After months of hard work, the Gundagai Mens Shed has a new place to call home with the grand opening of their premises in First Avenue on Saturday morning.
From a private shed in Punch Street, the men have moved into the old Scout Hall after the building underwent a facelift to accommodate the growing group.
The local mens shed has been looking after the well being of men since its establishment in Gundagai five years ago, and a good crowd turned out to celebrate with the highly-regarded group on Saturday.
Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack and Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson were there to officially unveil the plaque, signifying the start of a new era for the shed.
Mr McCormack spoke of the importance of mens sheds, who contribute so much to their local communities.
“Mens sheds are vitally important organisations in any community, and it’s a pleasure to see the Gundagai Mens Shed take up residence in this great location,” Mr McCormack said.
“These sheds are not only important for mens’ well being, they are places where young people can go to learn the importance of a trade, of building something with your hands, because as we all know, a trade certificate is worth every bit as much as a university degree these days.
“It’s a wonderful thing to think that the men here will be able to pass their skills and knowledge on which is one of the most important aspects of this shed.
“It’s not just for the men who will be using it, it will benefit the entire community.”
Mr McCormack said, with the shed being situated on such a large block, the potential for expansion is there.
“And I will do all I can in a Federal sphere to allow for extensions in the future,” he said.
Ms Hodgkinson described the shed as a “critically important refuge”.
“It’s a place where blokes can go to do blokey stuff with other blokes,” she said.
“It’s great for the whole community, and at such a great location, right in the centre of town, I’m sure you’ll find men coming from everywhere now because the shed is so accessible. You’ve certainly hit the jackpot with the location.”
Ms Hodgkinson said the larger premises allows not only for a workshop, but for an all-important meeting room.
The premises also boasts a new disabled access ramp and disabled toilet, thanks to state government funding.
“And the Community Building Partnership grants open up mid-year, so I really encourage you to apply, for further expansion,” she said.
Mens Shed president Glen Thomson said the move was “a big job, but worth it”.
“We really couldn’t get a better location,” he said.
“We’ll keep applying for grants until we have our little castle, with a painting area, metal shop and woodwork shop,” he said.
“Now the opening is over, we can really dig in and concentrate on doing the work we do for the community.”
He said membership to the group has increased in recent months and does not look like slowing.
Mr Thomson thanked everyone involved in helping the mens shed secure the new location, and the volunteers who assisted with the move.