ARARAT - A large number of members attended the 30th anniversary of the Probus Club of Ararat.
Foundation and life member Athol Graham gave all present an account of the Ararat Probus Club over the last thirty years.
From a membership of 35 in 1984 the club has now grown to over seventy members which is most encouraging.
This membership growth in part is due to the inclusion of ladies in 2011 while the introduction of the annual caravan/cabin trip has been a wonderful success and is helping the members to bond.
Member Brian Stephens said it is most gratifying that the club is still active and flourishing .
A special cake was made for the occasion by Bev Walker and decorated by Val Tonkin and was cut by Athol Graham, assisted by Lawrie Tonkin vice president, George Robertson secretary and Anne Shalders treasurer.
After the celebration, members heard a talk by Hans Holz about his life as a prison officer and a member of the dog squad. The dog squad was set up in 1981 with Ararat being the training centre for both handlers and dogs. The dogs have varied duties in addition to apprehending offenders.
They are also trained to detect drugs, weapons and crowd control. Their active service life varies from six to eight years and the animals lead a normal life when not working.
Mr Stephens said it was a very interesting and humorous talk.
Anne Shalders thanked Mr Holz for giving members an insight into the life of a member of the dog squad, and presented him with a certificate of appreciation and a letter opener.
A demonstration of the dog's skills was given by another member of the squad, Justin.
With a few Probians standing in line, the dog walked up and down a couple of times before stopping and sitting at David Haddow's feet, much to the amusement of everyone.
It turned out that Mr Haddow had been given some item that attracted the dogs attention, which was a good practical demonstration.
Another highlight of the day was when vice president Lawrie Tonkin had the pleasure of inducting two new members into the club, Roger and Rhonda Spratt.