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Men's shed going from strength to strength

Local

Having already delivered small wooden holding crosses to more than 700 people, the Plympton and Glenelg parishes’ men’s shed is set to get even bigger in 2019.

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In 2017 parishioners from Plympton and Glenelg formed a men’s shed and for three hours every Wednesday morning up to 18 men gather to undertake various projects and enjoy a coffee and a chat.

In addition to the small wooden crosses, the men have created small wooden liturgy play statues for several schools and a mobile whiteboard and memorial bench for St John the Baptist Catholic School, Plympton.

As part of their gardening activities, the men have successfully grown tomatoes, pumpkins, grapefruit and lemons.

The group meets at the shed of retired parish priest Father George Nader who kindly agreed for it to be used for the important joint parish ministry. Tools and equipment were donated to get the shed started.

Now, after more than two years, the group is looking to expand the site to make more room for the growing number of activities they are undertaking.

“Thanks to the vision and initiative of Bill Greenfield (Glenelg parishioner and men’s shed member) and Denis Panazzolo (Plympton parishioner), we obtained a framed shed which was located at Somerton Park,” said Paul Hay, one of the group facilitators.

“We demolished this shed and carted it, piece by piece, to our Plympton site.

“The cladding sides and roof of our now relocated shed are just about finished.

“The new shed will then be an extension of our existing double garage giving us combined floor space of 67 square metres.

“Our men will then look forward to pouring the new floor.”

During the construction phase of the shed extension, woodwork projects have been put on hold, except for the holding crosses which the men say are “eagerly sought after” and have been distributed to people as far away as Canada.

Paul said the holding crosses, although small, had brought great comfort to a large number of people.

But the group is not just about helping the community with its various woodwork projects. Paul said it was also the fellowship that made it so special.

Some of the men are well into their 80s and they really enjoy contributing their skills, such as Tony Kennedy who keeps a watchful eye on all activities to ensure safety standards are met.

Carl Bawn came to the men’s shed in 2017 and after a short break has returned and looks forward to coming every week. “My time here is fulfilling and I am able to learn new things from the other members,” he said.

“There is a strong sense of camaraderie amongst the group.”

Facilitator Peter Clark said that was what the group was all about.

“The camaraderie and hearing people like Carl tell his story is worth more than any of the material things we have here,” he said.

With the extended facilities the group is hoping to expand and welcome new members in the coming months.

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