The Parksville Probus Club recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, the first Probus group on Vancouver Island to have ever reached this milestone.
A Christmas luncheon was held at the Quality Resort Bayside to mark the occasion. The club, a group for retired and semi-retired men and women who want to maintain a social network with others of similar interests, was founded on Nov. 19, 1993 by Ken Leaney, who became its first president. The club was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Parksville, which had Fred Collins as the president.
At the celebration, Keith McGregor, the District 1 (Vancouver Island) representative for Probus Canada presented a 25-year plaque to president Helen Shaw. McGregor also gave some background on Probus said the Parksville club is the first one on the Island to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
When the Parksville club was formed, it quickly reached maximum capacity for its meeting place and had to close its membership. The club then assisted in the formation of some nearby clubs like Qualicum Beach. There are now 244 Probus clubs in Canada, and Parksville was the 31st club formed in Canada.
There are now 24 clubs on Vancouver Island and 25 in the rest of the province. Probus began in England in 1966 and spread to Canada in 1987. Clubs today exist in all parts of the world.
Judy Wood, the longest-serving executive member with 14 years of service, presented 25-year pins to three of the founding members at the celebration — Fred Collins, Pete Redford and Jack Parsons as well as Bill Stoddart, who joined the following month.
Redford was also presented a plaque recognizing his 25 years of continuous service as the “Keeper of the Name Badge Board,” faithfully bringing it to each meeting for all those years.
Six of the past presidents were also present.
Probus clubs are not service organizations and are non-profit and non-political. The club has a monthly meeting which involves a light breakfast, short business meeting and a speaker. Mon thly social events and lunches are planned. Guests and potential new members are welcome at meetings on the third Monday of the month at the Bayside. For further information check the website at www.parksvilleprobus.ca, or phone 250-752-6809.