History of PROBUS

The word Probus is an abbreviation of the words Professional and Business. Membership of Probus clubs also includes former executives of government and other organizations. It embraces, in fact, anyone who has had any
significant responsibility in any field of endeavor.

The basic purpose of a PROBUS club is to provide regular meetings for those retired and semi-retired men who appreciate and value, in their retirement, opportunities to meet others of similar interest, enjoy hearing addresses by guest speakers and
visiting places and organizations of appeal.

The activities of the clubs are directed primarily to providing fellowship
and the development of acquaintance at a minimum cost to members.

On retirement most former executives, business and professional men tend to increase their interest in sport (bowling, golf, tennis, etc.,) step up involvement in their favorite hobby, take a lengthy holiday, seek part-time or consulting employment or
become absorbed in community activities in order to keep themselves occupied.

However, they loose contact, very quickly,with previous acquaintances even if they continue in their vocation on a part-time basis or in a consultant role. Generally, they miss greatly the intellectual stimulation, in the broader sense,
provided by their previous or executive activities.

Mr. Wilfred Jarvis, a British psychologist, claimed that the fate of many retired men who have been active, competent and committed in their careers was that they no longer felt valued by others. They had no significant goals ahead and were almost entirely
oriented towards the past.

The loss of self esteem, he said, is equivalent to psychological starvation. When people die emotionally, he added, they also die physically. He was quoted by the press at the time as saying, “one quarter of all British managers are dead within six months of retirement and the same trend is occurring elsewhere”.

He added that mental stimulation and interaction with others of a similar level of interest, was essential to physical well-being. Within a short period of retirement, experience shows that the desire to meet others in similar circumstances,
on a regular basis, manifests itself strongly.

The need is met in part, in some cases, by retired officers’ associations established by some public companies and other large organizations. Most of these meet only a few times a year. The majority of retired men do not enjoy even these limited opportunities.The experience of existing PROBUS club members is that the club’s activities do not compete with or inhibit their interest in any sporting clubs, social clubs, charity organizations, general interest groups or even service clubs (Rotary, Lions, etc.,)

PROBUS clubs are not an offshoot of Rotary. Most members of existing clubs have never been Rotarians. However, in existing clubs, wherever located, the membership includes some active Rotarians who have retired and some former Rotarians. The active Rotarians have joined the PROBUS clubs as individuals and not as representatives of their clubs.

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