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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012
Active RetireesTM | 49 PROBUS INTEREST GROUPS Why I dine Ray and Thelma Campbell joined Probus eight years ago and thought it was a great way to meet people in a more intimate setting. “ We knew that to make the most of our membership, we would need to get involved, so we joined the dining group,” says Ray. “ The group has allowed us to build instrumental friendships within the Probus club. When we go out to dinner, the seating arrangement is always random, so we might be next to an unfamiliar face. “ When you get chatting, you’ll usually find a common interest and they might suggest going out for coffee later in the week. The group really has been like a catalyst for further socialising. “ We’ve enjoyed every venue, so there’s not really a stand-out restaurant I would call my favourite. We all really like Chinese food!” not just limited to dining out, either. We just went north of Perth for a weekend away, which was really good.” Located just south of the river, the dining group regularly ventures out beyond the local establishments for a meal. Fremantle and Rottnest Island are just two of the favoured locations outside Attadale. “The way we choose a restaurant is usually by word of mouth,” says Margaret. “If someone has come across a really good one, Moira and I will check it out and, if it ticks all the boxes, we’ll make a reservation.” Making progress When Margaret took over the role of Dining Group Coordinator, she introduced an annual progressive dinner, which has become a highlight event of the year. The event is a three- course feast held in three different Probus members’ homes. “We try to minimise the amount of work required from the host. I usually prepare the entrees, and we have mains and desserts catered,” Margaret says. Attendance costs an all-inclusive $30, which works out to be much more economical than a restaurant. The progressive dinner also cultivates an even more sociable atmosphere than the regular monthly meetings. “Being in someone’s home really encourages people to move about and mingle,” Margaret says. “Whereas when we dine out, we’re usually seated at two long tables.” A highly regarded and most anticipated event, the club is considering running the progressive dinners on a more regular basis. •• START YOUR OWN DINING CLUB Starting a dining out club? You’ll need Margaret’s three essential ingredients. 1. Be predictable “Set a date, and make it consistent,” advises Margaret. “If every member knows it will be on the last Wednesday of every month, they won’t double-book themselves and risk missing out. ” 2. Preparation is key Margaret and Moira visit suggested venues beforehand to scope the suitability. Not all restaurants are able to cater for groups of 25-30 people and other key things to consider are stairs and accessibility, proximity of parking, menu prices, and whether they cater to specific dietary requirements. 3.Mixitup While it’s good to visit old favourites, aim to go somewhere new every few months. Try a new cuisine or a new dress code. “We like an opportunity to get dressed up now and again, but other months we’ll just head down for fish and chips,” Margaret says. Being in someone’s home really encourages people to move about and mingle.
Active Retirees Oct-Nov
Active Retirees Feb-March 2012