Vol 1, Issue 1. August 5, 2020
Letter from President Mel

As I trust you would agree, Bearbrass Probus has come a long way since the first meeting in February this year. Back then we were able to see each other face-to-face, meet as a complete group, shake hands, hug and stand closer than 1.5 metres. Then along came COVID-19 and It now seems like we are actors in a science fiction movie!

Left: Mel with Pam and grandson Lenny, 4.


Our speaker, Ingrid Brophy, August 11

Our next speaker on August 11 will be our own member Ingrid Brophy, talking on “My journey to find Prisoner 5299.”
This is her amazing story of tracking her father’s history as a prisoner in  the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp. He never discussed that time with his family. After he died Ingrid went to  Poland followed by a quest in Germany  to find out about her father. We won't spoil the plot but General Patton and his Third Army play a big role. What a talk this will be, don’t miss it. 
Our speaker,  August 25, Katia Loisel
When it comes to the language of trust and persuasion, our body language speaks louder than words, enabling us to truly connect and form long lasting relationships that have the power to transform our lives, relationships and communities.
Membership update

Membership Report for August 2020

When the restrictions on being able to meet face-to-face due to COVID-19 were introduced, the club was only able to meet using online technology. Some  of the foundation members of the club indicated that they were not interested in meeting online and would not participate until the club was able to meet “ normally”. Some others chose not to continue to participate for other reasons. The following table shows the changes in membership numbers:



Total Members



At Foundation




At 4th August





Our lost lamb, birthplace and career
A great trivia question:  for five points name the Bearbrass member who was born in Bethlehem and rose to become a Brisbane bus driver? 
Answer: Mike Sparkes, 67. To be exact, he was born in Bethlehem Hospital, Caulfield, and took up bus-driving as a hobby after a long career in IT. He can not only drive buses – and he loves that – but he can also drive aeroplanes. He was a Cessna pilot for decades and is still licensed.
Spike is pictured left outside his Docklands tower on August 4. Why the mask? Because  just as his tower manager was taking the photo, a police car drove past and the coppers looked menacing. Spike hastily pulled his mask up and deprived us all of his comely features.
Having a stab at our Julie 

A number of Bearbrass members have prison experience, but don’t get the wrong idea. For example, Julie Cookson was a “custodial nurse” and Lynne Wenig was an official Prison Visitor. Others keep their prison involvement quiet. Here’s a profile of Julie…
Bearbrass film group launches
Our club’s new Film Group led by Anne Fairhall has picked “My Brilliant Career” by Australian director Gillian Armstrong as its first film for discussion at its meeting Wednesday 10am August 12.  Other cast are the iconic Judy Davis (pictured left), Sam Neill & Wendy Hughes.  Anne advises we can view the film via ABC iView. You can also search and play it via YouTube. Here's a sample of it.
We’ve allocated roles including promotion of our group, compiling of a master list of potential films, background notes on each film and coordination. Our group member Susan Bowers has spent a lifetime in the film/TV industry and is a huge asset to our team.
About Clubrunner Inc.

 Clubrunner co-founders Sarah (left) and Halle Asterbadi

Our Clubrunner software is from an unusual company based in Oakville, Ontario. Founded in 2001 by Rotarian and ex-IBM executive Adel Asterbadi, it’s now run by his daughters and co-founders Sarah and Halle. A third daughter is also in IT business.  
Sarah, a maths graduate, is  chief executive. Halle (right), also a maths and IT whiz, is chief operating officer.

All about our Secretary Sue
            We all know a bit about our efficient Bearbrass secretary Sue Hoile, but now we’ll fill you in with the real deal. Sue grew up in Hawthorn and went from Camberwell High to Burwood Teachers College on a studentship in the 1970s. She taught primary schools for 24 years, mainly in Mildura/Bendigo. Her last role was principal of Quarry Hill Primary, Bendigo.
Upcoming Events
Speaker meeting, August 11
Aug 11, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
RCM/Bearbrass Trivia Night
Aug 14, 2020
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Book Club Meeting
Aug 17, 2020
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Coffee Club Get-together on Zoom
Aug 18, 2020
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Speaker Meeting, August 25
Aug 25, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Management Committee Meeting
Sep 01, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Coffee get-together on Zoom
Sep 01, 2020
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
View entire list
Aug 11, 2020
My journey to find Prisoner 5299
Aug 25, 2020 10:00 AM
Why body language matters
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Richard Bonnett
August 24
Club Information
 Bearbrass Probus
Tuesdays at 10:00 AM
Dock Library
Melbourne, VIC 8012
0419 134 206
During COVID: Fortnightly Zoom Speaker Meetings, Tuesdays 10am. Next meeting Tues August 11. Then Tuesdays August 25, September 8 and September 22..
District Site
Venue Map
Bearbrass's Melbourne

Hi, we're keen to expand our retiree membership to enable more activity groups to get under way. We offer you friendship, recreation, fun and stimulation. To inquire just email our friendly secretary Sue, The dues are negligible - $30 to join and $60 per year. It's the best investment you can imagine.