All posts by Brian Black

Bunnings BBQ, Tuggeranong

February 3rd, 2024

Our first Bunnings BBQ of the year saw hot and windy weather and our first ever price hike on cold drinks. Bunnings had announced that all drinks are to sell now for $2 each, up from the previous $1.50.

Crowds are good with us selling our quota of snags and a bit more, so we were pretty happy with that. I have to say that its great to see many members turning up to pull their shift, it can be a pretty long 4 hours, but “many hand make light work” as the ancient Chinese electrician was wont to say.

Well done to all of us and as usually a zillion thanks to the public for supporting us and to Bunnings for giving us the opportunity to run the BBQ.

Australia Day Breakfast BBQ

January 26th 2024

Our first ever for the year was the second annual running of the Breakfast BBQ for all members and guests, held at the shed.

We had a large turn-out of members and guests and all who attended enjoyed a great meal and a nice morning chatting with old and new friends and inspecting all the changes that have been made around the premises since this time last year.

While John and Lino cooked and Allan and Dennis and a swag of others played host, Mike Hardy gave some guests one of his traditional tours of the Shed. Some found the vegetable garden, others the chillies, a lucky few found the blackberry bush and tucked into a few late blackberries.

Not to be outdone by Tony Burns who turned up at the shed at the last Committee Meeting on his first day out of hospital from heart surgery, John Warren made an appearance on his first day out from 167 days or so in hospital. Well done to both and to all our members who are pushing on through whatever life is throwing up at them.

Everyone was duly impressed with the new doors and the even newer decking and veranda, with many suggestions made for its future use, including yoga classes and ballroom dancing!

Thanks to all who made the morning happen with an extra thank you to John Webster for carrying the ‘plan’ through.

Deck and verandah

December, 2023

Well, it may have taken three months and bit more cash than we had bargained on, but our new ‘space’ is now officially complete.

A vision that started out as a ‘bit more room’ for the workshop, has materialised into a first-class area for all members to use. Many, many thanks to all the men who helped bring the vision to reality, it is a credit to one and all.

Our new deck/verandah almost finished and some of the blokes who made it happen. Image:

Another New Shed

December 2023

A special vote of thanks to Don and Terry, and others, who took up my challenge to build a platform and erect the small shed we had donated to us.

It might not seem a big deal, but having this shed to put donated items into that we can re-home rather than re-use, opens up the way for us to get the new storage container operational, which opens up the way to get the current timber store cleaned out and turned into a workshop, and get the yard cleaned up and get a new floor installed in the #2 cinder-block shed.

So thanks again, and if nothing else the witty repartee and cheerful banter between them kept us amused on the other side of the container while we were slaving away building the deck. Thanks shedders.

Denman Prospect BBQ

Thursday 14th December 2023

We had an invitation from Denman Prospect to come and run the BBQ at their annual Christmas Party, held at Ridge Park. I don’t know how we came to be invited, but I’m very pleased that we were. I hope that it was because the name of Weston Creek Men’s Shed is getting out there and we are becoming know for our community involvement and spirit.

And I’m also pleased that I had no trouble getting support from members to come and help on the day.

The proposal sounded like it was too good to be true. Denman Prospect would supply everything, all we had to do was turn up, cook and serve. And true to their word, the Denman Prospect crew supplied everything we needed and even went to fetch a few more onions when it became apparent that we were going to run short early in the day. They were really great on the day and a huge vote of thanks goes to them!

The BBQ was a big success, we made a healthy contribution to our finances and we got to take our brand of community out into a wider audience. We even discovered that the community now has quite a few vegetarian members and we cooked and sold all the vegan patties, along with a number of onion only sandwiches.

Thanks Leno, and Bruce and Dennis and Graham and John, well done!

Christmas Stall at Cooleman Court

7/8th December 2023

And because No-one took any snaps, I’ve made a montage of some of the things that they made and sold.

Bunnings BBQ Tuggeranong

3rd December 2023

Once again the Shed crew turned out to run another Bunnings BBQ, the 4th this year from memory.

As the weather had been so rotten for weeks we weren’t expecting too much, but as it turned out the sun shone and people came out to get their Bunnings and snag sand fix. Business was steady, not the onslaught of the last couple of BBQs, and when the heavens opened at about 2 o’clock, the customers all but dried up.

