Probus Club of Southport Inc
20th June 1979
20th June 2014
In early 1979 members of the Toowoomba East Rotary Club attended a District Rotary Conference at the old Chevron Hotel, Surfers Paradise. Among the Toowoomba East Rotary Club members were Messrs Bill Klassen and Merv Quigley.
(Bill Klassen was responsible for the original proposal of forming a Probus Club in Toowoomba after hearing about Probus on a visit to England and Merv Quigley became the Patron of Toowoomba Probus Club Inc. (M) (7/2/1978), the first Probus Club in Queensland.
At the conference on the Gold Coast the above gentlemen and other members of their club staged a “skit” on how to form a Probus club. Apart from its entertainment value, the “skit” created a great deal of interest among the Rotorians present.
Following the conference, the then President of the Rotary Club of Southport North contacted Toowoomba East Rotary Club seeking advice on forming a Probus Club of Southport.
On Wednesday 16th May 1979, the Rotary Club of Southport North held a “Meeting of Interest” at the Rendezvous Reception Lounge, Southport and with the
assistance and guidance of the Toowoomba East Rotary Club, a Steering Committee was set up to establish a Probus Club of the Gold Coast.
The members of the steering committee were Bill James, Harold Porter, Alex Newcombe, Jack Heber and Norm Buck. This committee utilized newspapers, letters and ‘word of mouth’ to invite interested retired and semi retired professional and business men to form the club. Rotarians Peter Fearnside, Geoff Bell and John Vargas from the Rotary Club of Southport North assisted in its formation.
The inaugural meeting of the Probus Club of Southport was held at the Rendezvous Reception Lounge, Southport on Wednesday 20th June 1979. At this
meeting there were 14 members of the original 24 foundation members.
The Probus Club of Southport became the first such club on the Gold Coast, the second to be formed in Queensland (after Toowoomba) and only the fourth in Australia.