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Shedding something small in favour of a grand design

Posted 1 year ago by South Gippsland Common Times

It’s been quite the journey for the Leongatha Men’s Shed members, but 2021 is shaping up as something very special.   

When Common Timesspoke recently to the group’s aptly named president, Max Wood, the ground had been levelled in preparation for the construction of a new headquarters at the Leongatha Recreation Reserve (adjacent to the skate bowl).

“It’s been between three and a half to four years to get to this stage, while the levelling of the site took two days with four or five big machines,” he said.   

“That was done by Southern Cranes and they did a magnificent job for us.”

Since then a frame has sprung up, with concrete poured.  

Club member Ron Campbell said that while it wasn’t the club’s first choice as a location it’s proven “not a bad site, with access off the road”.  

There’s an ebullience among the group, for they have in their minds’ eyes a vision of what will be. Like so many others, they are happy enough to put 2020 behind them and look toward a brighter 2021.  

“Pre-Covid there was about 40 members, but now that’s in the lap of the gods,” Max said.  

Whatever the future holds, social distancing certainly won’t be an issue in the new facility.  

The Considine and Johnson and Strzelecki Engineering project will be a whopping 490 square metres when complete.

“The argument was, if we made it smaller it wouldn’t have been big enough. So, we’ve tried to make it big enough to last the next four generations,” Max said.

He chuckles as he makes the statement, perhaps because of what it’s taken to reach this point. And perhaps because he knows that even the biggest of sheds will someday need extending.  

Established in 2012, the Leongatha Men’s Shed membership is only expected to get bigger.

For those who love being in the shed, there can be no better place. The comradery is as important as the charitable nature of the group – not to mention the chance to hone your skills with the help of some pretty handy blokes.  

“We’re not out there beating the drum, but we will when the time comes. There’s certainly a few members waiting in the wings,” Ron said.

“I think the shed will attract a lot of new members too.”

Max said most of the members had coped “pretty well” with the pandemic-induced isolation. However, the statement was qualified quickly by another: “We’re very keen to get back.”

PICTURED: Leongatha Men’s Shed’s (l to r) Max Wood, Ed Bickel, Bob Beilby, Alan Hoy and Ron Campbell.   


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