Lou told us that there were 1300 Men’s Sheds in Victoria. There are about 35 members at the Benalla Men’s Shed. Lou mentioned that there are also two other organisations in Benalla who have attached the Men’s Shed to their name to procure funding for their organisation.
Originally the Men’s Shed was housed in a Poultry Shed, the problem with this being that the men had to move out every time there was a poultry display such as at the Benalla Show. This was inconvenient and caused quite a deal of disruption to the Men’s Shed members.
As President of the Men’s Shed, Lou was instrumental in obtaining a grant worth $80,000 to build the current Men’s Shed. This new shed enables members to follow what their interests are. Lou spoke about members hoping to build a kitchen as part of the shed in the future.
Many of the men have worked in trades such as being Electricians or Plumbers before they retired. There are also many former farmers in the group.
Lou said that his members are interested in assisting the Benalla community where they can. Whilst they will not take work away from current tradespeople, they are very capable of changing washers on taps, changing batteries in smoke detectors, and even mowing the odd lawn where they find that the older person has been overcharged for the service.
There was a lot of humour in Lou’s presentation particularly relating to men concentrating on one task at a time, whereas ladies often multitask. Thank you, Lou for a great talk. You have a wonderful way of connecting with people.