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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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Guest Speaker – Martin Auburn, Aircraft Safety

October 26th 2023

Let me introduce Martin: he is a highly respected figure in the aviation industry and has written many papers relating to aircraft safety and has lectured widely on the subject.

He is cited on the ‘net as being variously a retired Head of aircraft structures at Australia’s Civil Aviation Authority (now the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, CASA), a retired Aeronautics Engineer and a retired Airworthiness Engineer. Amongst other things, he is now a lecturer at the University of the Third Age (U3A).

Today he is here with us at the Shed, giving us at his ‘potted’ version of all the things wrong with the air safety world and citing the Boeing 737Maxi grounding due to their predilection to go into uncontrollable nose-dives from a great height as his major example.

It seems the root cause of the problem is the design of the 737 from Day 1. It’s apparently a cut and shut version of the 727 but especially made to be low to the ground so you don’t need expensive stairs and things to load and unload. It shorter and fatter and so also should be able to take off and land in shorter space. It was also cheaper to make, which made it very popular. But, as with everything in life, it became a victim of its own success. Buyers wanted more: cheaper, faster, lower, fatter so it could carry more paying customers at a lesser cost, so Boeing put bigger and bigger engines on it until they were so big they interfered with design of the wings and the way the plane flew. The extra lift from the extra big engine surface could cause the plane to rise nose-up sharply and stall (and fall out of the sky). So those cunning engineers installed a system to detect the sharp rise angle and force the plan down, which was great until it failed and gave a false nose-up signal. So, you’re flying along all nice and level and then the system kicks in, determines that you are going up too steeply and auto corrects by forcing the plane into a steep nose-down. Now as nobody had told the pilots about the system they had no idea why their planes would suddenly nose-dive, and no way of correcting it. Hundred and hundreds of lives were lost in the first two catastrophic failures, which lead to the craft being grounded for a year and half.

Thanks Martin for your educational and entertaining talk. I may never fly again!

Report: Brian Black

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Container for Good – It’s over folks

Tuesday 26th September 2023

The time has come for one of the great initiatives of the WCMS and the Quaama Shed to come to an end. The last CFG, which may have been Number 6 or 7, was finally closed up and shipped off to the coast to the lovely people down there. But, as there is no more funding for the transport costs, approximately $750 each changeover, this is the last one. An arrangement was made with Don at Quaama and this replacement container will become the property of WCMS for reasonable amount of cash.

Here are a few snaps of our “new” container being dropped into ts forever home. It is intended to become the new timber store, enabling us to clean top the yard and make room for more sheds, more benches…. and more blokes!

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Annual General Meeting 2023

The Annual General Meeting of the WCMS was held on Thursday 14th September at 12 Noon.

The minutes of this meeting can be found in the Member’s Section.

The result of that meeting, and a subsequent Committee Meeting is that the Committee for 2023/2024 is:

PositionElected Member
PresidentBrian Black
Vice PresidentJohn Webster
SecretaryVacant
TreasurerDennis Mitchell
MemberAllan Booth
MemberTony Burns
MemberAlex Zvargulis
MemberJohn Warren

The incoming President wished to thank Allan Booth for all his efforts and dedication to the Shed over its entire history, starting up and managing the Workshop, being Secretary at one time and President for the last 4 years.

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General Meeting

A General Meeting of the Members of the WCMS was held on Thursday 14th September at 10AM.

A General Meeting was called by the committee to discuss and vote on the adoption of a refreshed set of Rules.

The WCMS Committee had reviewed the existing Rules (2016) of the WCMS Shed. The review has been deemed necessary due to several factors:

  • Request by auditor to update and amend our Finance Management to
    reflect current use of EFTPOS and Credit Cards, and to remove
    references to outmoded instruments, e.g. cheques;
  • Changes in Taxation laws that require Associations such as ours to
    become registered charities to maintain our tax exempt status giving
    rise to the inclusion of Financial Model as a section;
  • Changes in methods used by WCMS regarding applications for
    membership and membership fees;
  • Change to reflect that our associations is formally registered as The
    Weston Creek Men’s Shed Incorporated and to amend all references
    within the document to our preferred acronym: WCMS;
  • Removal of two appendices that referred to Application for Membership
    and Appointment of Proxy Forms; and
  • Update of logo, address, and contact details.

Dennis Mitchell proposed an amendment to the actual rules:
Section 11 Fees, (1) Membership Fees, (a)

Delete words “shall be confirmed at the next Annual General Meeting of the WCMS.”
Replace with: “60 days notice shall be given of any change in fees prior to 1 July.”

This amendment was discussed and passed without dissent.

Therefore it was It is moved that:
“In accordance with the Rules (2016) Section 38(2), the updated Rules (Aug 2023, as amended at the General Meeting of 14 September 2023, be adopted by the Weston Creek Men’s Shed Incorporated”.
Moved: Brian Black
Seconded: Dennis Mitchell
Discussion: No further discussion
Result: Carried unanimously

Dennis Mitchell proposed a vote of thanks to Brian Black for all of the hard work Brian had put into updating the rules, especially while he was on leave.

These Rules as validated by the the Members of the Weston Creek Men’s Shed have been submitted to ACT Government, Access Canberra for endorsement.

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