What is Probus?

The first non-sectarian PROBUS club specifically for active retirees was formed in 1966 by the Rotary Club of Caterham England to allow retired professionals to continue to meet together for fellowship.

Rotarian Harold Blanchard of Caterham Rotary Club in his writings of “The Birth of PROBUS” states:

“..One of our more erudite members came up with the idea of PROBUS, – PROfessional and BUSiness, He assured us that PROBUS was a Latin word from which “probity” was derived, and the name was adopted with enthusiasm. Incidentally we found there was a village in Cornwall called PROBUS and also there was a Roman Emperor of the same name who in his day was famous for his cultivation of the vine.”

About the same time the Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City, England, formed the “Campus Club” that had the same purpose.

In a PROBUS newsletter, we find a report “A Simple Idea” by the Founder, Fred Carnhill

“I used to meet a few retired men for morning coffee – mostly ex-commuters (to London) with professional or business backgrounds and with a wealth of experience behind them. Conversation was always brisk and entertaining. One was an architect, responsible for many public buildings over the country, another an ex-borough treasurer, an ex-railway official, an headmaster, an ex-journalist, an ex-newspaper editor and an ex-secretary to a Prime Minister. This gave me an idea: really a very simple one…”I telephoned 33 friends that night and they said, “Put me down, Fred.” Thus the Campus Club, (because it faced the centre of town, called The Campus), was formed.”

The two soon merged and flourished under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Bromsgrove, Birmingham, England.

Due to the success of these two clubs. PROBUS Clubs were promoted through Rotary in adjacent towns. As a result Rotary International British Isles were informed and a promotional pamphlet was established urging other Rotary Clubs to form PROBUS. There are now approximately 1,700 clubs in Great Britain.

Club outing to Glengoyne Distillery (July 2022) – informative and very enjoyable.

Although PROBUS membership has its greatest concentrations in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, clubs today exist in all parts of the world, including the U.S., Belgium, India, South Africa and several other countries in Africa and Asia, so at the last count there were over 4000 clubs world-wide.

Gravenhurst (Ontario) Probus – 15 Year Anniversary – they do things big!