End of an era: Stawell Ladies Probus Club folds after 28 years | PHOTOS

Dwindling numbers has caused Stawell Ladies Probus Club to disband after 28 years of fellowship.

Club members sang Auld Lang Syne at the end of their final meeting before participating in one last lunch together. 

Former member Lesley Bennett said it was the end of an era. 

“Initially club membership grew, but over the last few years it has dwindled due to various reasons,” she said.

The club hosted its first meeting on April 18, 1989, with 84 retired and semi-retired business women who attended. 

A total of 232 women had been members of the club during its 28 years.  

Mrs Bennett said it amounted to almost 300 people who had given their time and talents to the club over the years.

“Club members are very grateful to these people for giving up their time,” she said. 

Mrs Bennett also said Probus members had experienced many years of friendship, fun and laughter together.

“Over the years the club members have enjoyed many trips away, day trips, lunches and dine-out nights, as well as witnessing interesting guest speakers and entertainers,” she said.

“On the occasion of the club’s 20th birthday in 2009, four members namely Marie Van Leeuwen, Judy Belot, Jean Chatfield and myself were awarded life membership in recognition of the many years of service to the club.”

Stawell resident Karen Hyslop said it was sad to see the group disband. 

“A lot of clubs seem to be struggling at the moment, people are not getting behind these social groups which is a shame,” she said.

“These groups need to be supported, they help the town to grow and expand.

“It is good for people to join these groups, it boosts their morale and it is good social support for the community.”

Mrs Bennett said it had been a wonderful journey, but the decision had to be reached. “Like all good things, there comes an end, and unfortunately our time time has come,” she said.

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