The Dining Experience
From the beginning, the constitution adopted monthly luncheon meetings at its heart. We have always followed lunch with a speaker. We have two special events to which partners and guests are invited, the President’s Annual Dinner and the Ladies’ Christmas Luncheon. Historically, the Christmas Luncheon has catered for slightly more in attendance than the Annual Dinner. Throughout the 1980s, for example, attendances were on average 107 for the Annual Dinner and 130 for the Christmas Luncheon versus averages of 90 and 107 respectively in recent years. There have been changing trends. For the first 25 years the events usually made a small profit. For a 15 year period from the mid 1990s to 2010, events were often significantly subsidised usually resulting in a loss of a few hundred pounds. Whilst the programme of outings is a very popular feature of our Probus Club, the ‘Dining Experience’ remains at the heart of the club. The focus has always been on friendship and fellowship. Our aim has been to provide an environment where we can meet regularly and socialise, have a good lunch and enjoy an entertaining speaker.
Over the years, the club meeting has been hosted at five venues, namely the Cambridge Arms in Camberley, the Frimley Hall Hotel, the Hawley Hotel in Blackwater, Lakeside at Frimley Green and our current venue at the Pine Ridge Golf Club which has hosted us for the past quarter century. Pine Ridge Golf Club and the Camberley & District Probus Club have celebrated 25th and 50th anniversaries respectively and so we have a long and strong relationship with Pine Ridge.
For those who like number crunching, you will find that the price we pay today is close to the price we paid 20 years ago, when corrected for inflation. We don’t have detailed data for every year at other locations before Pine Ridge.
From our early days in the Baronial Hall, affectionately known as the ‘Dungeon’, we have moved to the light and airy Green Room in recent years which has been our home. We traditionally choose the menu, ask Colin about the process, and give Pine Ridge feedback after discussing the luncheon at the committee meeting.
This is your club and your constructive feedback is always welcome. If we don’t always achieve our goals please tell us how things might be improved. Better still, why not look towards joining the committee and make a difference.