Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bateau Bay Men's Shed 2013 AGM

At the 2013 AGM attended by the Hon Member for Dobell, Craig Thompson, Deputy Mayor Wyong Shire, Councillor Lyn Webster, Business Manager Adssi Home Living Australia, Kristen Whitney and 37 members of Bateau Bay Men's Shed Inc. the following were elected to the Shed Executive Committee and the General Committee for the following year.

President: John Sharples
Vice President: Graham Craike
Secretary/ Public Officers: Peter Crabbe & Robert Corlet
Treasurer: Robert Herod
Committee: Kevin Armstrong
                    Ron Belshaw
                    Barry French
                    Fred Murray

The President's Report for 2013 follows:-


Welcome everyone to the 5th Annual General Meeting 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 4th 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.

It’s not until one looks back to last September (thank goodness for diaries) that it becomes obvious just how busy we have been this year.  Let me simply list a range of activities with which we have been involved.

With a leaning toward a healthy lifestyle for mature aged men Hearing Australia recently conducted hearing tests in the shed, the walking group is gaining momentum and has featured on local ABC radio, guest speakers from Alzheimer’s Australia have led discussions during Tool Box meetings, Fair Trading on how to avoid scams, or how to get into scams we hadn’t previously heard about, and a guest speaker led discussions on ‘falls prevention’.  Members responded to the Wyong/Gosford Councils Positive Ageing Strategy Surveys and we enjoyed the company of an official photographer and staff from Council also attended the Shed, took photos and conducted interviews as part of this initiative.

Again this year we welcomed a first year nursing student from the University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus as he participated in 32 hours of observation as part of his course work in Primary Health Care.

On a lighter side the Seniors Week BBQ’s while not well attended led to a connection with Karagi Court and the Free Masons Central Coast and resulted in a substantial grant to purchase specialist machinery.

We had fun working with the Woodport Before and After School Care students during school holidays and have developed strong links with this group.  As well we entertained a group of students, parents and teachers from the Tumbi Explore and Develop Childcare Centre for an hour when about 20 preschoolers swarmed around the benches hammering nails into anything lying around.  When they left taking with them all sorts of wonderful contraptions that only they knew what they were we were so pleased they were only with us for a short time.  But then we immediately arranged for another visit.

In July we visited the Cynthia Street Community Centre and conducted a class in basic home maintenance such as fixing leaking taps, repairing holes in gyprock and door lock maintenance.

Men from Magnolia Manor Aged Care village at Kanwal have become regular visitors and we have been able to make Alzheimer’s Activity Boards, Sensory Boards, and games boards for use by their clients. Men from this group enjoy just being in a functioning shed for a little time as it brings back many memories and allows them to tell their stories.

We accepted invitations to Fairhaven Fete, Lake Haven Masonic Village Men’s Shed (for a most wonderful BBQ) and enjoyed pretending to be chefs at a Friday BBQ at Bunnings.

A very pleasing community connection we have recently made is with the Down Syndrome Education Association of Queensland. After seeing photos of a Slope Board we made for a local 5-year-old girl we were asked to provide them with a sample and from this 10 more have been ordered. Even better, a member has negotiated with a local carrier to deliver them to their office in a Brisbane suburb at no cost.  We have also been asked to build a number of sturdy support frames for special needs children that will allow them safe access to a kitchen bench or table so as to be able to help around the home.

The Operation Christmas Box program has again been well supported by members and by the amount of goods already in store we should reach our target of 25 shoe boxes to send to needy children in third world countries. 

And then there have been all those small projects that are too many to mention for people who simply call in seeking assistance for some repairs, advice or with a request to have something made.

With all this activity we have only had time for 1 excursion this year but the visit to Cockatoo Island was an experience we all enjoyed.

And most importantly we arranged a new morning tea supplier so on Tuesday we have no trouble filling more than 30 men with enough left for the next day as well.  I know our members don’t just come on Tuesday for the quality of cakes but it is certainly a draw card.

During the past 12 months our average attendance was 22 members a day. This shows the importance this group has for many men in our community. While a number attend each day many allocate 1 day a week to spend some time enjoying the company of like-minded men in a productive and friendly environment.

A report such as this would not be complete without a special mention of the support we have received from Adssi Home Living Australia. The ongoing support from Adssi, from the day we were offered the use of this building up until the present time has been nothing but outstanding. Not only for the material support but also the regular healthy living activities in which we have cooperated. This venture continues to flourish and plans for further joint activities are being discussed.  

This Shed is a ‘palace’ compared to many Sheds with equipment and facilities almost second to none but this will not continue to be so if we don’t look forward and plan for the future. As we move into our 5th full year there may be a tendency to leave the management of the Shed to those who have done it before. But as we all getting older and 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. There is a saying - nobody can do everything but everybody can do something.  The outstanding success of this Shed is that there are so many members who step forward to help others and to work in the community to make our little part of the Coast a better place in which to live.

With that said I am announcing that at the end of this coming year I will not be nominating for the position of Shed President but have every intention of nominating for other positions. After 5 years I believe it is time for someone else to step into this position and intend giving them my full support.

I wish to thank the outgoing committee for their efforts during the year and especially their willingness to accept responsibility for regularly supervising the workshops. To Graham Craike, Barry French, Richard Thorpe, Linden Scotts and Kevin Armstrong, to Fred Murray who deputised when Bruce Tubnor took his caravan to Darwin to escape the cold and to Peter Crabbe who replaced Nigel Stretton when in the UK, 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.

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

Bateau Bay Men’s Shed
4 September 2013

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