Club’s parting gift to Sidmouth cause as it shuts after 40 years

PUBLISHED: 07:01 04 January 2019

Members enjoy the last ever annual Probus lunch.Picture: Simon Card

Members enjoy the last ever annual Probus lunch.Picture: Simon Card

Archant

Festive activities supporting those less fortunate are set to receive a financial boost following the closure of a long standing men’s club.

L-R Simon Card, Sidmouth Probus Press Officer; Andie Milne, Organiser Sidmouth Christmas Lunch; Malcolm Davies, President Sidmouth Probus. Picture: Simon CardL-R Simon Card, Sidmouth Probus Press Officer; Andie Milne, Organiser Sidmouth Christmas Lunch; Malcolm Davies, President Sidmouth Probus. Picture: Simon Card

Sidmouth and District Probus Club closed this week after nearly four decades in the town after a decline in membership to take up vital committee positions.

The group, which brought together retired and semi-retired business professionals, decided that it would distribute its remaining funds to local causes, prioritising donations to festive activities.

The town’s Christmas lunch received £500 to cover the cost of the meal to support people in the Sidmouth area.

President Malcolm Davies presented the cheque to organiser Andie Milne, who took over the event this year. (See page 14 and 15 for coverage of the lunch).

He said: “I am delighted that Sidmouth Probus could help in some way towards the cost of the lunch for people in the Sidmouth area who need support at this important time of the year.”

Simon Card OBE, press secretary for the group, added: “The Sidmouth Christmas Lunch is an extremely important part of Christmas in the town and we are very proud to be able to support it with a contribution towards the running of the event, Andie and her volunteers do a remarkable job in providing the meals for so many people.”

The club will announce further beneficiaries in due course.

Members enjoyed a number of events in the run up to Christmas including a quiz at the Bedford Hotel and the club’s annual lunch at the Belmont Hotel, which was attended by more than 40 people.

Mr Davies thanked all the members for their contribution to the club over its many years of existence in the town and thanks to existing committee for their work to try to save the club.

Speaking to the Herald back in October, Mr Davies said it was a ‘sad day’ to say it was the end of the club.

Documents show that the Sidmouth branch has been active since the 1980s with members engaging in a range of activities including holidays on the continent and guest speakers.

Mr Davies added is hopes that the club could be revived in future. The committee was also approaching the museum to offer up its regalia, honours board and documents for its records.

The town’s ladies Probus club will continue.

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