Probus Club of Balwyn NorthPresident’s Welcome



Ken Mitchell
Welcome to The Probus Club of North Balwyn Inc.  A0016781Z website, you are encouraged to visit the various pages within. Should you find an interesting topic please use our Contact Us page for further information on any topic that might be of interest.

You are also warmly invited to come to any one of our MONTHLY GENERAL MEETINGS at the Greythorn Community Centre, 2 Centre Way, Balwyn North, with ample parking onsite, map, (Melways map 46 ref H2) held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 10.00am – 12.00pm, and afterwards for a casual lunch get-together at The Jolly Miller Cafe 315 Doncaster Road, Balwyn North. 


We inducted three new members Harold Ball, Peter Barker, Bruce Holmes (left to right) at our General Meeting 9/5/2023. Please make yourself know to them at one of the future meetings.


We also extend a warm welcome to attend any of our SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, (SIG’s), noted on the Website which can be facilitated by calling the respective coordinators. The SIG’s give a special dimension to membership.

We also regard the SIGs as a wonderful opportunity for non-members to become acquainted with the activities, substance, and benefits of becoming a member.

We are always keen to attract new members to maintain the Club’s ongoing strength and vitality going forward into the future.

Our commitment, – “You will be a stranger but once”.


RETURN TO FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS, (assuming no reintroduction of Covid restrictions): The Committee is pleased to confirm the following arrangements

Monthly General Meetings    – Commencing Tuesday 14th February 2023 at 10.00am

All SIG meetings                         – Commencing from respective dates in February/March 2023.   (Please refer to Newsletter for further updates) 

It is expected it will be possible for these meetings to revert to pre-Covid formats with the opportunity for members to have social interaction, enjoy Guest speakers, presentations, and interactive discussions, as well as coffee breaks.

In addition, we are conducting hybrid meetings, face-to-face & Zoom, to allow members who are not able to physically attend to still participate.


The Club during the whole of the pandemic period, with the aid of Zoom, has remained extraordinarily vital and connected, but with the emergence from Covid our challenge is to re-engage personally and bring back the benefits of in-person interaction and captivate Member’s interests and involvement back to pre-Covid levels and more.

Our Guest Speakers have traditionally been of extremely high quality and interest and the activities of the SIG’s, such an important part of Club membership, we intend to support and foster to another level.


By agreement with Bob Haydon, I became President for 2023/24 with Bob to take over is 2024/25. With Peter Muir-Smith becoming Treasurer two key roles have been filled and the near future of the club has been assured.

As we are now able to promote the Club based on administration and financial certainty, we have four new members to be inducted in May and we expect to increase membership by over 20% in the current year.

In the last two months we have established a Special Interest Group made up of wives of our members and they have responded magnificently. New members to our club in future will be pleased to see the welcome that their wives receive to their club.

Our monthly meetings have been at the most interesting levels of past years with presentations on Tibet and Electronic motor Vehicles.

Tony Shaw, the ex-Collingwood Captain will entertain us in May.

Our Monthly Meetings have been expanded with the assistance of a local restaurant to provide lunches after each meeting. and this will be good for communication and general friendship within the club.

With the problems of the Virus now behind us we are confidently looking forward to the best times of previous years.

                    PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE – OFTEN!

Special Interest Group of the Month

Investment SIG

Convenors:  Don Campbell ph 0418 512 001,
                          Denis Spinley ph 0408 567 858

The Investment Special Interest Group (SIG) meets at from 10am to 12noon on the

2nd Thursday in each month
(Except December and January)


This SIG is open to all members of PCNB and guests. Discussions cover a very wide range of topics, from personal share portfolios, SMSF portfolios, Industry Super Funds etc., to matters involving change of Government, Government decisions on taxes, benefits, fuel costs, energy supply, solar panels, wind generation, etc. and many other matters, such as Covid, electric cars, food supply chains, resource exports (coal, gas, iron ore, rare earths, etc.), and even overseas travel.

On some rare occasions, we may also even drift into discussions about politics.



 The aim of the Investment SIG, is to keep members up to date and aware of changes which might affect their financial investments and taxes and ultimately their way of life.

Occasionally the SIG invites a guest speaker to provide background information on subjects as diverse as care-homes, the stock market, property prices, etc.

All PCNB Members are encouraged to attend and participate in open discussions on any aspect of the very wide range of topics covered.

