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Smiles As Men Celebrate Their Shed

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Yarraman Men’s Shed president Kerry Wyvill was all smiles at the official opening ceremony

Kirstie Schumacher, from Stanwell, with Yarraman & District Historical Society president Helen Johnson … Stanwell have supported the Men’s Shed via a Tarong Community Benefit Fund grant

June 28, 2019

The rollercoaster ride that has marked the recent history of the former DPI Forestry workshop in Yarraman ended in smiles on Friday with the official opening of the new Yarraman Men’s Shed.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Director (Forestry) Barry Underhill said the building became surplus to State Government requirements in 2010 when the nearby Yarraman forestry was sold to a new owner.

At one point, the government had proposed to knock down the building and convert the site into the new Yarraman Fire Station.

However, there was a push from the Yarraman community to preserve the facility and to put it to good use as a men’s shed.

Eventually, another site for the fire station was selected (work on this facility is due to begin during the 2019-20 financial year) and after years of uncertainty, ownership of the old Forestry workshop was transferred to the Yarraman & District Historical Society.

This followed lobbying by local MP Deb Frecklington and months of negotiations by Historical Society president Helene Johnson.

The Historical Society, in turn, has leased the facility to the Yarraman Men’s Shed.

“It’s been a long and winding journey, but we got there in the end,” Mr Underhill said.

Yarraman Men’s Shed president Kerry Wyvill said the opening of the Men’s Shed was “one of the best things to have ever happened in Yarraman”.

A big crowd turned out on Friday for the official opening by Mrs Frecklington and to enjoy a sausage sizzle lunch.

Mr Wyvill said there were many people who should be thanked for their help, but he especially singled out those who had donated equipment for the Men’s Shed and his Steering Committee who had worked very hard on the project.

Australian Men’s Shed Association Board member Len Thomson officially welcomed the Yarraman group into “the Men’s Shed world”.

He said the movement was primarily about men’s health.

“You will be amazed what you can get out of it,” he said.

Toowoomba councillor Geoff McDonald said it had been terrific to see the State Government work directly with a community group to achieve an outcome rather than go through council.

He congratulated the group on what they had achieved.

Other speakers at the opening included police, former DPI Forestry workers and representatives from the Tarong Community Benefit Fund and Bendigo Bank. Both these organisations have supported the project with community grants.

Mrs Frecklington said it was a very exciting day.

“To Helene and your team … thank you for fighting the good fight!” she said.

“It has been a long haul for our Yarraman men who have fought for more than two years to secure this facility.

“I was so pleased to support the group from the beginning to help them make this dream a reality.

“It was absolutely crazy the government would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to tear down a perfectly good building.”

Toowoomba councillors Geoff McDonald, Joe Ramia and Anne Glasheen with Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

Bendigo Bank representatives presented the Men’s Shed with a cheque for $4000 … from left, secretary Russ Ezzy, Yarraman branch manager Lorraine Wyvill, chairman Lionel Kerr and Yarraman Men’s Shed president Kerry Wyvill

DAF representatives Barry Underhill (Director Forestry) and Albert Kello (Project Manager) also spoke at the opening ceremony

Members of the Nanango, Woodford and Labrador Men’s Sheds also attended the opening … Nanango members, from left, Graham Firth, Les Franklin, John Forster and Graham Ruttledge

Russ Ezzy and Kerry Wyvill hold the tape for Deb Frecklington to cut

Guests and Men’s Shed members queued to enjoy a sausage sizzle lunch

A large crowd turned out for the official opening

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2 Responses to Smiles As Men Celebrate Their Shed

  1. Robert Head

    Congratulations Kerry and your team, together with local member Deb, for a job well done.

    This facility will provide for men’s health and well being.

    A job well done.

  2. Kay Ezzy

    Thank you for recording this very special day in Yarraman history. It was smiles all round. Well done to all concerned in making it happen.

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