There exists both a physical and a cerebral connection between the Men’s Shed organisation and a railway station.
The arrivals and departures that take place is one obvious example.
The significance of the platform that, on the one hand, allows passengers access to the trains and, on the other hand, gives a starting point for members of the Men’s Shed to move forward in learning and socialising with their peers.
Yet another similarity is the on-going appeal about stations and railway that seems to attract not only all ages but also both sexes.
A shed designed for men has also appealed to both men and women for generations — for different reasons.
The benefits are obviously quite dissimilar, but at the same time positive for both genders.
For the ladies, the removal of their “other half” from under their feet for a few hours fulfils a dual role — “He’s enjoying himself and so am I.”
Nestled in the shunting yards and containers at the end of Railway Street in central Whanga¯rei is the recently restored Whanga¯rei Railway Station, purchased from the Whanga¯rei District Council in 2013 by Whanga¯rei Men’s Shed.
It has been lovingly renovated to its original 1926 design. It is a Heritage-classified building. Inside, it contains four designed and equipped workshops which are delighting hobbyists, tradespeople and aspiring handymen.
All this is combined with a new cafeteria and the last word in toilets, showers and the necessary hot and cold running.
This new Whanga¯ rei facility is the equal of any of the hundred odd Sheds in this country and another addition to the growing attractions in the Whanga¯rei area where service comes before self.
The projects that the Whanga¯rei Mens Shed undertake for non-profit agencies in our community are the embodiment of what Men’s Sheds stands for — giving to society the pleasure that our members share in, by filling a need.
For a no obligation tour of the Shed call 09 438-3925.
_ Mike Mansell Whanga¯ rei Men’s Shed