About 10 years ago, amid a sea of sawdust and the whirring of machines, men from Myrtleford and beyond came together to create toys, furniture and friendships.
In the decade that has passed, the dust has settled – into a shedder-built vacuum system – but the relationships and shed remain strong.
On Thursday, the “shedders” – as they call themselves – came together, with member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes to celebrate $25,000 worth of upgrades they’ve completed since opening in 2009.
Ms Symes said the government had contributed $16,380 so the shed could undergo two extensions and build dust-extraction equipment to remove particles from the main workshop.
Shed vice-president Kevin Dinneen said it took the men about 10 months to build the device.
“There’s so much woodwork and it makes a lot of sawdust and dust and it can become a health or OHS issue,” he said.
Mr Dinneen joined the shed at its inception.
“It keep guys in contact with each other,” he said.
“You learn various skills and you get to meet with the fellas, it’s great. Plus every two months we have a lunch here.”
During his former career as a hairdresser, Mr Dinneen used many tools of the trade but before he joined the shed, he hadn’t worked a tablesaw or plane.
Now, as well as some great friendships, Mr Dinneen has a good knowledge of woodworking and furniture making.
“The main reason a lot of guys are here is because once you retire if you’re not a sport or fishing person, there’s not a lot of other interests,” he said.
“Here you can learn new skills, or you can sit and talk to guys your own age.
“And for those with health issues, they’re able to talk about those which has got to be good.”
Ms Symes said Men’s Sheds did great work in their communities.
“We all know in regional areas you can sometimes find yourself isolated,” she said.
“To have a place to go, for men in particular, is a fantastic opportunity and very vital for regional communities.”
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