Seniors, semi-retired connect through Vernon social club

Probus Club is back after two-year hiatus

Probus members on a recent hike. The group is restarting after a two-year COVID hiatus. (Contributed)

Probus members on a recent hike. The group is restarting after a two-year COVID hiatus. (Contributed)

Have you missed fun, fellowship and friendship during COVID? Well, the Vernon Probus Club is back in action after a two year hiatus.

Probus clubs are organizations for retired or semi-retired people who want to maintain a social network with others who have similar interests. They operate worldwide and members may attend meetings anywhere they go.

Here in Vernon, the club meets on the second Thursday of the month (except July, August and December). At each meeting, in the Knox Presbyterian Church Hall, there are greeters who welcome members and prospective members at the door.

“The fellowship begins here…chat to people, find a seat and at 10 a.m. the meeting is called to order,” said member Kathy Coverly.

A brief business meeting ensues with announcements from organizers of the various activity groups: book clubs, golf, walking/hiking, cycling, bridge, dining-out, garden appreciation group, excursions.

“Anything your heart desires! If the activity does not already exist, start it — canasta, coffee mornings, picnics, camera club, to name but a few, have yet to be launched but you may do it!”

Following the business meeting, the most important part of the morning is coffee (or tea), goodies (on hold for the moment), and chat.

“Mingle amongst the members, meet new friends, have fun,” Coverly said. “Probus is a friendship club — a sort of adult play group.”

When called back to order, the club is introduced to the speaker who gives a presentation from any number of interesting topics.

The group has heard from an RCMP dog trainer and handler, Vernon author Vivian Merchant with his book Growing Up In The Okanagan, a pilgrim in Japan and again in Spain, Grandmother for Africa and has been educated on such topics as drug use, abuse and overdose in Vernon, garden retreats and more.

“The fun does not stop there,” Coverly said. “In December we get our ‘glad rags’ on and attend a fine luncheon, with entertainment, cash bar and door prizes.”

On and off through the year, members also visit places of interest in the area. Coming up are Okanagan Stationhouse at Paddlewheel Park, Okanagan College Trades Building, Fintry Manor House tour and picnic, Kangaroo Farm, RDNO tour of Duteau water filtration plant and hopefully the Tool Museum in August.

“Planning is underway for a scavenger hunt by car (what used to be called a car rally) in the fall.”

The club’s next meeting, May 12, will see local historian Don McNair as the speaker as well as the Annual General Meeting with election of the new board of directors.

In June, celebrate the club’s birthday with a cake, a slide show and board games.

All of the fun takes place thanks to the members who make it all happen and volunteer to run activities.

“Any club is only as good as its participants. Ours is vibrant,” said Coverly.

Anyone wanting to take part, make friends and enjoy their company doing things they love can contact Rosemary Botner at rosemarybotner@gmail.com for more information.

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