PROBUS Fenelon Falls Origins
The first meeting at the Fenelon FaLLs Seniors Centre
In the spring of 2017 Kathy Stackhouse raised the question, “Do you think we could start a PROBUS Club in Fenelon Falls?”, as she had a sister and a friend who were both members and they were always busy going to hear the Speakers' talks and enjoying day trips.
Bob Pennock said he would look into what was required to start a PROBUS Club. Initially he spoke to Joe Willems, a prominent Rotarian in Fenelon Falls and Joe suggested Bob speak to the Men's PROBUS Club in Lindsay as far as becoming a Sponsor.
Bob contacted Bruce Faulkner, who was the founding Charter President of the Lindsay Men's PROBUS Club who referred it to their Management Committee, who subsequently agreed to become our Sponsor. They provided the guidance of steps to form the club and Kathy and Bob realized it would require a committee. They formed a group called the 'Interest Committee', and added members they thought could assist - Bev Pennock, Ken Pennock and Carl Rennick. The committee met about every 2 weeks to plot the course of action.
Initially this included a press release being sent out to the community through the local newspaper and the Town Crier to determine the interest level. The Committee was optimistically hopeful that they would get 40-60 people interested. The response was beyond the Committee's expectations with over 200 people expressing an interest in joining a PROBUS Club.
In the meantime, the Interest Committee did a lot of research in order to establish costs, budgets, constitution by-laws, job descriptions etc.
With all that in place our first meeting was set for September at St. James Anglican Church with the support of a number of volunteers.
There was such a great response that the overflow crowd had to be accommodated in the Sanctuary. Memberships were sold and 228 signed up.
The Interest Group formed the Management Committee and took on various responsibilities and subsequently added 3 more positions. Realizing that the room capacity at St. James was not sufficient to handle the crowd a decision was made to hold the first meeting at the Fenelon Falls Senior's Club. Expectations at this time were that perhaps there would be an additional 15-20 people that would sign up at this meeting.
With one table and two people set up to process these new applicants they were overwhelmed. People were standing outside in the snowy weather filling out sign up sheets. An additional 100+ people signed up on this day!
At the October meeting the President of the Lindsay Men's PROBUS Club, Bert Blackwood, presented to the Fenelon Falls PROBUS Club a Charter giving us official status as the Fenelon Falls PROBUS Club. In the meantime, requests for memberships kept coming in and because of the fire regulations of the Senior's Club they had to be put on a waiting list.
The PROBUS Club of Fenelon Falls was the third largest charter club in Canada and as of March 2019, we currently have 350 members, and a waiting list to join our club!
If you are interested in joining our club, please use the Contact Form to send us a request.