February 1, 2021
Nanango Men’s Shed members have huge plans for their new building, but it’s also going to be a big project which will keep them busy for months!
The former Nanango SES building, which was located opposite the Nanango Cultural Centre in George Street, was shifted to the Baptist Church’s property in Mount Stanley Road on January 19.
It’s not a replacement for their old workshop, which went up in flames last November, but a planned extension which was already in the pipeline before the disastrous fire.
The new building will house a kitchen, offices, toilets, first aid room and library as well as a large, air-conditioned meeting room where men can just sit and chat, or maybe play darts or read.
The SES building consists of five dongas which in a former life were welded together.
It was donated to the Nanango Men’s Shed by South Burnett Regional Council but the move cost $33,000, a sum which is being subsidised by a $10,000 grant from Stanwell and $17,000 from Heritage Nanango.
The men plan to erect a deck on the front with a ramp to link it to a new workshop shed next door – which will be built once insurers sort out what’s happening with the current burnt out building.
Secretary John Forster told southburnett.com.au the workshop building had been written off and will have to be demolished.
Most of the contents, including machinery, have also been written off.
Detectives from Kingaroy CIB are still investigating the fire, which is believed to have been deliberately lit in a pile of pallets which were pushed up against the side of the shed.
The blaze has stopped the men from working on projects but it hasn’t stopped them from getting together.
They still meet regularly on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm, but are currently using a side hall at the Baptist Church as a temporary room.
They also meet most Saturdays – except on the first Saturday of the month, when they’re at the Nanango markets; and the third Saturday when they man a barbecue outside the Nanango IGA.
Chair Allan Sheppard said offers to help the group had flooded in from Men’s Sheds across Queensland since the fire.
But people had also been very helpful in regards to their latest project.
He singled out Rob Schulte, from Schulte’s Plumbing, and Scott Lee, from Ultimate Electrical, who had offered to donate time and materials to hook up the SES building.
Jamie Larsen, from Burnett House Removals, had also gone “above and beyond” during the move.
South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt and local councillor Roz Frohloff had also strongly supported the project.
“We really needed a building like this, a quiet area for the members. It will be a total work-free zone,” Allan said.
New members are always welcome at the Nanango Men’s Shed, but Allan stressed it’s not just for men who have retired.
Membership is open to all men aged 18-plus. The oldest member at present is 89.
- Related article: Men’s Shed Goes Up In Flames