2 June, 2022

Mens Shed in Eskcellent position

MORE than five years after the first plans to launch a Men’s Shed in Esk, the group has a place to call home.

David Laird and Paul Clifford outside the new Esk Men's Shed
David Laird and Paul Clifford outside the new Esk Men's Shed

David Laird, president of the Esk Men’s Shed, and Paul Clifford, the group’s secretary, said the idea was first raised in 2016.

“The idea was first floated about six years ago, to use the old Esk railaway station, but nothing really happened,” Mr Laird said.

“Then five years ago, Darren Cox formed a committee, they were very enthusiastic, and found a vacant block near the Esk Hospital helipad, but when they applied to the State Government to use it, they found it was not available.”

With another couple of false starts, including an attempt to use land behind the Esk Bowls Club, which turned out to be also State land, Mr Clifford said the situation improved when the Somerset Regional Council purchased the old Esk Fire Station.

“It was a two year process, the council offered it to community groups as a venue, and we were the successful tenderer, “ Mr Clifford said.

“We would like to thank the council for their assistance, we had to install disabled facilities and make some other changes, but that process is nearly done.”

With 18 foundation members, Mr Laird said the committee wanted to get the shed sorted before recruiting more members.

“The Men’s Shed is driven by members, we do plan to do woodworking and some engineering, we will have access to the equipment, but we also have some interest in art and crafting activities, we also have qualified trainers and safety officers in the group.”

Mr Laird and Mr Clifford paid tribute to early committee members, saying their work was vital.

"Glynis Clifford is our treasurer, Bill Vanderwerff, who was with the Toogoolawah Men's Shed and is now our Vice President and IT specialist, their efforts, along with everyone else involved, have worked hard to get us operational."

Importantly, Mr Laird said, the shed is on a 1,600 m2 block, giving the group room to expand as they need.

“The initial building is smaller than most Men’s Sheds, but we have room to expand in line with members needs and wishes,” Mr Laird said.

“Once we have an understanding of members’ wants, we can build additional facilities to suit the needs.”

Mr Clifford said another advantage of the shed was being close to the centre of Esk, making it easier for members to access the facilities.

“It is across the road from the Council Chambers, it is all flat walking, it is ideal for electric scooters as well.”


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