Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Frames for Aboriginal Weavers

It's always surprising what we are asked to make in the Shed and this is an example of a prototype of a weaving frame for a group of Aboriginal women.  Up till now the members of the group have been working on the legs of upturned dining chairs, hardly an item that lends itself to quality work (and where do they sit?)

The original 'mud map' the Shed was given was bears little if any resemblance to what we ended up with but this final trail model was received very warmly and has been taken away for 'field testing and evaluation'.

We expect, that if approved, we will be asked to make at least 6 more frames so have begun looking for laminated board to put aside in readiness for the bulk order.

Target Practice

 The men had trouble hitting the bullseye until Fred agreed to provide an extra incentive from then on  they had no trouble at all in scoring a perfect 10!

At the request of a community organisation the Shed was asked to make a 'Football Passing Target' for a festival day.

Fred, being the skilled tradesman that he is not only made the target to stand up in the strongest of winds but to fold flat for transport in the back seat of a car and then painted the target to stand out and attract attention.

We were proud to be able to place the Bateau Bay Men's Shed name on the finished job for all to see.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Our First Market Stall

 Three years after opening we have joined the "Market Stall Set" with our fist ever stall at the Long Jetty Senior Citizens Polling Day Market.
With plenty of quality toys to sell and well trained and enthusiastic sales assistants on hand to persuade shoppers to open their wallets the morning was a great success and well worth the effort.
It was also a wonderful opportunity to speak to people about the benefits of the Shed movement and we may even gain new members from our    attendance.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shed Presidents Report - 4th AGM


Welcome everyone to the 4th AGM of the Bateau Bay Men’s Shed.

It gives me great pleasure to present the Bateau Bay Men’s Shed Presidents Report to you this morning after what has been another very productive year.

This is the 3rd Annual Report I have had the pleasure of presenting since the Shed held it’s inaugural AGM in September 2009 and each year has seen developments that improve the facilities for all members.

In January it was decided to reduce our opening hours as very few members were attending the afternoon sessions.  While this may have affected a small number of men most have arranged their schedules and now attend during the morning opening hours. Attendances have continued to be strong and in the past 12 months the average attendance on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday has been 21. Tuesday continues to be the busiest day with an average attendance over the past 12 months of 26.

The Shed continues to be actively supportive of community groups and community events. The Erina Before and After School Care group are regular visitors collecting materials for their students and during the July school vacation we visited them to conduct a woodworking class with 20 children making serviette holders. Speaking engagements have been conducted at Reynolds Court, Elderslee and Kia Lodge Retirement Villages. Our proximity to, and close relationships with, the Tuggerah Lakes Community Centre means we are regularly asked to assist them in small and some very large projects for themselves and their clients.

A major task during the year was to make 4 Marimba musical instruments for St. John Fisher School at Tumbi Umbi.  This was a major undertaking but the rewards were great when those involved were able to attend a full school assembly and listen to the students of all years play them for us. So successful were these full sized Marimbas that were have since made 4 Mini ones capable of being carried from room to room and school to school.

Our outreach continued with a workshop day for a group of Argentinean and Uruguayan men and women. Shed members worked alongside our Latino visitors in a day of using machinery and hand tool to make a take home project. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all and it is hoped that arrangements can be made for a similar function next year.

While the development and modifications to the Mobile Dental Van sponsored by the Ourimbah University has been somewhat of a problem project the hours spent by Kevin Armstrong and his helpers has seen this outreach project meet the needs of so many people on the Coast. Reports indicate that now that it is operational it is constantly booked out by clients.

I cannot fail to make special mention of the efforts of members for their support of the toy project for the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal during last years Mens’ Shed Central Coast Christmas function. That a truck was needed to take the donations away is something that all who were involved should feel very proud. To make the day more enjoyable the entertainment from the country singer Adam Harvey added something special to the occasion.

During the year we benefited from a guest speaker from Area Health on the subject of blood borne diseases (hepatitis) who was so interesting that she found it difficult to get away from members wanting to ask questions.
Then as a change of pace the visit of speaker from the Vintage Fire Engines Association along with a fully restored 1971 Fire Engine drew more than 30 members and visitors to the Shed.

The year ahead holds a number of challenges we have not faced in the previous years. Our operating budget will need to be considered very carefully and unless additional funding sources can be arranged our spending will need to be reduced substantially. This will be detailed by our Treasurer during his Financial Report.

This Shed is a ‘palace’ compared to many Sheds with equipment and facilities almost second to none but it will not continue to be so if we don’t look forward and plan for the future. As we move into our 4th full year of operations there may be a tendency to leave the management of the Shed to those who have done it before. But as we all get older and as we are all volunteers there can be no guarantee or expectation that the management of this Shed can be left to a few.  I see the coming year as one of change with the understanding that Bateau Bay Men’s Shed will only continue to operate with the success it has to date if others are prepared to accept additional responsibilities.

I wish to thank the outgoing committee for their efforts during the year and especially their willingness to open and close the Shed on their rostered ‘Shed Supervisor’ days. To Graham Craike, Barry French, George Madden, Alex Lee, Richard Thorpe and Bruce Tubnor my thanks to you all. Formal Committee meetings have been kept to a minimum this year as most of the day to day governance issues are managed during informal discussions but for those scheduled meetings your willingness to be involved has been invaluable.

Missing today is a very special person whose involvement in this place has been an uplifting association for all of us. This is not simply because of her links with ADSSI but with the personal friendships that have developed over the last 3 years.  I speak of course of Colleen Cooper who is no longer employed by ADSSI.  Colleen has said she will keep in contact with us and when possible will visit so we will not loose contact and the friendships we have seen grow will continue.

In finishing I want to pay special tribute to Kevin Armstrong ( Vice President/Secretary) and Nigel Stretton (Treasurer) for the enormous amount of work they have done during the year.  Most of what they do passes unnoticed but with Kevin using his skills in obtaining funding, to name just one point, and Nigel ensuring money is banked on time and bills paid overnight the rest of us are able to spend time woking on projects in the knowledge that all is under control in the “command centre” Nigel has indicated he will not be standing for Treasurer again as he feels he needs a break after 3 years and he will be very missed.

I wish the incoming Executive and Management Committee a successful year confident in the knowledge that this Shed has firmly established management policies and day to day working arrangements that have positive influences on all members and those in our community with whom we come into contact.

John Sharples
President Bateau Bay Men’s Shed Inc.
4 September 2012