NOT so long ago Brighouse Probus Club had more than 100 members and a waiting list. But now membership has dropped to around 60 and the club is fighting back in a bid to boost recruitment.
Noel Moroney, who recently stepped down as chairman and is now marketing and recruitment officer, said: “We are a very sociable, busy and caring organisation. We meet once a month and members look forward to seeing colleagues and friends and listening to our speakers.
“But, like many organisations, we have suffered from a declining membership with people leaving and not being replaced. We want people to know about Probus and feel welcome to join us.”
Probus has its origins in the Rotary Club movement. In 1965 it was suggested that Rotary members over the age of 65 would benefit from having their own club to cater for their needs. Eventually this club for retired businessmen became known as Probus and membership grew to more than 350,000 all over the world.
Each of the 4,000 clubs is self-supporting, run by its own committee, with no governing body to report to.
The Brighouse club was formed in 1973 and has been meeting regularly for almost four decades. “It has been perfroming very satisfactorily since then but we do need to halt the decline in membership if possible.
“We hope more people will feel encouraged to join us and share the pleasures of belonging to a club which cares for its members and generates a happy and friendly spirit of camaraderie.
“I was chairman for two years - and I thoroughly enjoyed being chairman of a club which produces such a varied programme of presenters and talkers.”
Money raised during Noel’s term of office went to Overgate Hospice and this month he will present a cheque to Highbury School in Rastrick.
Highlights of last year’s programme included a talk called ‘Splitting the Atom’ by Peter Cockcroft of Todmorden, nephew of the Nobel Prize-winning scientist and physicist Sir John Cockcroft.
Coming up this year are talks on rugby commentator Eddie Waring, the textile industry, Laurel and Hardy and memories of the Police service. Finding the speakers is the job of Neil Robinson who is also chairman of Waring Green Community Association and arranges talks for the history group.
Another high point is the ladies’ lunch usually held at Cleckheaton Golf Club, and the summer garden party at the home of Arthur and Christine Wade. There are also visits to historical houses, gardens and places of interest.
Taking over as chairman is Brian Batty who has been involved in voluntary organisations and community groups in the Brighouse area for 30 years.
Brighouse Probus has been meeting for the past year at Hove Edge Bowling Club and members appreciate the warm welcome they have received at the new venue.
“If members are absent without tendering an apology we make enquiries to check that they are in good health. We are a caring club and we look out for our members,” said Noel.
Anyone interested in joining Brighouse Probus Club or in finding out more information should contact Noel Moroney on 0148 715108.