By Ron Lane
Last Thursday morning at approximately 10.30am it was rainy and overcast but that definitely did not dampen procedures when some twenty members of the Noosa Men’s Shed gathered on the lawn adjacent to their main building.
The reason for this gathering was for Paul Asbury President of the Mens Shed to accept on behalf of all members the donation of a reconditioned ride on mower from the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Union Club.
Proudly presented by Dolphins President Donald McKill and Rob Frey (Junior President), the gesture came about when a member of both organisations Peter Williams bought to the Dolphins attention the need for such an item at the Mens Shed. “We were in the process of purchasing a new mower and the club thought it would be a nice courtesy to make the donation rather than trade it in. We consider the Shed to be a great community organization so we were only too happy to do so,” said Dolphin President.
In his response to the gesture Pres. Paul Asbury said, “This machine will indeed be a big help as there is always projects under way on our grounds. Something that will help to make work faster and easier is very much appreciated.”
Situated in the grounds of the old Water Treatment Plant Wallum Lane just off Noosa Springs Drive, this organisation now some 180 members strong is proudly chaired by retired Australian Army Colonel Paul Asbury: unfortunately, but accidently, it is one of the best kept secrets in town. The age of members range from 65 to 80 with one elderly gentleman being 92.
“The Mens Shed aims to advance the health well- being and social inclusion based on individual interests of the members.”
This gives the men the opportunity to meet socialise and also take part in various activities and on some occasions become involved in community projects. One such project which came about through Noosa Rotary was the cleaning, repairing and packaging of walkers, wheel chairs and hospital beds which were then shipped on to Mozambique.
‘’ I think,’’ said Paul with a laugh, ‘’sometimes our membership comes about as a result of wives wanting to get their husbands out of their kitchen. We have a good membership and they come from all walks of life. We also run classes for all types of things such as woodwork, learning to play the ukulele and painting. All good mates, socialising, working together and also helping each other.”
The main building itself is an ex- army Lysaght Steel Shed which was packaged and stored in Sydney, due for shipment to Vietnam. This didn’t eventuate and it was eventually donated by the government to the Noosa Men’s Shed Noosa. With a size of 27x8mts the construction was by Bob Jack and local builder Ray McEwan who supervised design and layout of the interior: with the members doing the actual work.
On completion the interior consisted of an office, small library fronted by a lounge, a kitchen billiard table (donated), table and chairs for dining and near the side entrance a lounge.
“Also in the early days a large grant from our local council was forthcoming and was greatly appreciated. Add to this the donations by the Noosa Dolphins and others are so noted.”
Here once again is a good example of members of an organisation (which came into being July 2014 and proudly sponsored by Noosa Rotary) quietly doing great things not only for our community but also each other; and on occasions those in need in some far off country.