STAWELL - Stawell Probus Clubs hosted the Probus District 9780 annual conference last month.
A committee was formed more than 12 months ago from representatives of the Stawell Gold Reef Ladies Probus Club and Probus Club of Stawell (men) to organise the two day conference.
Fifty three clubs attended with more than 200 people travelling from as far as Mt Gambier, Bordertown, Geelong, Ballarat, Maryborough, Horsham and many clubs in between.
Registrations were held on the Sunday afternoon and participants had the choice of going on an escorted bus tour of Great Western wineries, beautiful gardens at Pomonal, or historic tours of the City of Stawell. Self guided tours were also available as an alternative.
The official dinner was held at the Trackside Bar and Bistro where 160 Probarians were treated to an excellent meal with entertainment provided between courses by local female a capella group 'Kaleidoscope'.
Lucky prizes were distributed throughout the night and the next day to many grateful Probarians.
Monday morning, all assembled at the Stawell Entertainment Centre where after the singing of the National Anthem, the conference was officially opened by the Northern Grampians Shire Mayor, Cr Wayne Rice.
Following short messages by Past District Governor of Rotary District 9780, Ted Gaffney and Immediate Past President of Probus South Pacific, Margaret Robinson, the conference commenced.
Probarians were treated to excellent guest speakers ranging from Robert Irvine from the Stawell Athletic Club, Margaret Krelle a registered wild dog trapper and Christine Puls a Wimmera jockey. All gave extremely interesting talks.
All organisations require sponsorship and our major sponsors representing Trade Travel, Grand Pacific Tours and Parkgate Resort gave presentations on their businesses.
The Stawell committee thanked these sponsors for their generous support.
Short presentations by three district ladies, who are making a significant impact on the local economy, followed.
Shellie Green from Green Eggs at Great Western, Deirdre Baum from Laharum Olives and Josephina McDonald from ther Lakeside Tourist Park at Halls Gap were certainly inspirational.
Following lunches held at the Uniting Church Hall and the Anglican Church Hall, the conference recommenced and was treated to some great musical items from St Pats Primary School choir led by Melissa Bonney.
Next year's conference organising committee from Mt Gambier gave an audio visual presentation on what can be expected to be found in the district.
Probarians look forward to the experience.
The Stawell committee took to the stage to formally hand over the 'Table Cloth' to next year's committee to conclude the conference. From the comments of many of the participants, the Stawell conference was one of the best to date.
The Stawell committee thanked the volunteers who assisted during the conference and all the generous sponsors.