Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday you will find a group of blokes down at the Men’s Shed in Canowindra, usually building something or having a good yarn, enjoying the day and being themselves.
“The Men’s Shed is a place for blokes to meet up and have a chin-wag,” says Warwick Bowd, a long-term member of the group which was founded in January 2006 for local men to get together and have a good time with like-minded people.
But it’s not all about the man-talk; these men also work together in a way that supports and benefits the community as well as each other. Most notably, the blokes at the Men’s Shed recently built a large set of pigeon holes for the kids at Canowindra Preschool, as well as an office pamphlet holder, boot holders for the front porch and a collection of children’s chairs that can convert into stools which can be purchased for $35. They have also refurbished the preserves cabinet at the Canowindra Showground for the annual show.
Warwick says the Men’s Shed doesn’t charge for their labour and only charge for the cost of their materials. “We made it policy that we don’t undercut and don’t take work off the local handy men.”
There are over 20 members at any time but the membership has varied over the years due to life’s ever-changing circumstances. “The group is made up mostly of ex-farmers who are used to working by themselves,” says Warwick, “but the Men’s Shed is open to everybody.”
“Sometimes we get jobs from widows and people on their own,” says Warwick, “and the money we might earn from those jobs all goes straight back into buying materials and into the Shed so we’ve got something to do.”
When the weather warms up, Warwick says the blokes at the Men’s Shed hope to hold an Open Day to showcase their woodworking skills.
By Rosi Broom