Greetings and welcome to the 32nd year of the Kelvin Probus Club! Not so many years ago members of the public were introduced to the phrase ‘lifelong learning’, to remind those getting on in years that being pensioned off didn’t mean that their minds could no longer respond to intellectual challenges – as if we didn’t know! But these challenges can be even more readily met when they are presented in an entertaining way and within a convivial context free from any threat of assessment, by algorithm or otherwise. And that pretty well sums up the purpose of Kelvin Probus. An evident characteristic of its programmes is the immense range of topics covered by its guest speakers, making it difficult to believe that any member could fail to find something of personal interest over the session.
However, the circumstances of the present age have led our lifelong learning in unexpected directions, not to everyone’s taste, as Kelvin Probus resorted to meeting online via Zoom (new words for the vocabulary!), rather than meeting in person, in order to abide by the varying restrictions on personal contact to contain the pandemic. Assembling together for tea or coffee and a good conversation became a thing of the past (and the scones and jam were greatly missed, certainly by me!); careful clicking became a necessity to accept the invite to the meeting, along with judicious tilting of computer screens to avoid reflections on the bald spots. It also possibly brought a twinge of envy at the power of the host to admit a member or not, and with a single click to silence the entire company – way beyond what the President could achieve at an in-person meeting.
But while Zoom allowed the programme to continue in more or less the customary manner – though with the advantage of ethereally putting us into break-out groups for chat without us having to leave our seats – it had the undeniably adverse effect of separating us from our friends who were unable to join in via Zoom. That is deeply regretted, and we hope that very soon we will be able to return to in-person meetings, to restore their active involvement. Unfortunately, however, that will not be for a little while yet. While around 40 members were able to Zoom, 20 or so were not, and we offer them our commiserations.
But these figures also highlight a concern noted by my recent predecessors: a serious decline in the membership of Kelvin Probus, currently slightly below 60, well short of the limit of 100 set by the Club in the past. Moreover, only 21 per cent of the membership is now below 75 years of age, compared to 59 per cent just four years ago. A priority this session is to try to reverse this trend. And this is where you come in. So far the means of recruitment has been word-of-mouth invitations extended by members to friends. To help encourage this immediately, the Committee has produced a leaflet extolling the virtues of the Club for you to circulate to friends – particularly younger friends. This will not only remove the burden on you of explaining what it’s all about, but also give your friends something to look at in their leisure and hopefully generate sufficient interest for them to ask you to bring them as guests – at no charge – to an in-person meeting (once they restart). Other steps are being taken by the Committee to tackle the recruitment problem by various routes.
I do hope you will continue to support your Club and find lots to interest you in the programme for 2021-22.
Wishing you good health
If any member has moved house, changed telephone number or e-mail; address within the last year you are asked to notify the Secretary of the revised details so that the Club records can be kept up to date.
The Club has a category of Associate Membership, which is available to members who are no longer able to attend the Tuesday morning meetings on a regular basis. An Associate Member is exempt from payment of the annual subscription, and continues to receive the annual syllabus as well as the formal notice of the Club AGM, and details of visits and social events. Associate Members can apply to transfer back to full membership if their circumstances change.
It would be appreciated that if any member wishes to change his status to Associate Member or resign his membership he/she notifies the Secretary of their intentions.
A small supply of the recruitment leaflets will be delivered to you over the next couple of weeks. Please pass them on to people who may be interested in joining Probus. I will supply membership application forms to all interested individuals. Membership is open to both men and women. An advance copy of one side of the leaflet is separately attached showing the programme for the coming session.
Robin C Hutchison, Secretary
Tel: 0141 339 8038
23 Fifth Avenue
Glasgow, G12 0AR
The Annual Subscription is now due. Once again for this session the subscription is being held at £30 per member.
You are being encouraged to pay the subscription electronically, if possible. The payment details are:
“Kelvin Probus Club “;
Sort Code 80-07-52 ;
Account No. 00107713
Please ensure your name appears in the reference box so that we can identify the payee/. Thank you.
If you are not able to pay electronically please send a cheque payable to Kelvin Probus Club
To the Treasurer,
56 Woodend Drive,
Glasgow, G13 1TG