Guest : David Smith MLA

Thursday 20th June 2024

Our local member David Smith came to visit the shed today. He has been here a few times over the years and remarked that he could see quite a few changes that we have made since hist last visit. Naturally we took the opportunity to thank him for his ongoing support and that all the changes he could see were made possible by government grants, such as his.

We adjourned to the meeting room for lunch, which was a pile of pizza organised by Lino, and they were delicious too!

David invited questions and we ran the full gamut of nuclear power stations, submarine, oil wells, football stadiums, bus services, trams and a whole raft of other things. A very interesting session.

Thanks to David for coming along and being the good sport that he is.

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Soup and SouperCars Lunch

May 23rd 2024

Soup

Bit of a spur of the moment thing, but we organised for three members , Graeme Harmer, Lino Rovera and myself (well, Mrs President actually) to make some soup dishes for lunch. We had Pea ‘n Ham, Chicken ‘n Vegetable, Minestrone and Pumpkin. Something for everyone. Well also had toast and bread and croutons and crackers and, and and….

Given that there wasn’t much of any soup left, and the happy contented full faces around the table, Id have to say it was a great success.

SouperCars

A bit of FUN. Yes, it’s a bit hard to come by these days, but a blast from all our childhoods as some of the men had a go at the slot cars set up by Mr President. Fortunately the Freddo on offer for the winner of a race wasn’t in any danger as most blokes seemed to be torn between playing cars Report and Image: Brian Blackand feeding their faces. Guess which option won?

The SouperCars were the Holden Commodores of Ginsberg and Lowndes but were withdrawn due to a rear axle failure on the 99 car. Over to Plan B. A borrowed set of Digital Scalextric complete with six cars of various sports types. Technology at its finest. All just taken for granted that you could run six cars on the track at the same time, and that you could be on any lane, and that you could click a button and change lanes…..

Anyhow, we had a bit of fun as you can see from this snap.

John, Warren and Brian reliving their childhoods

Report & Image: Brian Black

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Rotary Award Night

Monday 13h May 2024

As President, I was invited by the Weston Creek Branch of the Rotary Club of Canberra to attend a Club Dinner Meeting to accept a Rotary Community Service Award on behalf of the Weston Creek Men’s Shed.

You may be aware that the existence of the WCMS is attributed to the initiative and forethought of Mal Ferguson and Graham Giles from Rotary, who could see that there was a need for a Shed in ur community and set about to make it happen. As I have reported earlier, we were invited last November to give a presentation on the Shed’s achievements and this award to night is confirmation that the Rotary Club’s initiative was well founded and that they heartily approve of the work that we do.

In a nutshell, and i’ll quote from the Award:

“This Award to the Weston Creek men’s Shed recognises the Shed’s outstanding service to the community since its launch in 2014”

So, on behalf of the Shed and of our community I offered them our sincere thanks and accepted the award with pride and pleasure.

Brian receiving Rotary Club Community Service Award on behalf of the Shed

Thanks to Mal and Graham, and to Rotary, for the great work that themselves do for all communities everywhere.

Report & image: Brian Black

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Guest Speaker – Transport Canberra

Thursday 9th May 2024

We had a very interesting chat today with Paul Mascors and James Stuart from Transport Canberra. Paul is the one in charge of all the fleet, and it’s huge!

No-one had ever thought much about what lies behind that big blue bus as trundles along the road; but there are hundred of people and zillions of dollars involved in purchasing, maintaining, running and planning for the future.

Naturally the question of electric busses vam up and its not as straight forward a proposition as an electric car. A bus, to be able to run all day and half the night, needs a huge number of batteries, which are ultra expensive, large, heavy and take a considerable length of time to charge. They also have a finite financially viable life of seven years. TC have had to have special new high-voltage feeds put in from the electricity sub-stations to the depots just to accolade the 106 buses they have now. One interesting fact was that if they covered the entire depot with solar panels, they would have enough power to charge three buses – and of course the bus would have to be in the shed during the day, not out on the road! So that’s a non-starter.

