Woolgoolga Probus Club stalwart steps down after years of dedicated service

Robyn Rooth is presented with a bouquet of flowers from retiring Woolgoolga Probus President Trish Pope.

A LIFETIME member of the Woolgoolga Probus Club, the dedicated Robyn Rooth is stepping down from her committee duties after years of tireless service.

The Club recognised Robyn’s contributions with thanks and a bouquet of flowers at the AGM on Wednesday 27 March 2024.

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“I look forward to being involved as a member and enjoying the activities without the stresses of duties and I am delighted that new faces are prepared to take office,” Robyn told News Of The Area.

Robyn’s husband John, a founding member of the club, is its longest standing member.

Woolgoolga Probus Club began in 1987.

Like many Probus Clubs at that time, its membership featured men only.

The Club thrived with membership of around 80 and had a busy program of outings, tours, a range of guest speakers, activities days and meetings with clubs from out of town.

By the turn of the century the members were ageing, and it became increasingly hard to attract new members and overcome a reluctance to hold office.

Discussion with the local Ladies Probus Club had failed to reach agreement on a joint club despite sharing of activities.

After much discussion the men’s group reached an agreement to invite ladies to join the club in their own right.

In late 2009, the first ladies were welcomed.

“I was reluctant to join as I was very busy as Vice Chair of the NSW Red Cross Board but a few of the wives of the men members agreed to support the move.

“At the next AGM I was appointed Secretary and have held the position ever since.”

Over the next few years more ladies joined and eventually the Ladies Probus Club closed and some of their members joined the combined group.

The Club continued to grow, and the input of new people brought some new activities and a wider range of guest speakers.

The Covid years produced a downturn as some members moved away and some simply found other things to do during lockdown.

It became a challenge to rebuild the Club but outreach and encouragement with extra publicity and recruitment has resulted in considerable regrowth.

“It has been pleasing to see membership grow again over the past few years and although I have had to take on a couple of extra roles recently, I have been pleased to be part of that growth,” Robyn continued.

“Certainly, on a personal front I have taken the Club from almost solely paper based to being almost all digital – and it was a challenge for me to learn those skills.

“I will of course continue to participate in the Club and its activities,” she said.

Also retiring from the committee is past-president and social organiser Laurie Pillon.

Laurie is looking forward to having a break from the committee but will still enjoy being an active member.

“I will definitely continue attending meetings and social outings and enjoy the company of the many friends I have made through Probus,” Laurie said.

Retiring President Trish Pope has been a member of Woolgoolga Probus for ten years and like Robyn and Laurie has been an active committee member during that time.

Trish finished her term by thanking members for their support, especially the many committee members and helpers who made her year so enjoyable.

Incoming President Cheryl Murphy told NOTA, “This year will be an exciting and challenging time for me in Probus.

“As the incoming President I hope that I can be a positive and supportive role model for our new committee.

“I am fully aware of the honour and the responsibility of being President but believe I am up to the task.

“This year our main focus will be on increasing membership.

“We are hoping to entice new members by continuing to provide exciting and interesting speakers and outings and also introduce new activities and increasing our social outings,” she said.

“I love the ethos of Probus Clubs and have been a member of various Probus Clubs for 20 years and have held a variety of committee positions during that time.”


Woolgoolga Probus Club life member Robyn Rooth with husband John Rooth, stepping down from her committee duties.

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