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South Wairarapa Rebus Club   

June 8, 2020 June 2020 No Comments

As is the case with other community groups, South Wairarapa Rebus Club is in recess pending the relaxation of restrictions on group meetings. A “new normal” which permits older folk like us to meet together may be some time away. Alert level 3 certainly won’t permit it. This year, 2020, is the 30th anniversary of the formation of the South Wairarapa Probus Club in Greytown on 12 June 1990. At that time the formation of a new Probus club was sponsored by the local Rotary Club. This procedure began in the United Kingdom in 1965 with a group of people, retired Rotarians, who found that one of the drawbacks of retirement was that people could feel “out of the swim” and feel the need for some extra mental stimulation. The first such club in New Zealand was the Probus Club of Kapiti Coast, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Paraparaumu in 1974.

In 2017 the South Wairarapa Club broke away from the Australian dominated Probus organisation and, with over 50 other New Zealand clubs, became part of Rebus New Zealand. South Wairarapa Rebus Club continues to provide an organisation for those seeking more social contact in retirement, aiming to keep our minds active with interesting and challenging guest speakers. In January, on our most recent “Fifth Friday” group outing, we visited the outstanding Woolshed Museum in Masterton, home of the Golden Shears. In addition to a demonstration of shearing we chatted to a group of spinners, saw an amazing collection of historical shearing equipment and learnt about the complex structure and biochemistry of a wool fibre.

In an interesting break from traditional Rotary protocol, at its first meeting Peter Werry, the first president, proposed that the club abstain from the use of club regalia. This was agreed, so from the beginning we have had neither a president’s chain nor any other badge of office. Thirty years later this informality continues. In that period of time we have had just three Life Members, Peter Werry being the first in 2007. On the 20th anniversary of the club’s formation, in 2010, Jocelyn Smallwood and Joyce Dalgleish, both foundation members and past presidents, were also admitted to Life Membership. However, when Joyce, the last of them, died in October 2018 the club decided to discontinue this class of membership. We now offer the more laid back Retired Member status to long time members who resign because they are no longer able to attend meetings regularly. They continue to receive the club newsletter and invitations to functions but are not required to pay a subscription, a sort of life membership without the ceremonial and without the initial capital letters.

In “normal” times the South Wairarapa Rebus Club meets in the South Wairarapa Working Men’s Club on the fourth Friday morning of each month and organises an outing in those months with a fifth Friday. Anyone in the retired age group who may be interested in our Rebus Club is welcome to come along to a meeting as a visitor.  Please contact David Woodhams 306 8319.

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