It was just a few short weeks before Dick Nagle was done with retirement.
“I’d been busy for 40-odd years as a cabinet maker,” Mr Nagle said.
“Mostly furniture and fit-outs; boats and caravans. I’d give anything a crack.
“Then I retired to Mystery Bay. After sitting on the beach for three weeks I thought, ‘if this is retirement I’ve had it’.”
Mr Nagle first entered the Narooma Men’s Shed by mistake.
“I was working on a home project and looking for tools. I thought it was a hire place,” he said.
“All these guys were buzzing around. What were they doing?”
Mr Nagle quickly joined in and found working on community projects was a whole lot more fun than “twiddling my thumbs at home”.
He ended up as the shed’s resident woodwork guy. He also started teaching other sheddies some tools of the trade.
“We now have guys that can work through a task,” Mr Nagle said.
“And you know they’re going to do the job right.”
Mr Nagle emphasised the shed did quality work.
“Nothing shoddy,” he said, then joked: “Unless they want rustic. We do rustic really well!”
He said, despite charging minimal rates, the men’s shed was careful not to step on commercial toes.
“In fact, retail outlets are sending their fiddly stuff to us,” Mr Nagle said as he showed off the group’s facilities and tools.
Mr Nagle said some men’s groups were there for a cuppa and a book chat, but described the men at the Narooma shed as an active and outgoing bunch.
“It can put some off – the busyness – but if they come along a couple of times they’ll soon fit right in,” he said.
“We are here to help do stuff for the community, to improve it: We fix broken chairs and broken minds.
“That means taking people in and giving them purpose or doing something for them.
“I would probably be in a nut-farm (if I wasn't at the shed). I don’t want to sit on my bum at home all day.”