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Chairman’s Message


There is no doubt that COVID-19 has made the future quite challenging, it is a very fluid environment we live in, one we have never experienced before in our lifetime and one which has impacted on all aspects of life.

I commented in a previous column that Probus members would have to accept change to survive.  One of the most demonstrable examples of change is the publication and circulation of Active Retirees magazine.  This now is circulated digitally and every member can subscribe and receive it at no cost.  The staff at PSPL have worked hard and published a very creditable magazine full of interesting articles and items submitted from many Clubs.  They are also producing the “Staying Connected with Probus” communication, a weekly publication also available online and all members are encouraged to subscribe. 

I hope you and your Club are supporting the initiative encouraged by PSPL to recognise 1st October as Probus Day.  It is the International Day for Older Persons and is an ideal time for promoting Probus in our communities.  Because Probus does not often attract media attention we all need on this day to raise the profile in whatever way we can, whether it be as an individual Club activity or an activity combining several Clubs in a cluster. 

Covid-19 has of course impacted PSPL quite seriously, this was not anticipated and the ramifications will be felt for some time.   The majority of our members are in the “vulnerable” category and I have been heartened by the number of Clubs who have found a way to remain connected and continue the Fun, Friendship and Fellowship values of Probus.  I was particularly impressed with the news that a new Club had been chartered in Queensland in July, just as many of our Clubs were meeting for the first time since lockdown was imposed. 

My year as Chairman is coming to an end as is my term as New Zealand Representative Member/Director.  The experience has been a privilege, interesting, challenging and worthwhile.  I have met many great Probus members, have celebrated several milestones with Clubs and taken part in various discussions.   I have visited numerous Clubs, not as many as I had intended because COVID-19 put a stop to travel both in New Zealand and Australia, and I have learnt so much about Probus South Pacific.  I acknowledge and am grateful for the support I have received from members of the Board, all hardworking volunteers who only want the best for our community.  I thank them all sincerely for the time they have given to Probus, I know it has impacted on their lives in retirement and I am grateful for their contribution.

I have been most impressed with the knowledge and passion of our CEO Silvana Martignago and her team, their consistent loyalty and commitment to Probus is undeniable.  I have appreciated their support and guidance through many challenging aspects of governance and regulatory requirements.

Thank you all for the opportunity to enjoy the Fun, Friendship and Fellowship that Probus provides to our retiree community.