The idea of Probus was conceived by three businessmen travelling to London by train in 1965 who were reaching retirement and felt a continued need for fellowship. Now there are over 4,500 clubs world-wide and 300,000 members.
The name “Probus” was suggested by a member who took the first three letters from ‘PROfessional and BUSiness’. It had the advantage that it was a Latin word from which ‘probity’ is derived. Probus Clubs can be for men, women or be mixed. Clubs are autonomous and local to towns and districts, but often cooperate and share ideas.
Milford Probus Club was established in 1999 and first held its meetings in the ‘Red Lion’ in Milford. It has welcomed women members since 2016. Membership covers Godalming and the surrounding districts and currently there are over 50 members.
Monthly lunches are followed by a presentation from invited speakers on a diverse range of topics and interests. Some have had local themes such as: ‘Godalming – knitting capital of Britain’, ‘Watts Gallery – Artists Village’, ‘The Wey and Arun canal’. Others have covered social, environmental and international issues – always in an engaging and approachable way. Last year members learned about the potential of nuclear fusion – months before its recent widely publicised progress. Talks in 2022 include ‘Career as a Royal Protection Officer’, ‘Carstensz Pyramid – An Adventure in Indonesia’, ‘The Life of an Antique Dealer’ and ‘Climate Change – Potential Solutions’. Every year we have a summer lunch and a Christmas lunch, usually held in a local hotel. Lunches are open to partners and guests.
The club organises a number of outings together with Godalming Probus. These have included Bletchley Park, Blenheim Palace, Portsmouth Dockyard, and a number of National Trust gardens and properties, and recently to the Hawk Conservancy and the Army Flying Museum. There is an active walking group enjoying many of the fine walks especially in the Surrey Hills and the South Downs and they are usually rewarded with a reviving pub lunch. Walks aim to be enjoyable rather than strenuous.
Prospective members are welcome to join one of our lunches as a paying guest before committing to membership. More information about the club can be found at www.milfordprobus.com or contact committee member Jon Warnke (firstname.lastname@example.org and 07818 602699).