I have to say though, that being on the till, taking orders and getting the payment, it is refreshing to see that more often than not, the customer has their snag, or in one case seven, and another ten, snags in their hand before the payment has cleared the bank. Well, done to everyone and thank you to the purchasing public and to Bunnings.

Christmas Lunch

23rd November 2023

Lunch was provided again this year by the Shed and included the now usual but legendary turkey, ham, spuds, pumpkin, veggies and gravy. All followed by plum pudding and custard of course.

The tables were decked with tablecloths and chrissy decorations, real plates and flatware were provided and we all tucked in to a delicious meal.

As the resident president, I took the liberty of keeping us amused with a bit of old chat, a Christmas Quiz which had quite a few heads getting scratched and more than one mobile being connected to Dr Google. Great fun and a pleasure to see so many of us talking and chatting and arguing the toss about reindeer and carols and other Christmas related stuff.

I also had a bit more fun with my Presidents Awards, none other than a Chocolate Santa, tossed out at random as I gave due credit, even if given in lightheartedly, to those members who make a contribution to the day-to-day running of the Shed. The Grand Award however, was a large Chocolate Freddo Frog, an award I expect you all to fight over during the next twelve months. This year I gave the award to Mick Warke, who goes about his business quietly and efficiently, doing everything from test and tagging, light electrical works, to cleaning the toilets and vacuuming the carpets and anything else that he might be asked. He thoroughly deserved the round of applause, and the Freddo. Well done you, as they say.

If I missed anyone, and I’m sure I did, thanks to you as well, and who knows, if the status quo is retained, this time next year, you might just get that elusive and exclusive Freddo.

All in all it ran like the well oiled machine that the WCMS Shed is, right down to the washing and drying up, the packing up and putting away, and the clean-up at the end.

At the end of the day, lots of blokes sat around chatting enjoying the atmosphere and maybe sipping down a few wines with their mates. I thought I might have to chuck the last few strays out so I could go home!

Report & images: Brian Black

President addressing the Weston Creek Rotary Club

13th November 2023

Following an invitation from Graham Giles of the Rotary Club, your president did some research, got some snaps together and thought about how the WCMS could be considered a successful project from the Rotary Club point of view.

Allan Booth and I attended their monthly meeting, taking our wives out for the night as well. Safety in numbers.

Anyhow, after the Rotarians had done their ‘thing’, and we had our dinner, I was introduced by their President. I gave my 20 minute animated slide show, made up some words as we went and basically had a good time. I think it went over well.

I was followed by Allan, who as an original member of the WCMS had a few inciteful things to say about the Shed, how it came into being, what it represented and how it was integrated into the community.

An extract from the Rotary Club newsletter, “The guest speaker on 13 November 23 Brian Black President of the Weston Creek Men’s Shed. He gave us a detailed account of the Club’s history and activities since its formation during the period 2014-2016. It was uplifting to hear Brian mention some of our current RCCWC members (Graham Giles and Mal Ferguson) had played a vital role in setting up the local Men’s Shed. Thank you, Brian Black and Allan Booth. The Shed is one of the Creek’s most successful community ventures. 

I thought it a great success in our endeavours to reach out more into the community and potentially attract a few more men.

Me rabbeting on about Sheds and AMSA and the WCMS.

Report: Brian Black

St John Vianney BBQ

Saturday November 4th 2023

The Men’s Shed was asked by the organiser of the St John Vianney Fete, Annette Dozpot, if we would be able to attend and do the BBQ cooking for them at their fete.

Some of us have had a long association with SJV, and as helping out at their fete would be a great community thing for us to be involved in, I agreed on our behalf. I even offered to lend them our new super BBQ, which was gratefully accepted. And then our two gazebos…

On the day, Lino, Allan, Bruce and myself cooked up a storm, doing sausages, bacon and egg rolls and steak sandwiches. I even roped-in my granddaughter, who was a past student, to work on our stall doing the computerised point of sale.

In summary, I had a great time, met a few old friends from our days at the school and made a few new friends. I want to thank Lino for cooking endless sausages, and Allan Castle and Bruce McKenzie for being the ‘sous’ chefs cooking all the other bits and pieces, preparing the meals and serving on the counter.

Great job shedders!

Report: Brian Black