Combined Probus Club of Te Mata History


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.

The Club has been ably supported by Don Clark, Amanda Clarkson, Helen Cutler, Jack French, Margaret Harper, Ken King, Bruce Kivell, lvan Muir, Scott Padfield, Bill Speekenbrink, Trish Teunon and Shirley Wane who took on less public but vital roles such as organising speakers, membership and club services; we should not forget Bryan Kettle’s unending battle with the Arataki sound system.

Over the years we have enjoyed a great diversity of speakers, one of the most memorable was Wendy Twist and her Schnauzer guide dog Dulcie, our personal ailments paled into insignificance as we marvelled at her fortitude. In 1995 President John organised a meeting of all the then three Havelock North Probus Clubs to hear Michael Laws give a talk on MMP which had already been agreed to, John suggested such combined meetings should become a regular feature with the Ladies Club organising the next one, it will be the second when it happens. In 1997 President Joan asked the members to try and bring the right money for morning tea…

At our fifth birthday meeting a cake – cut by Past Presidents Audrey and Nancy – was served with wine. Despite the friendliness of our hosts at Arataki there were problems with it as a venue, there was limited space to socialise and the low ceiling of the assembly area induced a high noise level with all the concomitant problems. Following his election in 1998 President Dougal announced that in future the Club would meet at the Havelock North Club which amply meets our requirements.

As we reflect on the past ten years and muse on the missing faces remember it is you who make the Club what it is, your Committee endeavours to provide the stimulus, you provide the friendship and fellowship.

26 November 2001

Original digital file


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Business / Organisation

Combined Probus Club of Te Mata

Format of the original

Computer document

Date published

26 November 2001


  • Stuart Anderson
  • Hanson Averill
  • Elizabeth Bell
  • Robin Bell
  • Shirley Bohm
  • Don Clark
  • Amanda Clarkson
  • Bernice Copp
  • Cicely Crampton
  • Helen Cutler
  • Bob de Denne
  • Margaret Elliott
  • John Elvidge
  • Dougal French
  • Edith French
  • Jack French
  • George Green
  • Shirley Green
  • Margaret Harper
  • Jerry Henley
  • Phillida Hylton-Smith
  • Victor Jones
  • Audrey Kettle
  • Bryan Kettle
  • Ken King
  • Betty Kingsford
  • John Kingsford
  • Bruce Kivell
  • Michael Laws
  • Ivan Muir
  • Scott Padfield
  • Joan Padman
  • Joan Phillips
  • Reg Phillips
  • Bill Speekenbrink
  • Joan Sullivan
  • Trish Teunon
  • Maire Thompson
  • Nancy Tilley
  • Wendy Twist
  • Shirley Wane
  • Peter Wenley
  • Cyril Whittaker
  • Jim Woodward

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