General meetings of members are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month except December. The last meeting of each year takes the form of a Christmas luncheon. There is always fellowship before the general meetings, but the formal meeting commences at 10.30 am and runs until around 12.30 pm. Typically meetings start off with about 45 minutes devoted to Club business, then a half hour for morning tea. Then follows up to an hour to take in a presentation from a guest speaker or other person of particular interest. The majority of members at each meeting like to remain for lunch in the bistro at the Waterloo Cup Hotel.
The inaugural meeting of the Probus Club of Melbourne North was held at North Melbourne Football clubrooms on Wednesday 9th November 1994. The next regular meeting, on Tuesday 26th November, will be a special celebration to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Club. The “business” part of the meeting will be abbreviated to allow time to recognise the founders and history of the Club. We will toast the Anniversary with bubbles and finger food, and founding members will cut an Anniversary cake. Instead of our normal speaker we will have some musical entertainment. We hope that most members and guests will remain to enjoy a convivial lunch together.
Our speaker at the October meeting was Leading Senior Constable Damien Collins, Officer of Hume Crime Prevention, based at Sunshine Police Station. He was accompanied by another officer from the Brunswick Station. His talk related to scams, frauds and security risks, and engendered much lively discussion and sharing of experiences. Slides from their PowerPoint presentation may be viewed by clicking here. Up-to-date information about scams is available on the Scamwatch website – click here or the logo below. Our speakers emphasised reporting of scams. This can be done through ACCC on the Scamwatch website.
For comments or suggestions about speakers for regular meetings, contact Bob here.
Here is some information about recent past speakers:
The first regular meeting for 2019 was held in January. Our speaker was Bev Moss speaking about “Buckingham Palace in my Underwear”. One Saturday morning in 2001, she ignored the usual Saturday chores and read the paper instead. She didn’t know why she read the Employment Section, because she had a job in which she was happy and retirement probably beckoned. This deviation from the domestic routine led to a decade of exciting travel and adventure including taking visitors on tours of Clarence House, home of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and meeting interesting people both famous and ordinary. Her message is – don’t let age be a barrier to what you want to do. Life is out there and wants you to grab it by the throat. Bev gave us a most entertaining and challenging talk encouraging us all to live life to the full. Bev will return in January 2020 to give another entertaining presentation.
At the February meeting our speaker was Dr Andrew McLean, PhD (Equine Cognition & Learning), BSc (Zoology), Dip Ed. Andrew is the winner of the highest Australian science award, the Eureka Prize for Science, and is in great demand as a trainer, coach and speaker on equitation science. In addition to establishing the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, he has written 5 books, including an international best seller, and authored 35 peer-reviewed journal articles. He also has an impressive record of personal riding achievements.
Andrew also began training elephants in Nepal in 2007, which led to the establishment of the not-for-profit H-ELP Foundation (Human Elephant Learning Program), of which he is now Senior Vice President. This cooperative project focuses on the optimal management, welfare and training of elephants in Asia using innovative training techniques based on learning theory and the elimination of punishment.
To find out more, and to donate to the work of the H-ELP Foundation, please click here.
In March 2019, the Annual General Meeting of the Club was held. Reports were received on activities of the Club over the 2018/19 Probus year, and the Committee for the next year was appointed. The retiring President Vic Ryall installed Allan Rodger as the President for the 2019/20 Probus year. For more information about the current Committee, please click here.
At our meeting in April, our speaker was Associate Professor Sharon Brennan-Olsen. She is a Program Director at the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS), part of a collaboration between Western Health and the University of Melbourne. Her research interests are the social determinants of musculoskeletal diseases and health service utilisation, and the biological mechanisms that may underpin the social gradient of musculoskeletal diseases. Her work encompasses a key focus on community engagement and knowledge translation. For our meeting, her topic was: “We all have two ages ‘Chronological and Biological’: The biological age is where the fun is!” AIMSS is conducting clinical trials and volunteers are welcome. For further information, please click here.
At the regular Club meeting in May, our speaker was Bill Reid, a member of the Alma Doepel Supporters Club Committee who, along with many others, has given countless hours to the restoration of the Alma Doepel. This is a three masted top sail schooner built in 1903 in Bellingen, NSW, by Frederik Doepel, and named after his youngest daughter Alma. She sailed mainly around the coast of Australia, carrying goods such as timber, wheat and jam. She was also used in World War II as a supply vessel in Papua New Guinea, before returning to commercial service around Tasmania in 1946. From 1961 to 1975 she was stripped of her rigging and used to carry limestone, before being sold, for the scrap value of her engines, to the Melbourne Company, Sail & Adventure, in 1976 for the advancement of youth through Sail Training.
From 1976 to 1987, Alma Doepel had her first restoration and returned to full sail to take part in the Parade of Sail in Sydney Harbour in January 1988. She was then used as a sail training ship, based in Melbourne, until 1999 when the need for work on the hull and lack of funds put a stop to this activity.
In April 2001, Alma Doepel was taken to Port Macquarie where she was berthed at Lady Nelson Wharf and open to the public as a static exhibit. In January 2009 the Alma Doepel returned to berth No 2 Victoria Dock (Melbourne) for her second restoration to return her to survey so she can recommence sail training. Bill Reid told us about this ongoing work. Further information may be found by clicking here.
At our regular meeting Club meeting in June, our speaker was Dr Heather Wheat. Heather is a former tutor and research officer at the University of Melbourne. For more information, see her Facebook page by clicking here. Her talks are mainly about her travel blogs, and she spoke to us about her personal experiences in far east Russia particularly the Kamchatka Peninsula and the “Ring of Fire”, a series of active volcanoes [one the largest in the Northern Hemisphere]. Kamchatka is sparsely populated and covered with snow for most of the year. Wild life, brown bears, deer, wolves and bird life is abundant. Her talk was a wonderful travelogue, accompanied by excellent photos and a good geography lesson about this remote part of the world.
At our Club meeting in July, our speaker was Mel Higgins, a retired teacher, now speaking to groups on behalf of RACV. His talk gave all sorts of useful tips to seniors about safe travel … both as drivers and as pedestrians. For more information click here. Useful further resources are available at the RACV site here.
At our regular meeting in August, our speaker was Merilyn Hoysted, a member of the Ceramics and Glass Circle of Australia. She is passionate and knowledgeable about ceramics and her thoroughly researched presentation was supplemented with a display of Scottish pottery. Her talk concentrated on the largest pottery in Glasgow – that of John and Matthew Perston Bell. These brothers were not potters but were successful in establishing one of the most profitable businesses (1841 – 1919), exporting all over the world including to South East Asia and Australia. For more information, click here. Product images may be seen by clicking here.
At our meeting in September, our speaker was Amy Willet representing ‘Victorian Energy Compare’ from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Victorian Energy Compare is designed to read and understand your electricity bill and to ask your retailer for a better offer with the aim of saving money and reducing household energy consumption. Many members brought along their recent electricity bills and identified the relevant entries for consumption and cost. It was noted that all consumers are eligible for a $50 bonus offer … just for asking! For more information, please click here.
At the September meeting, there was a brief presentation by Abigail Deodatus, an Honours Psychology student at La Trobe University. She is conducting a research study about the structure and the role of technology social support on the levels of technology skills, interest, and physical activity in older adults. For further information, and access to an online survey please click here.