Public Presentation Team Visit – The Isle of Wedmore Probus Club


Wednesday 25th April has seen SCLT enrichment presenter Ash Jones, accepting an invitation to join  the monthly meeting of the Isle of wedmore Probus Club at their base at the Wedmore Golf Club on the outskirts of the Somerset village of Wedmore for a rendition of the highly regarded presentation on the life and times of 'Uncle Bill: Britains' Forgotten Hero'.


The word Probus is an abbreviation of the words PROfessional and BUSiness, however membership is not restricted to these two groups. It also embraces former executives of Government and other organisations, in fact anyone who held a position of responsibility during their professional life.


Probus clubs provide an opportunity for retired professionals to attend regular meetings with like-minded people who appreciate similar interests and social standing. Probus is an organisation for active retirees who enjoy the camaraderie that belonging to this organisation brings.


Probus provides a support network for professionals when they retire, these clubs were initially started for men but over the years has seen a steady growth in Ladies and Mixed clubs. Many clubs have extensive networking, social programmes, which include meetings with other Probus clubs, group trips, holidays and involvement in community projects etc.


The concept of Probus was born in the UK and has grown to be a huge success worldwide. One Australian gentleman said to a British member in the late seventies, “Probus is the best export the UK has ever had”.


The presentation takes the audience on a journey through the life and remarkable career of Field Marshal, Viscount William Slim, who was known simply as ‘Uncle Bill’ by his troops. Slim led the now infamous 14th (Forgotten) Army in the brutal jungle campaign against the all-conquering Japanese in Burma. Through his inspirational leadership and ability to instil confidence within the men of his diverse army, he managed to turn the tide of warfare in South East Asia and reverse a 900-mile retreat, into the eventual surrender of the mighty Imperial Japanese Army.


At the conclusion of his visit, Ash commented, “I have really enjoyed joining the gentlemen of the Probus Club of Wedmore for their regular meeting today. It is a personal pleasure to share the great life and accomplishments of Bill Slim, particularly as his name seems to have slipped from the wider public consciousness in recent times.


The audience have been very engaged with the subject and asked many probing questions about the life of Bill Slim and his impact upon the outcome of the war in South East Asia. Hopefully I have played my small part in reminding people of the life of one of the most significant sons of Bristol.”


Every member of the audience received a personal copy of the award-winning Senior Siren magazine, which is produced by the Senior Citizen Liaison Team and published quarterly online and via a local network of outlets.

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Wedmore Windmill - The famous landmark in Wedmore as photographed by our Public Presentation Team