Unlike all other business, the boss doesn’t get a car to drive around in, they have to take the bus, and in this case they brought one of the new electric ones to the shed for a bit of show-and-tell.

Fellows from Transport Canberra chatting about busses: Paul Mascors and James Stuart. They two heads are our two bus-boys, Bill and Lindsay.

A very entertaining session and everyone appreciated them taking the time to come and chat. So thanks to all for coming.

Report & image : Brian Black

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Bunnings BBQ – Tuggeranong

May 4th 2024

Bunch of happy smiling blokes doing what we do best – and that’s not feeding our faces!

Thanks again to Bunnings and the public, we were once again able to run a very successful BBQ and make a nice contribution to the finances of the Shed – Thank you everyone.

Report & Image: Brian Black

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Expedition to Cooma Men’s Shed and Cooma Car Museum

Tuesday 23rd March 2024

Our first outing for a while and eagerly anticipated by those who chose to take the day off and get out and about.

We hired a great 12 seater bus and with Dennis steering the ship, had a pleasant and relaxing run down to Cooma. “Some” decided a BMW X5 might be more comfortable, better sound system at least…. Either way, great day out.

The Cooma blokes have moved house since we were there last (2017 for those that can’t remember back that far!) These days they are in their own reasonably new premises just out of town on the Numerella Road. They lucked into a large grant from the then Member for Monaro John Barilaro. This has been followed up by generous support from their community and they have an excellent shed and facility, but, they are now making plans to expand. So well done them!

We arrived just about lunch time and were quickly served steak sandwiches, tea and coffee. After a good look round and chats with the many blokes there from Cooma, Bredbo and other sheds, we made our way up to the Cooma Car Club Museum, who had agreed to stay open to accommodate us. Apart from the tea and lamingtons, there were also a bunch of really nicely presented cars of varying vintages.

Shed blokes sharing a yarn, John, Gery and Dennis. Fellow on the right is Chris from the museum, blokes on the left are from Bredbo Men’s Shed

Just wandering around, I kept hearing snippets like, “I had one of these…”, “I learnt to drive in one like that…”. “I rolled one of them at 60mph…” Old cars are one of those things that truly evoke memories of the past, everyone has a connection to some particular make and model. For me, I really don’t have a favourite, I just love any old cars that have been preserved enough to still be around, and for the record my first (car that is!) was a Morris Minor 1000 MK II Four door saloon, circa 1956, just like the one Johnno is next to.

For the record, I really like the look of this snappy number below. My mate in Queensland has one that they bought in America when they did the whole Route 66 thing, and shipped it home, back when you could bring almost anything in….

1960 Chevrolet Corvette. Get your kicks, on Route 66.

All in all a really great day out, seeing the country, meeting some great blokes, sharing a yarn, perving at old cars. Just great!

And of course a special round of thanks to the men of the Cooma Men’s Shed for hosting us, and the men of the Cooma Car Club for keeping the doors open to their wonderful museum. Cheers to all.

Report & images : Brian Black

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Guest Speaker – Rob the Pharmacist

Thursday 14th March

14th Thursday – Guest Speaker – Brad the Pharmacist from Cooleman Court Pharmacy was coming to chat about men’s health – and a bunch of other topics no doubt.

As it turned out, Rob came in his stead and gave us an excellent presentation on men’s health. He held nothing back and got straight to the ‘point’, if you follow my drift, concerning prostate cancer, its detection, treatment and remedy, but just as importantly, the after effects of those various treatments.

Rob went on to tell us all about the health clinic Mens Health Downunder that hey run in Deakin, where they can give great advice and help with most of our manly ‘bits’. I think what they do is so important that I will give them a free plug right here. If 1 man makes a call based on this, then its worth while.

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Governor General’s visit

April 2nd 2024

Today was the big day, His Excellency, the Governor-General of Australia, The Honourable, General David Hurley, and his wife, Her Excellency Linda Hurley, came to morning-tea.

First they were greeted by Brian and John representing all members, and then by Lindsay and Val Dempsey, Val presenting Linda with a bunch pf flowers from her garden.

