Batesman's Bay men retire to their shed

Twenty Batesman's Bay men - including retired railway gangers, professors and bankers - have got their own "Men's Shed" thanks to local parish priest Fr Tom Thornton who donated a piece of land to the community initiative.

The Bay Post reports that the shed is an incredible boon for the new men's group, which began as a pipedream inside ocal man Barry Brears' head a month ago.

After hearing about the project, Fr Thornton donated a chunk of land and the shed behind the Catholic presbytery to the Men's Shed.

Mr Brears was impressed by how much curiosity the concept had generated.

"We've got about 20 interested, 12 showed at our first meeting and six apologised," Mr Brears said.

So far, most of the blokes are retired or semi-retired gangers, builders, professors, policemen, bankers, insurance agents and personal managers.

"There seems to be a wide array of skills, from woodworking to welding to mechanics," Mr Brears said.

Those at the meeting discussed the best way to launch the Shed.

"We talked about going out to seek donations or grants. We discussed donations of materials, tools...we're looking for a small shed or shipping container."

When operational, Mr Brears said the Men's Shed would put its skills to use in the community, whether that be by fixing older ladies' cars or making toys for children, while being a support group for men in the area.

"It's surprising the blokes out there looking for something to do."

Mr Brears said retired men often struggled to fill their days with purpose.

"It's easy for them to go and get a job, but it's probably harder for them to go and join a group," he said.

"There's only so much fishing you can do and only so much golf you can play."

Men get their shed (Bay Post, 16/5/07)

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17 May 2007

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