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Dedication of building heralds the start of a new chapter for Rockhampton Men’s Shed

Published:09 September 2020

The new Rockhampton Men's Shed structure was dedicated in a recent event at CQUni'versity's Rockhampton North Campus. (Top) Rockhampton Men's Shed Committee Chair Jim Lawler addresses the audience. (Bottom) Chair Jim Lawler, CQUni Associate Vice-Chancellor Rockhampton Kim Harrington, Iwasaki Foundation Chair Desley Rial, Men's Shed Senior Vice-President Les Brooks and Lifetime Member Marion Lawler. (Middle) The new shed.

The Rockhampton Men’s Shed entered a new phase this week with the dedication and naming of the first new shed at CQUniversity’s Rockhampton North Campus.

The new shed was constructed as part of a planned three-structure $450 000 precinct, funded by The Iwasaki Foundation and other organisations, including Hopkins’ Brothers and The Caves Quarry.

Representatives from some of these organisations and CQUni joined with Rockhampton Men’s Shed Inc. members yesterday to officially name the building The Iwasaki Foundation Shed.

The Rockhampton Men's Shed Inc. has been located at CQUni since 2014 and has secured a further 25-year lease for the new parcel of land – opposite the C&K Ngundanoo Imbabee Community Childcare Centre.

During the dedication Rockhampton Men’s Shed Committee Chairman Jim Lawler said the new shed would allow the organisation to continue to help the community.

“The Men’s Shed is anything the members want it to be… the shed’s other purpose is to retain those who have been made redundant and raise their self-esteem,” he said.

“This shed is not my shed, it’s not the committee’s shed – it’s our members’ shed. It belongs to them and the community of Rockhampton.”

The newly erected building will house the woodwork and metalwork sections, building two will be the arts and crafts sections, a gym, storage and first aid room. The third building will be a recreation centre. It’s expected the new precinct will attract more members.

Jim said the members themselves had put in a collective $30 000 over the years towards the Men’s Shed.

CQUniversity Associate Vice-Chancellor Rockhampton Kim Harrington congratulated the membership.

“You are inspiring with what you have achieved,” she said.

“Every single one of you as members of the Rockhampton Men’s Shed really play an important part – you each are contributing something of value and that’s important to keep the web of our community together, particularly during these times.”

Iwasaki Foundation Chairman Desley Rial said the dedication of the shed had been “a long, long journey”.

“Everything like this starts with an idea or a dream and probably eighty-five per cent of those dreams will fall by the wayside because it takes dedicated people to stay at it and go with the blows. The committee will know they have been knocked down and bounced back,” she said.

“It’s a great wonderful step that couldn’t happen without the university. Our part was easy we just give the money, but we don’t give it lightly.

“When the men’s shed started it filled a huge need – seeing the benefits the Men’s Shed plays in the lives of the men in our community is just amazing.

“This shed I can’t believe it’s here because it’s been so long in the coming, but it’s an absolute credit to you all.”

She said she took great pleasure in dedicating the new shed in the Rockhampton.

“To everyone who passes through its doors, to gain the pleasure, the camaraderie, the skills, and what they’re doing with each other and for many, many years to come, this is going to be here as a tribute to all of you.”

Lifetime member Marion Lawler spoke on behalf of the Women’s Auxiliary and said that with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot of social isolation within the elderly community and the Men’s Shed played an important part in keeping people connected.

She said the new sheds would also allow the ladies to have their own space as well to bring more ladies in, particularly widows, divorcees and those experiencing domestic violence.

“What you do you don’t do for the glory of it you do it because you want to do it and hopefully when these three sheds are up the community will realise what we’ve done to help them on their journey through life,” she said.

CQUniversity is proud to support a community group such as the Rockhampton Men’s Shed and be a part of the value it is adding to the whole community.

For more information on Rockhampton Men's Shed visit www.rockhamptonmensshed.org.au . Or, to donate to the project, visit https://rockhamptonmensshed.org.au/index.php/donations