Men’s shed to open doors

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STEWART ni­

Talk­ing and tin­ker­ing – that’s the gen­eral idea.

It’s a con­cept that has swept the coun­try and now Mata­mata is on the cusp of hav­ing it’s very own men’s shed.

A team of re­tired trades­men, de­ter­mined lo­cals, and even a mayoral can­di­date, has come to­gether to get the Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Men’s Shed off the ground.

It all started when for­mer chippy Buck Buchanan men­tioned to Jan Barnes he was in­ter­ested in pass­ing on his ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘He came to me and said, ‘I want to share my skills,’ so I said, ‘Buck, you need a men’s shed.’’’

The pair de­cided to fol­low through with the idea and had soon re­cruited a set-up com­mit­tee of 14 peo­ple.

Re­tired horse trainer Jim Gibbs was nom­i­nated as pres­i­dent and was happy to help out with the project.

‘‘The idea of the men’s shed is to meet new peo­ple and de­velop com­rade­ship,’’ he said.

‘‘I have al­ready made a few new friends – I think it will be good for the com­mu­nity.’’

Mr Gibbs is a self-taught car­pen­ter and has two sheds of his own to pot­ter around in, both full to the brim with hand­crafted fur­ni­ture.

He has do­nated a col­lec­tion of tools to the project and helped to pre­pare the shed, which the com­mit­tee has rented off Co­mag.

‘‘We are very keen to hear from any­one who is in­ter­ested to join our shed de­vel­op­ment team, or who has items they wish to do­nate, such as tools, equip­ment or tim­ber,’’ he said.

Re­tired builders, cab­i­net­mak­ers, engi­neers and graphic de­sign­ers have al­ready signed up but Mr Gibbs said it wasn’t nec­es­sary to have any qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Any­one is wel­come to join the set up com­mit­tee, while only men over 60 can be­come mem­bers of the men’s shed for an an­nual fee.

The shed will of­fi­cially open within the next month and at this stage it is thought it will open Tues­days and Thurs­days from 10am till 4pm.

Mem­bers will work on small jobs and projects and Mr Gibbs said they al­ready had their first re­quest build­ing toys and chil­dren’s fur­ni­ture for a lo­cal day­care cen­tre.

Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity will be wel­come to throw jobs the way of the men’s shed and will be asked to make a rec­om­mended dona­tion in re­turn. Th­ese jobs will help the men to keep busy and to pay for rent, ma­te­ri­als and power.

The com­mit­tee would like to thank Keith Cooke of Metso Min­er­als, Bruce Ma­gan and Kevin Deane of Co­mag, Rod Con­dor, and many oth­ers for their sup­port.

In­ter­ested in be­com­ing a mem­ber or can help in some way? Con­tact Mr Gibbs on 027 230 0936, Noel Hill on 888 8594 or Har­lan Daze­ley on 027 499 7466.

For the boys: Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Men’s Shed set up com­mit­tee mem­bers, from left, back: John Bar­nett, Paul Don­der­winkel, Noel Hill, Buck Buchanan, Jim Gibbs, Gra­ham Jef­fer­son, Har­lan Daze­ley and, front, Jan Barnes, Peter Thissen and Pam Daze­ley. Ab­sent: Ge­off McMil­lan, Sue Whit­ing, Rod Brookes and Rod Con­dor.

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