The demand for membership to the Toronto Probus Club has led some of its members to launch a second club, officially named the East York Probus Club, to meet on Bayview Avenue.
Toronto’s first club, which met on St. Clair Avenue West, reached its 250-member capacity and had 90 people on its waiting list, so board member John Agnew along with five members of the Toronto club set up a meeting for Nov. 22 to help kick off a new centre.
“We decided that it’s time to start a second club,” Agnew said.
“Probus” is short for “professional businesspeople.” The organization has over 300,000 members and 4,000 centres around the world. Canada has almost 35,000 members in 239 centres. It’s geared toward those who are semi-retired or retired. It’s more than just a vocational collective.
Clubs are formed to provide social events and schedule speakers to keep members up to date with community issues and happenings, topics of the day, financial planning and so on. Clubs are non-political, non-sectarian, non-profit making and do not allow fundraising.
Agnew was a managing consultant with a large corporation and also did computer consulting. He laughed when he admitted to seeing the evolution of the computer go from an entire floor to being handheld.
“Most of [the Probus] folks are retired now,” he said. “They can talk about what they used to do but what they talk about now is what they’re doing and that’s having a good time as a senior.”
Members can also meet outside of the monthly get-togethers, and many do so to play bridge, walk, hike, cycle, golf and organize excursions to wine country.
The annual membership fee is $30 with a one-time initiation fee of $20 upon joining.
The Toronto club earned its official status in May 2015. Within two months it had 65 members. Agnew said he is hoping the same happens with the East York.
Their first meeting is to be held at St. Cuthbert’s Church on Bayview Avenue in Leaside.
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