The History of Probus Clubs
The Probus Club movement was formed in the United Kingdom in 1965. Often sponsored by Rotary International, Probus Clubs cater for the interests of retired or semi-retired professional or business people. The name Probus is a portmanteau of the words PROfessional and BUSinessman. Each club is autonomous. The movement is now world wide.
Since 1985, the Rotary International Board has encouraged Rotary clubs to initiate projects that address the needs of a growing senior (over 60) population.
In 1974, Probus expanded into New Zealand and by 1976 the idea had spread to Australia. The first Probus club for seniors in North America was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Galt in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada in in 1987.
Although Probus membership has its greatest concentrations in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, clubs today exist in all parts of the world, including US, Belgium, India, South Africa and several other countries in Africa and Asia.
Probus clubs have no central governing body but Probus Centres have been established internationally by country to disseminate information and assist clubs. Offices are staffed largely by volunteers and operating costs are met by member contributions.
By 2002, there were over 325,000 members in approximately 4,500 Probus clubs worldwide.
The Cromwell Probus Club of St Ives, Cambridgeshire was formed in 1984 and has 50 members