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Formation and Worldwide Reach

Origin of Probus and Formation in Ireland


In late 1965 the Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City formed the Campus Club for retired business and professional men.  About the same time the Rotary Club of Caterham had a similar idea and formed a club for professional and businessmen and decided to call it Probus.  On 2nd March 1966 an inaugural luncheon officially formed the first Probus Club.

The name Probus us derived from the PRO fessional and BUS iness and the Latin Probitas meaning 'good honest integrity'. It was thught to be an excellent simple idea and adopted by Rotary International Great Britain and Ireland as a Rotary project and promoted  through the Rotary Library throughout all Districts in IRBI.  The Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City had their Campus Club named changed to Probus, so the two original clubs were the Probus Club of Caterham and the Probus Club of Welwyn Garden City, both in England.

Ireland- the Early Years 

In 1971, after hearing of Probus in England a committee of Bangor Rotarians circulated prospective members and held several meetings which eventually resulted in an inaugural meeting held on 28th April.  At an inaugual luncheon on the 28 april 1971  Bangor  officially formed the first Probus Club in the island of Ireland.  In  1972 Cork and Dun Laoire were formed followed by Dublin and Larne in 1973.  By 1981 36 active Probus Clubs had been established.

From small beginnings Probus All-Ireland grew and grew to 137 clubs today, 97 male, 33  female and 7 dual gender, having  a total membership of 4800. 

Probus Worldwide

            5000 Clubs in 22 countries

            400,000 members

The above resumé extracted from a history of the Probus Club movement in the island of Ireland by Rotarian Edwin Dunlop.  A full account can be found on: www. Rotary International, District 1160 (Ireland).

The Probus Information Centre UK (PIC) has useful information on Probus and one can obtian regalia and brochures price lists. 


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