The 85 members of the Bateau Bay Men’s Shed consider themselves to be part of a world-wide phenomenon.
This comes from that premise that, typically, retired men were confronted with a setting that limited communication , enhanced loneliness, and if ignored, could lead to depression, alienation and a deterioration of social skills. The Bateau Bay Shed was established in July 2009, and has grown to be a place where members foster social interaction, meet similarly-minded individuals to work in a woodwork or metalwork room, and contribute by their actions to developing items that can be utilised by other people in society. “
Some members view the Shed as a social scene, where they can talk about sport, life, and their circumstances with people who are experiencing similar challenges in life,” said Bateau Bay Men’s Shed President, Mr Fred Murray. “The great concept of the Shed is that everyone is equal,” Mr Murray said. “Sure some men with their backgrounds in the trades may have more woodworking or metalworking abilities, but the opportunity to pass those skills onto other men is often found to be a great reward in itself. “One recent member of the Bateau Bay Shed admitted that before joining the Shed, he had painted the same interior wall of his house four times, simply to fill in his day.
“He was bored with his life, and so he created unnecessary work to fill in the time gap. “Joining the Shed has provided activity and companionship. “The Shed is a friendly place where you can always grab a coffee or tea, and reminisce. “The Shed is a world where information and skills are freely exchanged, and where great friendships are forged. “The sound of laughter is often heard echoing around the rooms of the Shed, and the faces of the members of the Shed refl ect their enjoyment and passion for the various activities that occur in these rooms. “There are over 1,000 Men’s Sheds in Australia and their growth highlights the important role they play in the community.
“This is achieved by fostering a location where men can interact on a regular basis with similarly minded individuals. “A warm welcome is always present when new members cross the doorway of the Shed, and a new world of companionship awaits within. “Men often struggle with changed circumstances, and the new world of retirement is often an unfriendly and solitary environment. “Men’s Sheds were thus created to provide a location where men could interact with other men in a friendly and positive environment, where they could contribute to the wider community by participating in a range of projects that entail often designing and building wooden or metal objects that can be used in a variety of settings.
Some Sheds become associated with local schools and have set up boy’s sheds as well as volunteering in the wider community on a variety of projects. “Every Shed engages in different activities depending upon member interests.” The Bateau Bay Men’s Shed is open three days a week Tuesday to Thursday, from 9:00am to 1:00pm on each day. The Shed is at 1 Bay Village Road, Bateau Bay, behind the Community Centre.
Source: Media release, March 23, 2017 Fred Murray, Bateau Bay Men’s Shed