CLUB OF MOSS VALE
A BRIEF HISTORY
by John Maffey OAM
Club of Moss Vale called an Interest Meeting on Thursday, 14th June,1984
at the Moss Vale Golf Club to see whether retired and semi-retired
business and professional men would be interested in forming the first
Probus Club in the Southern Highlands. The purpose of the Club would be
to hold regular monthly meetings for retired men who would appreciate
and value the opportunity to meet with others having similar interests
and enjoy their fellowship. Guest speakers would be invited and visits
to places of interest were envisaged.
of the Rotary Club, Ernie Thorpe, presided at this Meeting which was
attended by Rotarians, Probus Club members from Goulburn and Cliff
Johnston from Probus South Pacific who explained the structure and
history of Probus, as well as 22 interested candidates who subsequently
became the foundation members of the new Club.
invited Gordon Harman to take the Chair and he proceeded with the
business of forming the Club, accepting the 22 Foundation members,
adopting the Constitution, electing the Management Committee, setting
the annual subscription at $12.00 and resolving that the cost of morning
tea would be 50 cents for each member attending. Rotary stood the cost
of the President's collar, Members' lapel pins, advertising and printing
to establish the Club.
the Interest Meeting the Rotary President installed Gordon Harman as the
Foundation President of the Moss Vale Probus Club.
always been held on the second Thursday of the month at 10am at the Moss
Vale Golf Club up until March, 2016 when the Golf Club underwent
renovations and the Probus Club, unable to find a venue in Moss Vale has
had to relocate to the Mittagong RSL Club.
By the close
of the August Meeting the Club had 31 members who came from all corners
of the Southern Highlands. Most members in the early days had worked and
lived in the Wingecarribee Shire, whereas in the 21st century the
majority of the 104 members have worked all round the world and have
retired to live in the district.
Probus Club has always had a reputation for obtaining quality speakers.
In the beginning most speakers were locals, whereas today they are drawn
from Sydney, Canberra, the South Coast, as well as from the Highlands.
Outings, functions and concern for any sick/frail members have always
been on the Club's agenda. The first trip was to visit the Goulburn
Probus Club in October, 1984. Functions have often included the ladies -
the first being held just before Christmas 1984 with a member performing
the duties of Santa Claus!
monthly Bulletin was published in July, 1984 and the March, 2016 edition
was No.370. Ken Hope took over as Editor in 1985, relinquishing the
position in March 1998, having been responsible for 152 publications!
The format has changed several times, colour added and now it is an
e-bulletin. The typing has progressed from a manual to an electric
typewriter and now it's
set up on the computer.
Groups have come and gone over our 33 years of existence: golf, walking,
bowls, military history, computer activities, dining-out evenings and
coffee mornings to name some.
Birthdays have always been
remembered, but the means by which the "lucky" boy to receive a present
(i.e. bottle of wine) has varied over the years e.g. a lucky number, the
length of a straw, a card from a pack etc.
For many years
members provided and set up morning tea and then washed up afterwards.
In recent years it has been provided by the Golf Club, but then the cost
has increased from the original 50 cents per member!
The Club has
had 33 Presidents who have been ably supported by hard working
Committees. The third President, Ray Sleeman (1986-87), is the Club's
only Life Member, as well as being the only surviving Foundation Member.
Early on a
Committee member was delegated to be the Sergeant-at-Arms and his job
was to scour the local newspapers and listen to the radio for news of
members who would be "fined", anything up to 20 cents, for performing
worthy deeds in the community. For some years the Club had a marquee at
the Bong Bong Picnic Races. The Annual Changeover and Christmas
luncheons have always been a feature, particularly as it provides
further opportunities for the ladies to join their menfolk. Originally
at the Changeover Luncheon the Incoming President would present the wife
of the Outgoing President with a bouquet of flowers, but that has
changed and now the wives of all Committee men receive a single rose.
Whilst the average age tends to creep up the Moss Vale Probus Club remains a vibrant group of about 100 men from many and varied backgrounds who continue to enjoy fun, friendship and fellowship.