Men’s Shed a place to fix prob­lems

South Burnett Times - - NEWS - He­len Speli­tis he­len.speli­tis@south­bur­nett­times.com.au

EV­ERY man needs a shed.

But a shed shared among friends can be more than just a place to store tools.

Mur­gon’s Paul Pf­ef­fer spent two and a half years try­ing to se­cure a per­ma­nent place to hold Men’s Shed meet­ings.

And on Fri­day the dream be­came a re­al­ity when the keys were handed over to the old rail shed in town.

The first Mur­gon Men’s Shed meet­ing was held on March 21, and since then the ini­tia­tive has “snow­balled”, at­tract­ing 25 mem­bers, ac­cord­ing to Pres­i­dent Paul Pf­ef­fer. But there’s al­ways room for more. Mr Pf­ef­fer is pas­sion­ate about men­tal health, par­tic­u­larly in re­gional ar­eas, and said he was once in a dark place.

“I found be­ing in a safe en­vi­ron­ment where I could talk and open up, started me on the road up,” he said.

Mr Pf­ef­fer’s fam­ily was orig­i­nally from Mur­gon and when he moved back to town nine years ago he no­ticed men were in need of a place to call their own.

“I did some re­search which showed the South Bur­nett was one of the high­est re­gions for sui­cide with the ma­jor­ity be­ing men over 25.”

He said the shed of­fered ca­ma­raderie, trust and a place where men could feel at ease. “Who knows, in that sit­u­a­tion a man might even sit down and ac­tu­ally talk about his feel­ings,” he said. Deputy Pre­mier Jeff Seeney handed over the keys to the shed on Fri­day, do­nated by the State Govern­ment af­ter be­ing pur­chased from rail com­pany Aur­i­zon.

PHOTO: HE­LEN SPELI­TIS

WORTH THE­WAIT: Mur­gon Men's Shed Pres­i­dent Paul Pf­ef­fer hap­pily re­ceives the keys from Deputy Pre­mier Jeff Seeney.

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