Lies, laughs and a bunch of mates

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

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.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Men's Shed, Julatten: a rip­per of a shed

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