Lies, laughs and a bunch of mates
JULATTEN Men’s Shed president Noel Prowse is rightfully very proud of their set up.
“This” he says “is probably the best Men’s Shed per capita of population in the whole of Queensland.”
The lightly populated district supplies 28 members.
“I can’t get over how well these guys have taken to it,” say Noel, a local resident since 1988.
“It’s a barrel of laughs down here. Everyone has a really good time, we all tell a few jokes or whatever, and we’re all busy, and it’s a place for men to come and get anything off their chest.
“We all talk together about things we probably wouldn’t talk about otherwise.”
Not all the blokes are retirees. To cater for some who still punch the bundy, there is a gathering in the evening of the first Wednesday of every month – “we have a meal of some sort or a barbeque and we all sit and around tell lies. It’s so the working men can come”. The other openings of the Shed are 9-12 noon on Monday and again on Wednesday morning.
The Shed is now a bright, marvellous thing, all new and not even officially opened yet. Mareeba Shire came up with substantial money and the rest was from the Gambling Fund.
Noel says it was a heck of a challenge to get the Men’s Shed up and running these past few years but now it has great facilities – considering it started in one room next to the library – and boasts a very fine set of tools and machines thanks to their knack for tapping grant money.
Many businesses got behind it also to get it this far. “The amount of support has been amazing,” says Noel.
They have three lathes, a ban saw, a ride on mower (the shire pays the Shed to cut the grass at the park), and other gear, and the blokes keep busy at various trades. There are enough people with trades skills to help the others.
“I learn something every day down here,” says Noel.
As it happens Men’s Shed is an Aussie idea that has grown very rapidly and is now becoming popular in some other countries. No wonder – if Julatten’s a typical example. The kitchen is also well stocked and all they want now is a telly. Oh, and good timber if anyone’s got any please.
Men's Shed, Julatten: a ripper of a shed