We are able to hit the floor running in 2024 thanks to a better than expected year of consolidation in 2023, and our chairman Dick Birks joins the rest of our committee in wishing all members a Happy New Year, both for you and your families and for your 12 months ahead in Probus.
The almost three years of disruption we experienced during the Covid epidemic now seems little more than a blip in the 47-year history of Stumperlowe Probus Club. Membership is back up to our full complement, with a small waiting list, and attendances at our regular speaker meetings at Fulwood Sports Club reached a record high of exactly 50 (out of our current roster of 64 potentially active members) for our last get-together before Christmas.
Our new venue at the Sports Club is proving very popular, and an average attendance of roughly two thirds of our membership (we recognise that members sometimes have other commitments) is a comfortable and sustainable level. Speaker meetings are currently held on the first and third Monday of each month, except when it is a Bank Holiday, although we have the occasional extra meeting when we feel this is advantageous because of a gap in the normal schedule.
Whilst we are back to face-to-face gatherings at our new location after the ‘virtual’ Zoom meetings necessitated by the pandemic, the Zoom period taught us a lot in terms of technology. For example, although we will all be in attendance in the clubhouse for our extra meeting on Monday, 25th March, our speaker Bob Moore will be Zooming in remotely to talk to us on the international history of the Lodge Moor prisoner of war camp during two world wars. This will compensate for the loss of our Easter Monday meeting on 1st April.
The quality and variety of our speakers is key to our success, and our speaker finders led by Richard Worth (ably backed by Graham Anthony and Mike Etches) once again have an eclectic programme lined up for us as 2024 unfolds. Subjects range from matters of world importance to local history, and in February we have a sporting theme when we welcome the immediate past president of cycle racing’s world governing body, the UCI.
Graham Snowdon (Hon Sec), on behalf of the committee.