Probus is unlike any other group in town.

That's according to long-time member and committee treasurer, Peter Hazell.

There's no fundraising or cooking competitions, it's just a group of people who like to socialise, learn and travel.

"I don't want to go on a holiday, I want to learn things," Peter said. "And I like the company."

'Combined' means the group is open to both men and women, single or coupled looking to get together once a month to learn something new from the wide range of guest speakers and head off on the occasional outing to various parts of Australia.

One of the aspects fellow long-time member and committee secretary, Judy Earle likes about organisation is the diverse group of people she gets to spend time with. The nature of Probus tends to attract a wide range of people with different types of backgrounds who are looking for a little fun, friendship and fellowship.

"I like a chat and meeting other people," Judy smiled.

Due to COVID, the group hasn't held a meeting since March and all their planned outings for the year had to be cancelled. But during the worst of the lockdown, the Probus committee wanted to stay connected to its members. Long-time members and committee president Joan Harwood said they took it upon themselves to personally call all their members just to check in.

"We wanted to let them know that we were still thinking of them. Some of them really appreciated it," Joan said.

They also kept their monthly newsletter going as another way to keep the group connected.

Typically the group has around 100 members and generally attracts about 60 to 70 people to each meeting but COVID restrictions means they can't meet in their normal location at the Gloucester Uniting Church. But plans are in motion to get the group active again with a get-together at the Gloucester Golf Club in November.

This year, Probus South Pacific is declaring Thursday October 1, Probus Day and it's all about Staying Connected. The organisation chose the day to fall in line with the United Nations's International Day for Older Persons which started in 1990.

Although the Gloucester group is unable to hold a typical celebration, they are eager to getting things moving again. The committee is even talking about how to get an outing up and running. Normally the group would use a bus, but given the restrictions, they may need to consider people taking their own vehicles.

For more information about Combined Gloucester Probus contact Joan via the group's Facebook page or call 0428 107 663.