Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CORAL COOK­SLEY

Beech­worth’s Chris Ba­con (front) and Whorouly sib­lings Nikita and Hughie Steven­son were busy fix­ing bikes at the first re­pair café in Beech­worth last Satur­day. The con­cept that started in the Nether­lands nine years ago pro­vides a ser­vice for peo­ple to have equip­ment and house­hold items fixed by vol­un­teers. The Beech­worth Re­pair Café is the twelfth to be es­tab­lished in Vic­to­ria and will take place ev­ery sec­ond Satur­day each month.

DRILLS buzzed, tools clicked and clacked while sew­ing machines hummed away at Beech­worth’s first re­pair café held in the Quer­cus Ore­gon Hall last Satur­day.

The con­cept that started in the Nether­lands nine years ago gives peo­ple a chance to get to­gether and have house­hold items fixed by vol­un­teers to save what might oth­er­wise be thrown out.

Among some trea­sured pieces spruced up to work again was Emily Macau­lay’s great grand­fa­ther’s gar­den­ing shears.

“We couldn’t bear to throw them out and kept us­ing them but they needed a fix,” her mother Rani Ma­cauley said.

A fre­quent vis­i­tor to Beech­worth, Be­nalla’s An­drea Finck gave a help­ing hand help too.

Ms Finck was one of seven skilled vol­un­teers on the day, bring­ing her sew­ing ma­chine for mend­ing clothes.

Vol­un­teer and me­chan­i­cal whiz Howard More­ton helped re­pair a sew­ing ma­chine for lo­cal res­i­dent Sacha Yeo­mans.

“I’ve been wait­ing for the re­pair café to start,” Ms Yeo­mans said.

The new­comer who moved from Mel­bourne nine months ago said she used one when liv­ing there.

“Friends use them in the UK and vol­un­teer too,” she said.

Quer­cus Beech­worth man­ager Ms Doughty said the project added to the town’s sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tives and helped re­duce land­fill too.

“It helps peo­ple learn new skills from vol­un­teers as well,” she said.

Held ev­ery sec­ond Satur­day of the month, the next re­pair café will be on Oc­to­ber 13.

Ms Doughty said it would con­tinue next year too if de­mand re­mained.

The café has be­come one of more than 12 across Vic­to­ria and hun­dreds around the world.

PHOTO: Coral Cook­sley

FIXED: Beech­worth vol­un­teer Stu­art Smith spruced up Emily Macau­lay’s great grand­fa­ther’s gar­den shears at the first re­pair café held in the town at Quer­cus last Satur­day.

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