10th year for Men’s Shed
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.”
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.