Com­mu­nity sup­ports op shop

The Cobram Courier - - COBRAM SHOW 2017 - By Kenji Sato

Co­bram’s Youth Op Shop has helped the com­mu­nity for about two years and now the com­mu­nity has re­turned the favour.

Lo­cal busi­nesses and the Co­bram Men’s Shed have be­gun restor­ing the op shop to its former glory after a bur­glar kicked down its back door and stole items in­clud­ing a $2500 elec­tri­cal test and tag ma­chine.

The ma­chine was on loan from the Men’s Shed, which led youth group leader Rob Morey to won­der how the op shop could ever af­ford to re­pay the money.

He was re­lieved when the Men’s Shed of­fered to waive the debt and even be­gan rais­ing money to help re­pair the dam­age to the build­ing and buy them an­other ma­chine.

Oth­ers jumped on board, in­clud­ing Ba­rooga’s Trikki Kidz early learn­ing group who raised $352 through a cake stall and the op shop’s land­lord Paul Kaye, who do­nated 50 per cent of the money needed for re­pairs.

‘‘We want to ac­knowl­edge the in­cred­i­ble gen­eros­ity of lo­cal busi­nesses and the Men’s Shed,’’ Mr Morey said.

‘‘Out of some­thing very dis­ap­point­ing in the rob­bery and the dam­age to the build­ing, a pos­i­tive has come out of it.

‘‘Let’s hope we’re not robbed again but let’s hope the gen­er­ous peo­ple in this com­mu­nity con­tinue to show their real colours.’’

Rob But­ler from the Men’s Shed spent more than 100 hours restor­ing an an­tique rock­ing horse which he will raf­fle to raise money for the op shop.

When he first laid eyes on the horse it was a ‘‘to­tal wreck’’ that had been ly­ing aban­doned un­der a house for years.

‘‘We never knock back Mr But­ler said.

After some in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Mr But­ler dis­cov­ered the horse was much more valu­able than he had an­tic­i­pated.

‘‘It’s an orig­i­nal. We con­tacted the rock­ing horse man in Ade­laide and he said it’s an orig­i­nal piece from Eng­land.’’ any­thing,’’

The raf­fle tick­ets will be drawn on De­cem­ber 20 at the op shop, with prof­its to be shared be­tween the shop and the Men’s Shed.

Men’s Shed sec­re­tary trea­surer Terry Lang­ton said the fundrais­ing was meant to help the op shop as well as raise the shed’s pro­file.

‘‘There’s a lot of el­derly up here in this area that don’t even know about the shed,’’ Mr Lang­ton said.

‘‘But once they come into the shed they don’t want to go home. They’re there at eight in the morn­ing.

‘‘Men’s sheds were set up for men’s health, a place where men could get to­gether and talk to­gether and be in men’s com­pany.

‘‘Some blokes de­cided they wanted to do some car­pen­try and lead light­ing.

‘‘Of our 20 mem­bers we’ve got 15 who can’t do any­thing at all be­cause of de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety or some sort of phys­i­cal prob­lem.

‘‘We are very small but there are a lot of blokes in this town that wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the shed,’’ Mr Lang­ton said.

‘‘I know of at least two blokes who would’ve com­mit­ted sui­cide in the last two years if it wasn’t for the Men’s Shed.

‘‘We just want to give peo­ple a hand.’’

Pitch­ing in: (From left) Paul Kaye (Dy­namic Data), Deb­bie Johns (Youth Op Shop man­ager), Roger Young (Co­bram Men’s Shed), Ash Raf­ferty (Trikki Kidz) and Rob But­ler, Vin Raco, Terry Lang­ton and Ross Jones (all from Co­bram Men’s Shed) with the an­tique rock­ing horse.

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