Why join Probus Club of Andover?

Hopefully, amongst our readers there are those whose interests are drawn to the reports of the monthly meetings of Andover’s PROBUS Club and the excellent speakers who provide members with entertainment and, though not necessarily, intellectual stimulus. The club is part of a world-wide organisation catering for retired or semi-retired professional and business men, offering them ‘good fellowship with neither political nor sectarian association’.

One of our members leaving the Keystone Hall after our October meeting was asked by a young man looking bored and waiting in the cold to pick up his child from the nearby school: “Who are you blokes, mate? What do you do in there”. It occurred to that member that the description ‘retired and looking for good fellowship’ is hardly likely to excite much interest in an environment in which the elderly are flooding the social market, as it were. So, who are we?

At November 2018, the Andover club currently has 62 members, 54 of them living in Andover and outlying villages. 46 of them are living with partners. All but 10 were born before or during WW2 and have vivid memories of rationing and the fear of bombing and invasion by Hitler’s forces and of other tragedies that resulted from those years of conflict. Four were enlisted and served during the war and they have their own remarkable stories. The professions and businesses they represent cover a remarkably wide spectrum. Unsurprisingly in a garrison town the armed services, particularly the Army and RAF, predominate. But teaching, engineering and construction management, the civil service, pharmacy, the fashion industry, farming, banking and accountancy, the church, catering, local government, the police, retail management, the building industry and others are represented. Each member has his own motivation for joining the club perhaps summed up by Abraham Lincoln’s comment: “…in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”.

Undoubtedly one or two members feel slightly isolated and are perhaps lonely after many years of living in a busy working environment, and loneliness is now widely recognised as creating health problems amongst the elderly. But the majority are seeking opportunities to ‘put life into their years’. Many members still maintain an active social life and continue to make their contribution to charitable causes. Others want relief from the doom-laden atmosphere, largely created by social media, the BREXIT negotiations, Coronavirus and daily reports of death, destruction and misery in war-torn countries. We believe that you don’t stop laughing when you get old; you grow old when you stop laughing! The club needs new blood. If this description whets your appetite why not consider coming along as a guest or even joining. We would be glad to welcome you. You can contact the membership secretary who will be happy to give you more information.