- Last Updated: 25 August 2019
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A Brief History
A Men's Shed provides the opportunity to shed
"the stuff" from the inside.
The Bayside Uniting Church Men’s Shed was established through a funding grant from Brisbane City Council and was opened by then local Councillor John Campbell on 19 July 2011.
The Shed brings men together to potter about and share their skills, to make and reshape things, to work on projects and to learn together. But its purpose is to provide outreach for the Church to the men of the community through being a social/communal meeting point, a place of "secret men's business" where, among other things, they can -
- share the traditional Australian yarn and tell their stories in very relaxed surroundings where there are no women "listening and correcting";
- talkaboutsomeof thethingstheymay havebottledupforyears;
- sharetheirhealthexperiencesiftheywishto,aswellasgetothersto come and talk to them as a group in an understanding manner about these experiences;and
- provide the opportunity to impart knowledge learned "the hard way" to those following in theirfootsteps.
At the outset, limited equipment was available, but Syd Abraham (now deceased) stepped up immediately and generously donated his wood lathe for use in the Shed; and Syd became the Shed's No1 "ticketholder".
At the outset, several local men stepped up to form the initial core of the membership. But, early on, it was determined that the Shed would function with an absolute minimum of formality; and this has since been confirmed many times over.
Members of the community from all over Brisbane donated tools, equipment, and benches for the Shed, and have continued to do so. Arthur Hall (also now deceased) donated a very substantial bench which is the centre piece of the original Shed. The generosity of people over the years has been quite outstanding.
Some of the high-speed machines donated are now coming to the end of their safe and useful life and a program of replacement is under way through a grant from the State Government’s Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
In all, nearly 70 menfolk have been members to 2019. Some have died, while some have moved on to other things. But, even if men stay for only a short time, the Shed performs an important role if it assists the member in some way, particularly transitioning from one stage of life to another.
But the Shed has developed a very tight core of members who have come to know and respect one another very well.
Important set-up work was performed by the Rev Doug Mitchell and Trevor Davis and in 2018 this was recognised by their being made Life Members of the Shed.
Bayside Uniting Church Minister when the Shed was opened was Rev Lu Senituli and he became an active member of the Shed, as is the current Minister in 2019 Rev Craig Blackburn.
It was recognised that the Shed needed a Foreman to direct workshop activities, ensure safety procedures were followed, to instruct, and to oversee generally the workshop assets. Retired cabinet maker Dennis L’Barrow took on this role in 2013. When Bayside Church agreed to fund the extension of the workshop area in 2016, Dennis was at the forefront of the planning of this exercise. Regrettably, Dennis died at the end of 2016.
Fortunately for the Shed, retired electrical engineer (among other things) Denis Demartini agreed to take on the Foreman role in April 2017. With the great enthusiasm and expertise that he has, Denis is currently overseeing a further extension of the Shed by virtue of a grant from the Queensland Government’s Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
The workshop has engaged on many projects during its existence, such as-
- Preparing a Shed display at the Church’s then Treemendous Festival
- Making gift items
- Finishing off a donated table for use in Church’s administration centre
- Making book presses – an exacting job in timber and metal
- Making large timber Crosses for artist Wendy Rix.
- Collapsible tables made for Wondall Gardens.
- Nine miniature timber Catapults made for Missionaries.
- Four hundred wooden blocks made as teaching devices.
- Large “Story Chair” repaired for school.
- Six vintage chairs repaired & revived.
- Vintage Tables repaired & revived.
- Twelve old chairs & tables repaired
- Other items for schools and kindergartens
- Attending to walk-in requests from members of the local community to assist with repairs to wooden items/, generally furniture
- Numerous odd jobs including minor maintenance around the Church “campus.”
Apart from the happenings in the workshop, other Shed activities have included-
- “self” talks where men will tell their own life stories;
- continuing minor maintenance on the Church Wondall Road campus; and
- appropriate talks by external providers on topics such as-
- men’s health
- Wills, power of attorney, advance health directives
- Hand injuries
There is usually quite animated conversation and “debate” over morning tea with few topics being off-limits. But, during such animated conversations and during their time at the Shed, members are expected to respect the ethos of the Uniting Church
Members are rostered to provide morning tea and, on the first Thursday of each month, there is a barbecue for which a member is nominated as the “Celebrity Chef.”
At the end of 2019, Alyson Madsen is the Co-ordinator of the Shed on behalf of the Church Council.
The Leadership Group within the Shed is-
- Team Leader/ Chairman: Ken Madsen
- Foreman: Denis Demartini
- Treasurer: Adrian Strong
- Safety Officer: Bill O’Neill
- Shed Adviser: Doug Mitchell
Contact:Through Church Office 3890 2392