Saugeen Shores Men’s PROBUS club recognized as one of the oldest in Canada

Saugeen Shores Men’s PROBUS club is celebrating 35 years and, as the 9th Club to be formed in Canada, is one of the longest running.

On Tuesday, March 2nd (2024), PROBUS Director, June Ayrhart, was on hand at the monthly meeting to present a 35-year anniversary certificate.

Ayrhart serves some 18 clubs throughout southwest Ontario.


Current President, Doug Rowe, accepted the 35-year Anniversary Certificate from Director June Ayrhart.




Past Presidents:  Henry Weichert, Andy Bingham, Director June Ayrhart, Jamie Stiles, Alan Jardin, Bruce Waechter and current Pres. Doug Rowe (absent past-Pres. Brian French) – for larger view, Click on Image

“John Reynolds Morris was the founder of PROBUS Canada and its first President,” said Ayrhart, as she explained the founding of PROBUS in Canada.  “During a trip to Australia and New Zealand in 1981, he saw the enjoyment being experienced through PROBUS and he thought that retired people in Canada could enjoy the same thing. He subsequently visited 43 Rotary Clubs requesting their assistance in establishing PROBUS in Canada and developed the trademark logo. Bert Klinkhammer in Galt (ON), started the first PROBUS club in Canada in 1987 and, in 1989, Port Elgin PROBUS was formed, and there are now more than 400 clubs with over 250 in Ontario.”


She added that in Port Stanley the club was formed in 2020 with 32 members and there are now 90. “We are growing rapidly but unfortunately, some clubs have folded so I was very pleased to see so many past Presidents here.”

Ayrhart pointed out that through membership, there is positive energy, friendship, no service required and the opportunity to learn something each month through guest speakers for only a $40 annual fee.

While she said that no service is required, the Saugeen Shores Men’s PROBUS members have taken it upon themselves to volunteer each Spring and, for 25 years, have carried out a road clean-up.  Although not required, the members take part each year on a volunteer basis to do the roadside cleanup on Bruce Rd. 17, from the Mill Creek Bridge to Burgoyne (7km).  Equipment is provided for the approximate two hour clean-up and, once finished, it’s time for camaraderie, and coffee and donuts courtesy of Tim Hortons in Port Elgin.

“Across our district of 18 clubs, there is a continual struggle to get people to step up and serve on the Executive,” said Ayrhart. “There are a lot of retirees moving into this area so how do we reach out to them to become part of the membership? It is an ongoing struggle in the district on how to get that going.”

The PROBUS club is an opportunity for like-minded retirees to meet socially once a month over coffee and have the chance to listen to guest speakers who are renowned in their fields.

Saugeen Shores Men’s Probus Club currently has some 65 members but is always welcoming more.  For more information, contact Membership Chair, Vic Armstrong at