Normally, our monthly lunches include a guest speaker, an irrepressible joke-teller, a reasonably priced bar and a prize raffle. In July, August and at Christmas, we bring along our wives, partners or friends. We also usually have a barbecue, trips to shows, day trips and holidays further afield (next year some of us are going to the Isle of Wight for a few days).
This particular Probus Club also supports the wider community with donations to local charities. We contribute annually to FIND (Families in Need), and the photo shows our chairman Vic Gray presenting a cheque to Mrs Janet Dines, treasurer of the Ipswich Dementia Friendship Group, which is based in Henley and caters for local sufferers, their families and carers. As the cancellation of our lunches since February has saved our members some money every month, we recently held a whip-round for the foodbanks of both FIND and Ipswich Outlook which have been under extra pressure lately.
We’re always looking to enrol new members, either newly retired or simply needing a break from gardening and decorating. Once this pandemic is over, you are welcome to arrange with our secretary to come to one of our lunches and see for yourself who we are and what we do.
The Ipswich and District Probus Club was founded in 1972 and meets near the centre of town. Members are from all backgrounds: engineers, bank officials, teachers, builders and local government officers, to name a few. It’s a club where all retired chaps can get together, especially as many of us miss the daily banter of the workplace when we retire, which can be one of the biggest challenges of retirement.
At the time of writing, the Covid-19 lockdown is beginning to be relaxed. However, our activities remain suspended and our venue and caterers are still closed. We’ve been prevented from getting together, but we still keep a check on our older and more isolated members and, using social media, we maintain contact and exchange news and jokes to keep each other sane.