PAV – From The Beginning In 1984


PAV – From The Beginning 

A Brief History of Your Association


On 21st November 1984, the Dromana Men’s Probus Club and the Frankston Probus Club sponsored a ‘handshake’ meeting of Probus Clubs in the south-east of Victoria with the aim to form an Association. This became the Victorian Association of Probus Clubs South East Region, and later changed to Probus Association of Victoria South East Region. After two years, in 1986 the Association became incorporated.

Ted Lewis had discussed the idea of forming an Association of Probus Clubs in Victoria with Cliff Johnson, Chairman of the Probus Centre South Pacific. Included in the discussion were suggested aims and objectives. Cliff Johnson was most enthusiastic, and even suggested that, if it would help, he would come to Melbourne to chair the meeting and guide the discussions in support of the proposal. Cliff Johnson  did attend and opened the meeting with an address to those in attendance in which he outlined the suggested Aims and Objectives of the propose Association.

In 1995, the words ‘South East Region’ were removed and the name became simply The Probus Association of Victoria Inc.

The first meeting of the Association was held in 1996 at Dingley International Conference Centre, and the Association continued to meet there until 2011 when, due to increasing costs, the Association’s quarterly meetings of club delegates were moved to the Village Green Hotel, Springvale Road, Mulgrave.

As Probus has flourished, so has the Association’s membership which currently, in 2014, includes over 400 Probus Clubs.

Life memberships have been conferred on three members – Ted Lewis, secretary for 17 years, and Bill Walters and Bob Osborne, who were long serving presidents. Also in 2003, Bob Osborne was elected as a member of Probus Centre South Pacific.

A guide to Guest Speakers and Outings was the first objective of the Association. Stan and Joyce Hawken undertook this project and it was first issued to twenty four clubs. Today this publication continues, and the guide is provided to over four hundred clubs. 

In 1985, the first newsletter was produced in A4 size. This has now grown to the publication known today as the Victorian Probian.

In 1990, President Stan Hawken introduced the section of ‘Open Forum’ at meetings of delegates. From this, a suggestion was put forward to issue a medical card – now the Vial of Life.

A diary was designed and there were 4000 required required in the first year.

The first Arts, Crafts, and Hobbies Exhibition took place in 1990 at the Masonic Hall, Chelsea, with 28 clubs submitting 350 articles for display. Since then, successful exhibitions have been held at Mornington, Langwarrin, Whitehorse Centre at Nunawading, Williamstown Town Hall, and the Glen Ira City Hall with up to 900 exhibits.

The first of many Friendship Days was held at Mossfield Park, Leongatha in 1992. Twenty-seven coaches and over 2000 Probians attended.

Friendship days have continued and are held mostly by region.

The first Musical Afternoon Concert took place in September 1995, and became the forerunner of our annual Variety Concert. In 2008 and 2009, successful concerts were held at St Arnaud and Maryborough. A further concert was held in 2012 at Bendigo. The most recent concert was held in March 2014 at the Whitehorse Centre, Nunawading.

During 1999, Ken Heaslip suggested for those interested in holding a caravan meet to contact him. From this, the Caravan Wanderers group was formed. This group now holds meets every six months in various locations throughout Victoria and caters both for caravaners and those wishing to stay in cabins.

Lawn bowls tournaments have been taking place for some 30 years, and in 2004 these became mixed tournaments.

The Association has sponsored these two groups over recent years, which has been much appreciated.

More recently, the Association sponsors an annual Golf Tournament Challenge, and an annual Croquet Tournament Challenge.

In 2000, Australian Pacific Touring offered a sponsorship deal to the Association. Nowadays, the Association receives sponsorship from two travel companies, Trade Travel and Grand Pacific Tours. The latter caters exclusively for tours of New Zealand.

To further awareness of the Association, in 2010 the Association commenced developing a website ( so as to publicise the Association’s functions and activities, both to club officers and members, and also to the world at large.

The first regional meeting of the Association to be held in a country district was held at Traralgon with 78 Probians representing 22 clubs attending. The agenda for the meeting followed along the lines of the city meetings of delegates, and the discussions raised many of the same issues. Regional meetings continue to attract great interest and have become a part of the Association’s program.

The 20th and 25th Anniversary Luncheons that were held at the Caulfield Racecourse were deemed a huge success.

Over 30 years there have been more that 80 Probians elected to the committee.

Foundation Office Bearers

President                       Bert Seymour

Secretary/Treasurer        Jim Greig

Committee                     Bert Enno, Jean Wood, George Raphael, Laurie Wain, Allan Coombe, Ted Lewis

Past & Present Office Bearers

Presidents:                    Bert Seymour, Wal Rattray, Stan Hawken, Jean Wood, Bill Walters, Bob Osborne,

                                   John Mitchell, Wal Fordham, Irma Dymke, Jim Frew                               

Secretary                      Jim Greig, Laurie Wain, Joe Ratcliffe, Ted Lewis, Fay O’Toole

Treasurer                      Jim Greig, Laurie Wain, Joe Ratcliffe, Ted Lewis, Jack Francis, Monica Sheffield,

                                   Ian Grahame, Ken Falconer


Life Members                           Ted Lewis (deceased), Bill Walters (deceased), Bob Osborne