The Story of the Hogsback Probus Club 2008-2021
The Hogsback Probus Club was registered by the Probus Council of Southern Africa and Chartered by the Arcadia Rotary Club on 17 October 2008
The Hogsback Probus Club was inaugurated on 17 October 2008. It is thus 13 years old, a vibrant teenager!
On 16 August 2008 the first get-together of seven couples decided to establish a Probus club. I was a member of the Arcadia Rotary Club in East London and felt that a Probus Club would be a valuable asset to the community. Inauguration then followed on 17 October 2008 at a spectacular function at the Trekkers Lounge, Hogsback. There were 22 Founder members who excitedly met at the Trekkers Lounge to charter the Hogsback Probus Club. To support our new club were 13 Arcadia Rotarians from East London, the past DG, Lionel Heath and his wife, Maureen, and two American Rotarians. Our 22 Hogsback Probus Founder Members were: Derek and Norma Fivaz, Gordon and Lynn Johnston, Fritz (host) and Ansie (caterer) Klaassen, Rob (treasurer) and Elizabeth (o/c speakers) Macpherson, Mike and Des Meyer, Harold and Irene Nicholls, Peter and Carol Nieth, Carole and Derek Tressider, Rob and Sandy Wicks, Andre and Jenny Parmentier and Trevor (President) and Ann Webster. Peter Burmeister, President of Arcadia Rotary Club officially chartered the Probus Club No 0810172 and Geoff Howes donated a gavel and stand made of wild olive and blackwood for our meetings. Norma spoke of her HIV Aids programme resulting in a gift by Rotary of a vehicle for her programme.
There have been four stages to the Hogsback Probus Club. Initially, from 2008, the club met at the Trekkers Lounge with Trevor Webster as chairman, Rob Mcpherson as treasurer, Elizabeth Mcpherson in charge of speakers and Ansie Klaassen as caterer. The Trekkers Lounge was an ideal venue, it was cosy, welcoming and ‘gesellig’. It was an exciting start. During the second stage meetings moved to the Coffee Barn from 2011 with Ron and Leslie Dawson as hosts and Harold Nicholls as chairman. Ron was a great host and made functions fun. The third stage was from 2013 and meetings alternated between the Hogsback Inn and The Edge with Vincent Blackbeard as chairman. The fourth stage was from 2019 with Gerhard du Plessis as chairman. Unfortunately, Covid 19 interrupted meetings from 2020 but in September 2021 we got together again at The Edge with Laurent telling us of the tremendous service he and volunteers do in clearing our forest paths. At our next meeting on the 20th October 2021, we shall celebrate our 13th Anniversary
The Probus Club facilitated the donation of a vehicle by Rotary to Norma’s HIV Aid programme
Our main activity is fellowship around a fine meal with a stimulating speaker. Our speakers have been most interesting, some of whom were: Nadja Fredericks on Alzeimers disease, Mike Webster on the World Bank, Paul Hoffman on the constitution, Nicky Abdinor, the extraordinary girl without full limbs who is a psychologist, George Mcpherson on gold mines in South Africa and Australia, Marissa Nel inspired us as a top prosthetist, Francis Wilson on South African history, Chippy Olver on the mismanagement of Port Elizabeth, Bruce Joubert on his sailing days, the Vice Chancellor of Fort Hare Vuyo Tom on the university, Diana Graham on the ecoshrine, Andrew Hack on Police hostage negotiations, Don Grierson on his visit to Peru, Harold Nicholls on the Persian Empire, Rob Prentis on history, Maggie on how to navigate the internet, Bridget and Vincent on their Himalaya climb, magnificent photo displays by Ken Harvey and Josef Steyn, and many, many more.
Expeditions have been fun, like fishing week-ends at Bosbokstrand, a history tour of Kingwilliamstown and Thomas River and an annual Christmas get-together. Service activities have been gifts of blankets to an old lady at Bold Point, Christmas parties for Crab-Bush pupils, food parcels for the needy and the presentation of a certificate of achievement to our Olympic marathon runner, Lusapho April.
4 Letters of Good Will on our 13th Anniversary:
From the then President of the Arcadia Rotary Club that Chartered us.
Hi Trevor, I well remember that night 13 years ago when you organised a great evening with excellent camaraderie!
Sadly, Geoff Howes passed away since, but no doubt you still have his workmanship with you.
Regards and best wishes for the occasion! Regards – Peter Burmeister
Letter of Good Wishes from the then Past DG of Rotary:
Dear Fellow Probians, Congratulations on becoming teenagers – now that you have reached the age of thirteen you are allowed to go out and really make the most of life – and have fun doing it.
I have fond memories of the positive and pleasant atmosphere on night of your charter and the induction of your first president. Some two and a half months earlier, I had ended my term of office as District Governor for Rotary District 9320, under which the Hogsback area fell in those days. During my term I had done a bit of negotiating with one of my closest friends, Trevor Webster, and Peter Burmeister, the President of the Rotary Club of Arcadia, East London, to set wheels in motion to establish a Probus Club at Hogsback. You are special to me in that you were the only Probus club in whose establishment I had been involved.
In many ways, you could be considered a mixture between a Rotary club and a Probus club. Probus clubs do not get involved in service to the community, this is the realm of Rotary Clubs. As there is no Rotary club at Hogsback, you performed some of the Rotary functions in the projects that you carried out. I applaud you for doing this – what else would one expect from the Hogsback community. Each Probus club has always been independent.
Enjoy your evening – especially the fellowship. Use it do drive away some of the Covid cobwebs that have been hanging above all of us for the past eighteen months. Both as someone involved in your roots and as president of the oldest Probus club in the Eastern Cape, I wish you all the best for the future – your 21st will soon be upon you.
Probian greetings, Lionel Heath.
Finally, The Hogsback Probus Club offers a valuable opportunity for those who enjoy relaxed company, good food and stimulating talks. And the club has been of service in Hogsback.
20 October 2021
- Trail Maintenance in Hogsback (Laurent) 29 September 2021
Facebook video link 1 | Facebook video link2
- The James Webb Space Telescope (Fiona and Emily Wallace) 24 October 2021 (to be linked soon)
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