Burgess Hill and District Probus Club first in Mid Sussex to invite women to become members
Burgess Hill and District Probus Club has become the first Probus Club in Mid Sussex to open up its membership to women.
This move to become a mixed club was overwhelmingly supported in a recent annual general meeting vote.
Terry Mallaband, president of the club, said: “I am delighted that our membership has made the sensible decision to admit women members and thus signal that we are a forward-looking organisation.
“Decades ago it wasn’t unusual for retired men and women to go their separate ways for social events, but things are thankfully very different now – we are all used to mixing at work and out of it.
“I can`t imagine anyone retiring now would see it as anything other than rather dated to exclude women.”
Like most other Probus Clubs, Burgess Hill and District traditionally only allowed men to become members. However, as each Probus Club is autonomous and there is no central organisation, the group has been able to make this change independently of other Mid Sussex clubs with which it continues to co-operate.
Terry said: “I hope this sends out the message that we are fully open to new members of either gender.
“We have also softened our entry criteria from the rather stuffy ’professional or business’ image which we know has been a barrier to membership.
“Those interested in joining will no longer have to question whether their career background is ’professional enough’.
“We simply ask for some degree of responsibility in their previous career. We are far more interested in men and women who share our Probus mindset, who believe in the value of community connection, who enjoy the camaraderie on offer and who retain a sense of curiosity about the world despite advancing years!”