Bindoon Men’s Shed celebrated their 10th anniversary on Tuesday 12 July, with past and present members, and special guests gathering to commemorate the creation of this special meeting place.
The purpose-built shed includes extensive equipment and facilities for manual projects, as well as a large, welcoming meeting room which is where perhaps the most important projects happen. Engaging conversations, forging friendships and having a laugh over morning tea or game of cards in the — clearly-named-before-COVID-existed — Spit and Dribble Corner!
Ian Dickie, Vice President, said, “The idea of the shed is if we can make someone smile during the day, we’ve done a good job. If we can make someone laugh, a good belly laugh, we’ve done a real good job!
“We share jokes around, generally have some fun and conversation — it’s not all prostates, knees and joints, we do talk about other things sometimes,” he laughed. “It’s a great place to be.”
While health concerns aren’t always on the chat agenda, having peers who have tackled similar issues and a safe space in which to discuss them is incredibly important, particularly for men in retirement who may find themselves without the community support previously found in a workplace.
Wayne Beard, who was the inaugural President of the Men’s Shed said, “What I’ve noticed out here, a lot of guys are professionals — they go to work, come home and don’t seem to get involved in anything else outside of an occasional round of golf with a friend. When they retire, they’ve nowhere to go! Their wives are the ones to sign them up to come down here, get them out of the house.
“Once you get them out, they might be quiet for a bit but then they open up. Getting guys to share and to talk is so important — we think we’re bullet proof.”
Secretary Fred Hoogland said, “The big thing is just making sure everyone is alright, particularly these last couple of years. They’ve been quite trying.”
Martin Aldridge MLC, patron of the Bindoon Men’s Shed agrees. “The mission of a men’s shed is to promote and support the wellbeing of men, and obviously that is something of interest to me as the Shadow Minister for Regional Health,” he said.
“This mission is even more important in regional areas, where we find services are often sparse or don’t exist at all. Sadly, men remain overrepresented in some really important indices – 3 out of 4 suicides are men, 93% of workplace fatalities are men, and 72% of illicit drug related deaths are men.
“60% of men do not meet minimum health literacy requirements – and this is where I think men’s sheds play a really important role in bringing men together, through a soft engagement as part of a community that looks out for one another.”
With current President Alan Barnes unable to attend the event due to COVID, Wayne Beard led the official proceedings. “It must be said that time does fly, and it has been a great time during these ten years,” said Wayne.
“Thanks to Chittering Shire, suppliers, sub-contractors, volunteers and helpers and everyone else who played an active part in the building of the Bindoon Men’s Shed.”
The celebrations also included a poem written and read by ‘shed sheila’ Gloria, and cutting of a meticulously detailed cake, a replica of the shed, made by Gloria and Rex’s daughter Nina. A minute’s silence was marked to acknowledge members of the Bindoon Men’s Shed who have passed.
In conclusion, Wayne said, “I believe from little things, big things grow. And here at the shed we are truly blessed by the friendship, fellowship and camaraderie.”