Morning tea & coffee is provided at the meeting for a small charge to cover room hire and refreshments, so that members present can chat about the topics of the day.

If you have not attended previously and would like to participate in this very topical SIG, please contact the Convenors for details of the meeting venue.

 Guest Speakers

Our guest speaker for our General Meeting 13th June 2023 will be Matthew Etty-Leal and the topic “Tibet – Part 2″

Tibet “the land of snows’. We arrived at Kanding Airport, 4,280 m above sea level in April 2014, having flown over the Himalayas. For the first week, we walked twenty metres before stopping for a break.

The tour was organised by Don Cullen, a regular visitor to Tibet since 2000. I travelled with four other Victorians. Tibet is also the principal source of six rivers, i.e., the “Water Tower of Asia”. We greatly increased our understanding of Buddhism, visiting temples, monasteries and nunneries, later schools, and medical clinics. One Buddhist tradition is the hoisting of prayer flags on rooftops, tents, hilltops, & almost anywhere a Tibetan can be found, another tradition the use of prayer wheels.

 Forty percent of Tibet’s cash income comes from the sale of fungus, contributing US$225m p.a. to Tibet’s GDP. “Himalayan Viagra” has been used for about 1,000 years as an aphrodisiac. Yaks are everywhere and every bit of a yak is used for food, blankets, butter, tea, cheese, curtains etc. Tibetan nomads, called drokpa, graze several forms of domesticated livestock, including yaks, dzos, (yak-cattle hybrids), sheep, goats & horses, often living in tents.


Previous Guest Speakers 2018 – 2022

May 2023Tony ShawAFL Football Coach & Player
March 2023John BarlowWill your next car be Electric
February 2022Matthew Etty-LealTibet
November 2022Ken DavisMelbourne Suburban Signalling System
October 2022Graham O’RourkeMacpherson Robertson
September 2022Graham O’RourkeThe State Library of Victoria: The first 60 years 1853-1913″ 
August 2022Max HarrisSeniors Stepping Out Safely
July 2022Hazel MaynardVolunteering
June 2022Matthew Etty-LealCobb & Co
May 2022Ted Baillieu AOSir John Monash
February 2022Andrew CampbellCould Ageing be a treatable disease
November 2021 Dr Janet PatfordLiving – Apart – Together (Lat) Relationships
October 2021Ross McMullinFarewell Dear People
August 2021Rohan BrownMy Story – Personal Stories
July 2021Megan GouldingSwanston Street Excavations
June 2021Tim RobertsDiabetic and general foot care
May 2021Bev MossCome Fly with Me
April 2021Elida Brereton Travel to Antarctica & South Georgia
March 2021Ken ParkerElectric Vehicles, Renewable Energy
Andrew CampbellHearing and Brain Health
November 2020Ross McMullinPompey Elliott – in his own words

October 2020
Vikki PetraitisCrime stories “ Hodsons and Nicola Gobbo ” 
September – 2020
August – 2020
Julian Battistella

Andrew Mitchell
Estate Planning

Electric Cars and Clean Energy – Why?
July – 2020Anthony CaruanaHome Automation
March – 2020Brian WilliamsScams and Fake Tradies
February – 2020Radha Raghunath`Add Years to Your Life
November – 2019Gary FergusonElder Abuse and Seniors Rights
October – 2019Fiona CampbellThe Spencer Street Bridge
September 2019Thorold MerrettStory of Collingswood Premiership 1958
August 2019Rodney RichardsAngel Flights
July 2019Beverley MossBuckingham Palace in my underwear
June 2019Lloyd PhillipsPoetry can be fun
May 2019Joffa CorfeMy life and Gold Coat
April 2019No SpeakerChange over lunch
March 2019Kevin TraskMyself and the media and the Australian singer Diana Trask
February 2019Madryn Sanderson & Alex CarterPersonalised In-home care and health
December 2018No SpeakerChristmas Luncheon
November 2018U3A ChoirSongs of Screen and Stage
October 2018Jacqueline DinanRacing the Boys
September 2018Anthony KnightBeleura House Mornington
August 2018Cliff HardyThe London Blitz
July 2018Natalie DurkovicShen Yen Performing Arts and Traditional Chinese Culture
June 2018Jessica WattsBladder & Bowel Health
May 2018Ross McMullinVillers Bretonneux
April 2018No SpeakerChange Over Luncheon
March 2018Don McQueenThe Bush Balladeer
February 2018Elida BreretonTravel Stories