COMBINED PROBUS CLUB OF TE MATA
A Brief History of our Club
The Combined Probus Club of Te Mata was the child of the Probus Club of Havelock North and the Havelock North Ladies Probus Club. It was conceived in the refectory of the Te Mata Masonic Lodge; later the birth was assisted by the Havelock North Rotary Club. The ﬁrst meeting was held on Monday, 25th November, 1991 in the Stable Room at Parkwood Manor. Interesting to note that Parkwood Manor has become the Mary Doyle Trust Life Care Centre, home to some of our members.
The following January the Club was relegated upstairs to the Coachman Conference Room which was considered unsatisfactory, so, in February ’91, the Club moved to Arataki Park. The ﬁrst committee was Maurice Tilley, President, he had been prominent in the formation of the Club, Victor Jones, Secretary, Joan Sullivan, Treasurer and Shirley Bohm, Cicely Crampton, Audrey Kettle and Nancy Tilley. In only the second newsletter members were requested not to sit before the meeting starts as the first half-hour is for socialising…
The ﬁrst AGM was in March ‘92 and on behalf of Rotary Cyril Whitaker presented the Club Charter and the President’s Chain of Ofﬁce. The committee was re-elected and George Green started his long stint as auditor, only ending when he went on to the Committee this year. The membership was capped at 120 but that has gradually increased to 140.
Subsequent Presidents were Audrey Kettle, John Elvidge, Nancy Tilley, Hanson Averill, Joan Phillips, Dougal French, Edith French, Peter Wenley and Elizabeth Bell, they wore out six treasurers: Joan Sullivan, Bob de Denne, John and Betty Kingsford, Maire Thompson and Joan Padman, and ﬁve secretaries: Victor Jones, Joan Phillips, Robin Bell, Stuart Anderson and Reg Phillips.
The ﬁrst birthday was celebrated with a lunch at Arataki and there was talk of a New Zealand Probus magazine, nine years later it materialised. A bus load went to hear “Kiri at the Mission’, how many of you still go to Mission concerts? The mid-winter lunch went up/down market to Windsor Lodge. Outings became a regular feature of Club activities begun by Cicely Crampton, expanded by John Elvidge and indelibly organised by Hanson Averill, who brieﬂy surrended [surrendered] the reins to Joan Phillips and Shirley Green when he was President, now Margaret Elliott takes us to pastures new. Phillida Hylton-Smith, Bernice Copp, Jerry Henley and Jim Woodward led the Club into the paths of culture, Peter Wenley currently guides us to the liberal arts.