(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS) Marie Slessor started a dining group through the Probus Club of Maple Ridge.

Dining club one of many Maple Ridge Probus groups

Other special interest groups include a book club and craft and chat group

If you enjoy dining out and would like some extra company, there’s a group for that.

About 14 Probus members get together the second Thursday of each month and have dinner at a restaurant in Maple Ridge.

The restaurant is picked by a draw.

“It’s very democratic,” said Marie Slessor, organizer of the group.

“As we dine at one restaurant, we put it to the back and then choose from the ones we haven’t been to yet,” she explained.

So far they have been to The Loft at Meadow Gardens Golf Club, Il Corsaro Pasta Bar, Paliotti’s Italian Restaurant, Socrates Grill and Pyrgos Taverna, to name a few.

They are planning to hit GM Restaurant at their next outing in March.

“I actually have a friend in Victoria who belongs to Probus and she said to me, when I joined Probus, “You know one of the best fun things is a dining group,’” said Slessor.

“Since nobody else was going to do anything about it, I decided the best thing to do was to get it organized.”

The Probus Club of Maple Ridge also has a book club, a computer group, a chat and craft group, a walking group and discussion group.

Currently, there are 66 members signed up since they held their first information meeting in November, 2017.

“We celebrated a year and had our first AGM which was successful,” said Rick Howard, president of the club.

The inaugural AGM took place on Feb. 21. A new management committee was elected at the meeting.

Probus is a social club for retired and semi-retired people that provides regular gatherings for those who want to meet others that have similar levels of interest.

The word Probus in a contraction of the words professional and business, but membership is not restricted to those two groups of people.

Former executives of industry, government or anyone who has had some measure of responsibility in any field of endeavor is welcome to join.

The not-for-profit organization provides an opportunity for members to maintain a social network of people with similar work-related experience and similar interests.

The first Probus clubs sprung from Rotary Clubs in England in 1965 and 1966, and since have spread worldwide.

It was introduced to Canada in 1987 and has grown to over 249 active clubs and more than 37,600 Canadian Probus members.

There is a club in Langley, in White Rock and three in Vancouver.

The Probus Club of Maple Ridge was started by Rathonyi-Reusz, John Bale, Ingrid Glossop and Howard.

Meetings take place on the third Thursday of every month, when different speakers are asked to address the group.

At the last meeting, Andy and Marie Krzus from Assistance Service Dogs B.C. spoke about the difference between service dogs and therapy dogs and the struggle for people who need service dogs to be able to get them.

The next meeting will be held on March 21, when City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden will give a wide-ranging talk on the current affairs at the city.

Speaking on April 18 will be Barbara Morgan from City of Pitt Meadows on the topic of emergency preparedness.

• For more information, go to probusclubofmapleridge.org.

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