Brand New Shed – Men Celebrate The Opening Of Their Purpose-Built Facility
Maurie Stack is the Chairman of Stacks/Law Group
Article and photo courtesy of Manning River Times – HAYLEY WILLIAMS
19 April 2011
They couldn’t be happier: At last Friday’s launch of the Taree
Manning River Men’s Shed were (from left) Father Kevin Kiem,
Eric Scarrow, Len Keogh, Maurie Stack, Peter Evans, Bob Nelson,
Doug Hoare, Jim Wills, David Villiers, Bill Morris, Cliff Shearn
and Adrian Leven.
After six years the Taree Manning River Men’s Shed now has an impressive new home.
Father Kevin Kiem officially opened the new premises on Friday in front of many shedders, their partners, community members and contributors.
On January 7, 2009, nine men met to discuss the possibility of a men’s shed opening in Taree.
Initially the group met at president Jim Wills’ shed before a local business generously donated an old house in Railway Parade for them to use.
Over the last six years, the Men’s Shed has become an important part of the community, contributing not only to local people and charities, but also to those in need overseas.
Some of their projects include:
o making wheelchairs from bicycle parts and servicing old wheelchairs. Those wheelchairs are transported free of charge by Toll Transport to the Rotary International depot on the Gold Coast and are then transported to children overseas who are victims of exploded landmines, trauma and diseases like polio – to places like Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan, Fiji and New Guinea;
o servicing old pushbikes for transport to Aceh following the tsunami in December 2004 – one pushbike per family to enable children to get to school; and
o doing small carpentry jobs for people in need out of timber donated by a local timber merchant and a kitchen manufacturer.
Taree solicitor Maurie Stack, of Stacks the Law Firm, spoke at the opening and praised the work of the Men’s Shed within the community.
“This shed wasn’t built by the Australian Government, it wasn’t built by the New South Wales Government, it wasn’t built by the Greater Taree City Council, it was built by the community,” he said.
“It was, from the start, a community driven enterprise. And now your shed is one of more than 450 Men’s Sheds in Australia with more than 40,000 shedders.”
The shed cost more than $120,000 to build and is valued at more than $200,000 with the shedders raising a substantial amount of funds, as well as donations from the Keneally Government, a Sydney Christian charity organisation and other community members with many local tradesmen also donating their time and expertise to the effort.
“What a wonderful example of Australian volunteers in action,” said Maurie. “What a great example of the generosity of the people of the Manning Valley.”
The new men’s shed now has a large workspace complete with tools and machinery as well as a tea room with kitchenette and a quiet/prayer room.
“It’s a great facility for the community,” said president Jim Wills.
“We couldn’t be happier with everything.”