Stoke’s ‘Menzshed’ rises from the ashes
Rex Lucas is back in his happy place after a long wait to return to the workbench.
The Stoke Retirement Village’s Menzshed is back in business, after a fire completely gutted it a little more than a year ago.
The shed was built as a place for occupants to do handiwork and repairs, or to learn new skills. Lucas, who lives at the village with his wife, said he spent nearly every day there.
But for about six months, he was left twiddling his thumbs, waiting for it to be rebuilt.
‘‘I wandered around streets,’’ Lucas said.
His wife Pam said she was particularly glad the shed has been rebuilt, as it gave her husband something to do.
Rex Lucas said he always had a workshop, and continuing with woodwork in his retirement gave him great satisfaction.
‘‘I just like doing woodwork. I’m not into doing steel welding the and all that nonsense…’’ he said.
Lucas said he remembers his first encounter with a bandsaw, back in 1948.
‘‘Papa saw me go in [to the workshop] and I was looking at this machine and didn’t know what it was, didn’t know what it did or anything,’’ Lucas said.
He said his father made him wait until morning to see how it worked.
‘‘Believe it or not he’d built a stand for me so I could look over the top,’’ he said.
‘‘That bandsaw was destroyed in the fire here.’’
Lucas said while it was painful to have lost the sentimental bandsaw, the important thing was no one had been hurt.
He said insurance had paid for the shed to be rebuilt, and for brand new replacement equipment. Mitre 10 Mega had donated a brand new Makita sawbench.
Lucas said he had been able to get back to making folding picnic tables and chairs, which his wife Pam paints, and which they sell around the region’s markets.
The ‘Menzshed’ went up in flames last January, at Stoke’s Omaio Village. Lucas said the cause of the fire was never established.
Rex Lucas with a new saw bench donated to the Menz Shed at Omaio Village, Stoke. A year ago the shed and all the equipment was destroyed by in a fire.