By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Endeavour Hills Men’s Shed at last formally opened its $1.2 million ‘new’ headquarters on 1 March.
The 58 members moved into their impressively-sized shed in Syd Pargeter Reserve just on 12 months ago, but the opening ceremony had been Covid-delayed.
In short time however, the shed has been a hive of activity – with a woodwork and metalwork workshop, sausage sizzles, a ukulele and guitar group and a camera club.
Secretary Paul Morris says there’s often enquiries from “wives and girlfriends” as much as men.
“They say I wish you could get my dad or husband out of the house because he’s a bit of a nuisance.
“And the men come down and fall in love with the place.”
The aim of the Men’s Shed is to improve men’s health, Mr Morris says.
“Everyone is smiling here – that’s what it’s all about.”
Their new workshop is abuzz most days, with members working on special projects – often in response to public requests.
Like outdoor furniture for Montague’s orchards in Lysterfield and for Parks Victoria in Cardinia Reservoir, raised garden beds for a disabled pensioner, and children’s toys.
At the official opening were Casey chair of administrators Noelene Duff, Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan and Bruce MP Julian Hill.
Ms Duff said that the new site would allow the members to continue the great work for the community and to expand their activities.
“Since 2017, the Endeavour Hills Men’s Shed has provided a place where people can come together to share their skills, find a creative outlet and make those invaluable social connections.
“At a time when social isolation is increasing in the community, groups like this that provide purpose and a sense of belonging for people are so valuable.
“While the workshop is a fantastic space for the Men’s Shed, the rest of this building has delivered a new hireable space that will be well used by other members of the community for a range of activities.”
The new shed is a far cry from the group’s cramped first home at Essex Drive Community Centre, which was shared with other users.
Before each get-together, the men had to roll in a mobile storage unit of tools and shuffle around the furniture to create a workshop.
City of Casey contributed $1.1 million to the shed, the State Government $80,000 and the Men’s Shed $40,000.
The Endeavour Hills Men’s Shed is aiming for 100 members. It’s open from Tuesday-Saturday 10am-3pm with a Tuesday meeting and sausage-sizzle lunch. To join, call 0418 313 395.