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Menzshedders a very happy bunch

The sun came out for the chaps belonging to the Hastings Menzshed yesterday (August 10) – the first time it had been seen after five days of stormy weather.

The 50-plus members had their official opening on Wednesday afternoon, after just three months of fashioning recycled timber into workbenches, gathering up welding, woodworking and other tools, and organising a roster that means the club can be open three days a week.

They were brave, refusing to postpone their outdoor opening in the wake of nearly a week of torrential rain and freezing temperatures – and it paid off.

A short run of speeches, featuring Hastings District Council co-ordinator John Dawson, councillor Kevin Watkins and Menzshed Hastings chairman Brian Rutledge, kicked off the ceremony. Mr Dawson had been on the rapid journey from go to whoa, and congratulated the men on their ability to get the project up and running in such a short time. It had taken just 10 months from first idea to having a 55-strong club with dedicated workshop set up ready to tackle projects.

“This initiative is a perfect example of Council being able to support community-led visions and goals. Whenever the community steps up to take responsibility for itself – particularly for its own destiny and wellbeing – it is a very powerful step and an important occasion,” Mr Dawson told the 60-strong crowd.

The Menzshed New Zealand movement, to which the Hastings shed belongs, is about giving retired gents a place to gather and use their skills. The key missions include helping men through life events such as retirement, relocation, redundancy, bereavement or health issues. See:

4 October 2017

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