Murraylands Community Men’s Shed turns 10
After its first decade, Murray Bridge’s men’s shed is bigger and better than ever, and helping blokes keep busy in – or before – their retirement.
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Doctor’s orders are the reason Roger Kilpatrick spends his weekdays at Murray Bridge’s men’s shed, he insists.
He used to sneak down there once or twice a week – until Thommo heard about it and told him to “get over there as often as you bloody can”.
“They’re a great bunch of fellas here,” Mr Kilpatrick said.
“We normally get on well together.”
But men’s sheds are about more than that, too.
They’re about encouraging blokes – particularly older blokes – to maintain a positive lifestyle and face life’s problems together.
As the Australian Men’s Shed Association’s motto puts it: “men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder”.
Mr Kilpatrick and his mates have been doing just that for a decade now.
More than 200 men and women from around South Australia helped them celebrate the Murraylands Community Men’s Shed’s 10th birthday on Wednesday.
The event had a mechanical theme, asking men “when was your last service?”
Stallholders gave out information on health conditions of every kind, experts gave talks and an esky and other prizes were raffled off.
Life member Mick Loeckenhoff said the next 10 years would have to be about generational change at the Murraylands Community Men’s Shed, as the men who had helped get it started were now getting older.
The shed still had 80 members, he said, but he expected younger men might have an interest not just in woodwork or metalwork, but in working with computers or 3D printers.
In the meantime, the benefits of membership were many.
Robert “Cocko” Cock said his involvement at the shed had helped keep him going through some pretty serious health problems.
“I live alone on a houseboat, and when I got up in the morning and had nothing to do, I used to go into town, buy The Advertiser and that was it,” he said.
That was no kind of life.
“Don’t sit at home – save $35 of your pension and become a member here,” he said.
Charlie Meneghetti had the same experience.
For the first three months after he retired, “I was sitting around watching midday TV”.
Since becoming a men’s shed member, he said, he had learned all sorts of tricks from the retired tradesmen who came to keep their skills sharp.
Membership had other perks, too.
“We get a discount on a box for your ashes,” Mr Kilpatrick said with a grin.
“People are dying to get into them.
“If you’re gonna die, it may as well be here.”
More information: Visit the Murraylands Community Men’s Shed, on the Princes Highway, Murray Bridge East, between 8am and 12pm on weekdays; call Mick on 0419 380 493; or email email@example.com.
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