Men in black celebrate major milestone for Men’s Shed

By Vanessa Wiltshire

AFTER 22 months the Heathcote Men’s Shed project is at an exciting but critical point.

With the concrete slab poured and the shed shell in place, treasurer and secretary Daryl Wallace said the project is nearly complete.

“We are so close to the finish line,” he said. "All permits have been granted and our volunteers are compliant.”

“But there are some crucial items to tick off before we can apply for a certificate of occupancy.

The committee's next — and final — steps are to install internal walls, a disabled toilet, and a concrete disabled parking space. Plumbing, electrics, plus safety signs and equipment need completion.

“As you can appreciate, this will take further resources. We are in the process of applying for further grants and are confident we will get there,” Daryl said.

“Once the shed is finished, it’s going to be a wonderful space for men to work on their projects, make new friends, and just feel part of something bigger.”

Exterior is now complete.

Members of the Heathcote community are invited to a BBQ lunch at the shed on Thursday to see the progress and find out more about becoming a member or joining the crew to help operate and fundraise for the shed.

Membership will also be open to women to organise their own shed activities.

Build project manager Jim McKenzie McHarg said there were many people and organisations to thank.

“Together with state government, our amazing local community members, groups and businesses have provided us with the necessary hundreds of volunteer hours, in-kind labour, expertise and financial support to get us to where we are today,” he said.

“We’d like to thank the Victorian Government and Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes for the contribution of $60,000, made in 2018.

Frame goes up.

“We’d like to recognise Heathcote Health for their generosity in granting the site and lease arrangement. Without the commitment of CEO Dan Douglass and the board, we wouldn’t have been able to get off the ground.

“We have been supported in kind with activities almost too numerous to mention: drawings, incorporation, insurance, Men’s Shed memberships, commercial lease, post office box, promotional events, promotional T-shirts, accredited training courses, plus all work, materials and labour needed.

“The Heathcote Community House has contributed $1000 to help with the set-up cost for the group’s consumer affairs, insurance, post office box, catering and other incidentals. The machinery that was previously being used in the woodwork workshop has also been donated. Cash donations have also come from Heathcote Lions ($4000), Heathcote and District Community Bank ($4500) and the Heathcote Post Office ($500). Join the Crew will soon announce their donation following their event on November 16.

Concrete slab poured.

“Thanks to Coliban Water, City of Greater Bendigo, Peter Rowe Building, Heathcote Post Office, McIvor Medical Centre and LeRoy Earthworks.

“And last but not least, our fabulous Heathcote Men's Shed committee members: Orlando Talamo (president), Daryl Wallace (treasurer/secretary/public officer), Jim McKenzie McHarg (build project manager), Kevin Bell, Frank Dailey, Vicki Forde. Thank you to Ken Slatter for your contribution, it was greatly valued, and you are missed.

“I’m pleased to confirm succession-planning is well in motion. Since our last BBQ in August several people have expressed interest in forming new operational and fundraising committees.

“It’s been quite phenomenal. Despite the challenges — which are inevitable on any project — everything has just flowed.”

Heathcote Men's Shed BBQ, 12pm Thursday 5 December 2019.

Celebrate the build and find out how to get involved. Join as a member and/or join the organisational or fundraising working groups.

The site is at the rear of the Heathcote Hospital and is accessed by driving up Hay St and following the gravel as it circles to the right.