CONFERENCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA PROBUS CLUBS
April 28, 2018
It’s been quite a few years since our Club has sent delegates to the BC PROBUS Club Conferences that are held on an irregular basis. This year the Management Committee nominated our Treasurer, Linda Burrows and our Social Chair, Joanie Miller to attend the one-day meeting in Vancouver.
About eighty delegates from around the Province attended. Bill Sexsmith, President of PROBUS Canada, opened the meeting with a presentation on the progress that PROBUS has been making. Most BC Clubs show an increase in membership, especially on Vancouver Island and in the Kamloops area, with an average growth rate of five percent. Kudos to our PROBUS Club, with an increased membership of over 11 percent in 2017! Last year six new clubs were established in Canada. When various clubs have long waiting lists the solution is to sponsor a new group.
One of the major concerns of any social club is convincing members to step up and take on executive roles. The reasons for members’ reluctance to serve on the executive are varied and valid. But the delegates agreed that service on their club’s executive team has been very enjoyable and a fine opportunity to share hard-earned skills and experience.
Each club establishes its own rules of tenure for executive positions and procedures for nomination to these positions so much information was shared on this topic.
Some clubs wondered how to continue their growth by attracting new members. Many new ideas were put forth as well as sharing experiences of what has worked well for recruitment. Word of mouth is the best way to bring new people into our clubs, but local advertising and a good, current website help recruit members.
Timely payment of dues is essential for a well-run club. A “due date” should be established. Members who will be away (snow birds) can submit post-dated cheques to hold their membership.
Our delegates Joanie and Linda left the Conference feeling quite proud of Northwest Bay Probus Club. Not only does our club have an exceptional growth rate, but we enjoy a far higher than average number of social events and excursions, lots of special interest groups, and of course some of the best speakers Vancouver Island and BC have to offer.