FROM Cairns to Christchurch, Western Australia to Wellington — the Probus Club has arrived on the Border.
More than 400 members of clubs across Australia and New Zealand have gathered in Albury-Wodonga for the annual Probus Rendezvous — a week-long trip away where like-minded people gather to explore a new region.
They will visit wineries at Rutherglen, cruise the Murray, explore historic towns such as Beechworth and dig into gourmet foods at Milawa — just for starters.
Probus is an association of active seniors that provides opportunities to keep minds busy, travel, explore new interests and, above all, stick by the basic tenements of friendship, fellowship and fun.
It’s the first time in the rendezvous’ 23-year history that it has been held in Albury-Wodonga and Border Probus secretary Elwyn Langford said the week had started beautifully.
“We’ve got the formal opening and closing ceremonies (yesterday) and Friday, and on the days in between we’ll take trips to towns, like Beechworth, Wangaratta, and Yarrawonga,” he said.
“The aim is to visit places of local and historical significance.
“And having 430-odd people here for a week also injects some activity in the economy.”
Probus South Pacific chairman Gary Blackler said he was enjoying the “wonderful hospitality” of the region.
“I flew in yesterday and was just amazed by the views of the fabulous countryside,” he said.
Mr Blackler, who lives at Lake Cathie, near Port Macquarie, said he had never before been to the Border before.
“The closest I got was Wagga,” he said.
“I’m particularly looking forward to visiting some of the smaller towns and, of course, to meet fellow members from across the states and other countries.”
Among them is Margaret Allen, from Fremantle.
She said she was already enjoying herself, despite not having seen much of Albury yet.
“It’s a beautiful town. I love the history of it and I’m looking forward to getting to know the place,” she said.
“I’ve been wanting to come here for years, but it’s quite a trip.”
So much so that others on the trip plan to stay on after the week.
Bruce Chamberlain and a large group from Mandurah, Western Australia, have caravanned their way across the country and are determined to make the most of the trek.
“It’s a good excuse to come across the Nullarbor,” he said.
“But it’s the reception you receive once you get there that makes it,” added his mate, Ron King.
The Probus Rendezvous will conclude on Friday with the closing ceremony at Albury Entertainment Centre.