10th year for Men’s Shed

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - By TATE SPI­TERI

WITH 103 dif­fer­ent lo­cal men hav­ing now come through the doors, the Myrtle­ford Men’s Shed has at­tracted peo­ple from all walks of life.

The shed will soon en­ter its 10th year in ex­is­tence af­ter cur­rent pres­i­dent Fred Neal grasped the idea for a Men’s Shed for Myrtle­ford in early 2008.

“I was read­ing an RM Wil­liams mag­a­zine about the suc­cess a shed had in the small com­mu­nity of Don­ald - the re­port was fan­tas­tic,” Mr Neal said.

“The town of Don­ald was full of praise for the ben­e­fit it was achiev­ing for the men of the town.”

From there, Mr Neal spoke with his friend Kevin Din­neen about start­ing up a shed in town.

They con­tacted lo­cal coun­cil­lor at the time, Jan Vonarx who raised the con­cept to Alpine Health’s Mau­reen Ry­land.

A pub­lic meet­ing was then or­gan­ised to gauge in­ter­est for the po­ten­tial project and a de­ci­sion was made to pro­ceed.

“We met an­other four times to for­mu­late plans for what was needed in the fu­ture,” Mr Neal said.

“It was at this time Men’s Sheds were start­ing to grow with pop­u­lar­ity and spread through­out Aus­tralia.

“For this rea­son, we were for­tu­nate to be able to draw upon other’s wis­dom and guide­lines which we could fol­low.”

A gen­eral com­mu­nity meet­ing was held early 2008 and a steer­ing com­mit­tee was formed lead by their in­au­gu­ral pres­i­dent Barry Love.

With no money to run the shed, mem­bers of the com­mit­tee started look­ing for fund­ing and gov­ern­ment grants.

Many ap­pli­ca­tion forms were filled out, but with lim­ited suc­cess.

How­ever, Mr Neal says that all changed when Clive Walker started fill­ing out the grant ap­pli­ca­tion forms.

And for all the gen­eros­ity they have re­ceived the con­tri­bu­tion then out­laid has been pro­found.

“When de­vel­op­ing our 10th year his­tory, we were very sur­prised at what the shed had ac­tu­ally ac­com­plished and pro­vided for the com­mu­nity,” Mr Neal said.

Since 2009 mem­bers have built and re­fur­bished many sig­nif­i­cant items for the com­mu­nity.

“Among the items are hospi­tal gar­den seats, toys for East Ti­mor, book shelves, high ta­bles for the Bar­widgee Lodge, Santa Claus cut-outs, floats for the Myrtle­ford Fes­ti­val, hon­our boards, pic­nic ta­bles and much, more,” Mr Neal said.

“It’s work a lot of our mem­bers re­ally en­joy and I’m sure we’ll con­tinue pro­vid­ing those things and more into the fu­ture.”

PHOTO: Tate Spi­teri

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Neville Leonard and Ed­die Hoff­mann are just two lo­cal men who con­tinue to keep ac­tive and busy through the Myrtle­ford Men’s Shed.

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