The Probus Club of Kāpiti Coast has celebrated its 45th anniversary.

The milestone was marked at its Paraparaumu Beach base, in the Ocean Rd Community Centre, on Thursday last week, which included speakers, raffles and a gala luncheon.

"The feedback afterwards was that it was an excellent day," club president Lionel Wilson said.

The club was founded at the end of 1974 on the initiative of Paraparaumu businessman and Rotarian Gordon Roatz.


Gordon's interest had been piqued during a family trip to Scotland when he found out about a Probus club in Dunbartonshire which was sponsored by a local Rotary club.

Having a Probus club in Kāpiti appealed to him especially because of the growing number of retirees in the district.

Twelve people attended its first meeting, in the Kapiti Boating Club, with a committee of four appointed including Gordon as chairman.

The club, which quickly moved to encompass women members too, had the coveted honour of being the first Probus club to start in the Southern Hemisphere.

Meetings, on the last Thursday of the months, were held at various venues including cafes and restaurants before being held at Southward Car Museum, Club Vista and now in the community centre.

Members, numbering 150, get to listen to a member talk for about 10 minutes on a topic of their choosing, before enjoying morning tea, and then listening to a guest speaker for about an hour — the next guest speaker is sports commentator Keith Quinn.

The aim of a Probus club is to provide regular opportunities, especially for retired or semi retired people, to keep their minds active, expand their interests and enjoy the fellowship of new friends.

The name Probus is a combination of the first three letters of professional and business.