It’s been a decade of transformations and renovations but one thing has stayed the same at the Cowra Men’s Shed – mateship.
Members, families and special guests gathered at the Shed on Saturday afternoon to celebrate their tenth birthday, with Member for Cootamundra, the Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson MP and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Judi Smith in attendance.
Cowra Men’s Shed Inc. President Doug Beer opened the ceremony, giving a brief history of how the Shed came to be at the old Scouts Hall.
“In 2006 the Rotary Club of Cowra called a public meeting, chaired by Mr Con Bunnik, to see if there was enough interest in forming a Men’s Shed in Cowra,” Mr Beer said.
“The first site offered was the old bakery building in Bakery Lane owned by Mr Alf Cowley. It had some good features but car parking would have been a problem.
“The second site offered was the rear of the old Guardian building on Brisbane Street. There was plenty of room to establish the equipment required but once again the car parking was a problem.”
Mr Beer went onto to talk about various extensions and activities the members had completed.
Ms Hodgkinson then spoke about the grants given by the state government to help with extensions, including the Passive Recreation Building.
“I have such happy memories of presenting that cheque that day,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Look at what the result was, this amazing room. Full credit to the Cowra Men's Shed to the work that you have done.”
She said Men's Sheds were vital for men in country areas.
“It’s such an important part of a country town where men can go to relax, have some friendship, some socialisation. If you think back to the scout hall and what you've started with and what you have today, you're all to be congratulated,” she said.
Councillor Smith she was impressed with the amount of work done in the community by the members.
“The Men’s Shed is a place that facilitates and encourages men to come together for relaxation, for enjoyment, to learn new skills, to create.… and above all I think, comradeship.”