Narooma Scout hall has seen better days, but nothing 50 blokes with the right tools can’t fix.
The Narooma Men’s Shed has signed a 15-year lease, with a five-year option, on the grounds behind the hall - and hope to also lease and refresh the building.
They plan to build three workshops in the grounds, giving the members their own home after a long campaign.
Committee member Walter Sheehan thanked the shed’s current landlords, Col and Kris Macauley, who have hosted the group at Glasshouse Rocks Road for seven years.
“They have done an excellent job in letting us getting the formation of the men's shed,” he said.
“We have grown year by year. We have introduced new activities and increased our membership and how we have looked after the community.
“We are now outgrowing that and we need to find our own home so we can forge our own direction.”
Mr Sheehan was speaking at the announcement of the new lease on Friday, February 8.
“This an amazing event after so long. I am absolutely beside myself to see it happening,” he said.
“The men have always been willing to put the effort it and when you know you have that kind of lease behind you, anything that needs to be done or made will be done.”
On Friday, he said he did not yet know if the members of the Montague Art and Craft Society, who share the Glasshouse Rocks Rd site, would also relocate.
“That is subject to discussion. We are some months away from getting anything on the ground here.”
John Steele is on the sub-committee appointed to find a new home for the men's shed.
"It is a great result,” he said.
“It is good to see the community involvement in this, the work of the (Eurobodalla Shire) council.
“We have to give credit to the mayor (Liz Innes) who has worked extremely hard to find a solution for us, along with (Bega MP) Andrew Constance, who has taken a great interest. We are very appreciative; sometimes is frustrating, these things do take time, but we are very pleased.”
Mr Constance also thanked Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Eden Monaro, Fiona Kotvojs, for her efforts to secure a new home for the shed.
She toured the shed in October, was impressed at the range of activities and began lobbying on its behalf.
Ms Innes congratulated the men’s shed and thanked all involved.
Mr Steele said the new site offered a chance for bespoke facilities: “The vision is to have three sheds, covering about 450 square metres of shed space; a main shed which is about 200 square metres and two smaller sheds, about 100-120 square metres each.”
He said members had funding for the first stage and hoped to secure more, with in-kind support from tradies such as long-term backer, Narooma builder Gerry Watson, who attended the launch.
Mr Sheehan said it was a chance to refresh the scout hall, which copped some unplanned paint jobs after the brigade’s membership declined.
“They are like us, they don't want it to be an eyesore, but a used community asset,” he said.
“We are keen to bring it back to condition we think it should be.”
Mr Sheehan said men’s sheds mattered.
“When they are lonely, men like to talk to other men,” he said.
“We sit and talk and they let out their problems.
“We try to look after where they are at their stage of life, especially if they are without a partner.
“Men just bounce things off in a friendly, but helpful way. That is the highest priority for the men's shed, over and above what we do for the community. It is men looking after men.”
However, twice a week, the new shed is likely to be opened to women and children.
“I see Monday and Wednesday becoming community shed days,” Mr Sheehan said.
“My wife is over there and she is knocking on the door and a couple of the other wives want to come in and start learning skills, particularly in woodwork.
“I have grandchildren who go to the Bega workshop. They are only eight and 12 and they go to the women's workshop and learn woodwork. It is very pleasing to me to see children wanting to get involved in the old arts.”
He has his eye on the “black arts”.
“One shed will be a metal working shed. I would like to learn and I am sure plenty in Narooma would like to,” he said.