We then proceeded into the meeting room, where they were introduced to the members. His Excellency gave a short address of appreciation for the work we, and all, men’s shed do.

He then gave out some 10 Year Service Certificates to the ten original members of the WCMS from 2014 that are still current members. Those men are: Bramley Barton, Brian Blackburn, Allan Booth, Tony Burns, John Burrowes, Alan Castle, Ray Gulson, Bruce McKenzie, Peter Rowell, Duncan Souter.

Sadly, not all of them could be with us today, but we thank them all for their contribution to our Shed over those ten years.

Linda was then introduced and asked if she would join us in her favourite sing-song, You are my sunshine. After a short address regarding what that song means to her, we did her proud with our rendition. Thanks to Robin for having the forethought to provide us with the song-sheets! Linda then entertained us with a rendition of a song that she has written especially for us, The Weston Creek Men’s Shed. At its conclusion she presented the words, emblazoned on Government House paper, to the President. For this she received a resounding applause!

“… you are my sun-shine, my only sun-shine…..”

Linda then entertained us with a rendition of a song that she has written especially for us, The Weston Creek Men’s Shed. At its conclusion she presented the words, emblazoned on Government House paper, to the president. For this she received a resounding applause!

Brian then presented each of them with a special edition mug that we had made for the occasion. The mugs have our WCMS logo on one side and a suitable inscription for each on the other side. The presentation boxes were made by David and Lindsay. So thanks to them. Both of their Excellencies looked quite pleased with our efforts when they took a second closer look and discovered the wording and its heartfelt message.

We then conducted them on an extensive tour of the workshop where they enjoyed interacting with Bill, Dennis, John and David who chatted about their projects and gave short demonstrations of their skills.

Finally we returned to the meeting room where Mrs President, Judy, had prepared quite the morning-tea, worthy of The Hyatt, I’m sure.

Fantastic morning tea created by Mrs President, Judy Black for the Governor General’s Visit

For the remainder of the time, their Excellencies seemed to enjoy the informal chats they were having with many of the members present, sometimes in group, sometimes one-on-one. In fact they seemed a little reluctant to leave!

But finally they were escorted off the premises to their waiting car and whisked away to their next engagement.

I would like to say thank you to both of their Excellencies for visiting our shed and for being such gracious and friendly guests. They are welcome back anytime!

Report : Brian Black, Images : David Cornforth

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Bunnings Easter Family Night

March 21st 2024

The lovely people at Bunnings Tuggeranong invited us to come and man a table at their annual Easter Family Night.

This followed on from a similar event held last September for Father’s Day, when ShedMen helped a whole lot of young people put together a wooden crate using cordless screwdrivers and screws.

The recipe for Easter was a book-stand. Originally it was designed to be nailed together, but we were able to convince them that screws and screwdrivers would be a whole lot more fun, engaging and easier for the children.

And so on the night for two hours, Warren and John and John and Allan and myself sat there helping the children make their very own book-stands. All we had to do was hold the pieces steady and instruct the child in how to put the screw in using the drivers. It totally surprised me how quickly even the shyest child picked up what they had to do. The first screw was usually a bit hesitant, but with gentle coaxing and guidance, by the time they had reached the third screw they were driving them home like pro’s!

A huge thank you to Bunnings for inviting us, and an even bigger thank you for donating the fabulous Ryobi Cordless Drill Kits to us after the event.

Report and images: Brian Black

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Cooleman Court Stall

March 14the 2024

We were invited by the nice people at Coleman Court Shopping Centre to come and run our annual Easter Stall

Dennis and the workshop crew had worked long and hard to have enough product for us to put on a good display and to sell.

Traffic to the Stall was a bit quieter than usual, but still a in the end a worthwhile contribution was made to the Shed’s budget.

It is also a great way to meet people, all of who have someone in their lives that could benefit from being a member of the shed and taking advantage of the facility that we have to offer. We have at least one new member as a direct result of our presence during those two days.

Once again a big thank-you to the workshop crew, especially Dennis who made it all happen despite a few hurdles thrown in his way.

Easter Stall

Report and Image: Brian Black

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