During the year 1995/96 the Rotary Club of Kidsgrove decided that a PROBUS (Professional and BUSiness) Club would be desirable for the Kidsgrove area. PROBUS Clubs have been operating since the mid-sixties and some 1500 exist in the UK.
Rotarian Roy Smith was given the job of contacting other PROBUS Clubs to seek information on the running of their Club and the activities in which they were engaged.
Contacts were made with known professional and businessmen in the area which resulted in some being invited to a meeting on 31 January 1996 at the Rifleman Inn, Acres Nook, Kidsgrove. Some 12 prospective members attended.
The Rotary Club in addition to Roy Smith provided three of their long serving members – John Podmore, Bob Taylor and Ken Walker to initiate and assist in the formation of the PROBUS Club during the initial period.
The basic purpose of the PROBUS Club will be to provide the means to enable regular meetings of professional and businessmen, who in retirement, appreciate the opportunity to meet others having similar interests in promoting friendship, talks and various social events. The Club will be non-political, non-sectarian, non fund-raising and for men only.
Roy compiled a Constitution which members accepted and proceeded to Chair the subsequent meetings aided by three Rotarians.
It was decided to hold meetings on the last Wednesday of each month at the Rifleman Inn. Coffee would be served from 10.00am to 10.30am. Club business 10.30am to 11.00am and talks to be given by invited speakers from 11.00am to 12.00noon.
Regular meetings continued to be held each month and several more prospective members were recruited. At the meeting held on 28 June 1996, Tom Murphy was elected President followed by the election of other Officers and in accordance with the Club’s Constitution. PROBUS regalia and emblems generously donated by the Rotary Club were presented to the new President. Having accomplished its objective in setting up the PROBUS Club, The Rotary Club withdrew its support. The new President on behalf of the members expressed his thanks and appreciation for the valuable contribution the Rotary Club had made.
Following the photo-call by the Press of the Press of the President and fellow Officers, the President closed the meeting and ‘bravely’ announced that the members’ first drink would be on him. It is pleasing to note that no accidents were reported by members, en route to the Bar in their eagerness to execute the President’s generosity.
The formation of the PROBUS Club was satisfactorily concluded.