It was a dream come true for the members of the Narooma Men's Shed when their long awaited new facility was officially opened on Sunday, February 21.
Narooma Men's Shed committee president Bernie Perrett said, "It was a grand opening to the shed with Senator Jim Molan, Andrew Constance MP, Kristy McBain MP and Liz Innes Eurobodalla Council mayor all in attendance to wish us well on this new bold adventure.
"The Narooma Men's Shed committee has worked tirelessly over the last three years to have this facility with the official opening on Sunday making their dream a reality.
"It was a warm blue Narooma day when 140 guests along with Narooma Men's Shed committee members gathered at the new facility and saw for themselves the extent and potential of the project."
Mr Perrett said the principal donors were all their to see how their seed funding was used and came away marvelling as to what had been achieved with so little.
"Collectively, seed funding amounted to about 25 per cent of the project on completion and without this funding the dream of a new community shed, would have remained simply a dream," Mr Perrett said.
Narooma Men's Shed vice president and job project manager, Wall Sheehan said, "Investing by the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments in this way, into this local community has not only achieved a fourfold positive economic benefit for the local area, but more significantly, a tenfold improvement to our social cohesion and community engagement.
"A community project like this one should not have been hard to do, but sometimes the barriers and the hurdles seemed insurmountable," Mr Sheehan said.
"The shed would like to sincerely thank, Andrew Constance, Fiona Kotvojs and Liz Innes for actively helping overcome hurdles, such as land, money and regulations because with the meagre budget, the project was always going to be a difficult task.
"From the outset, the club made the decision to spend our money where we could in the local community and it paid off in spades as local contractors and suppliers got involved making it their own," Mr Sheehan said.
"This can be seen quite clearly in the quality of what they have helped to produce and we thank them all," he said.
"The Narooma Men's shed members, while dealing with the COVID-19 restrictions during the build, did not let it dampen their spirits, the many good times and lots of hard work, but also the camaraderie, fun and general satisfaction in participating in the building of this facility," president Perrett said.
"One member on leaving the site after the opening ceremony said that the important thing for him was that, 'I can say to myself, my family and my grandchildren - I helped build this magnificent Community Shed'," he said.
The Narooma Men's Shed committee said they would also love to thank the Narooma Community Choir who came along to the opening and sang the National Anthem, Lean On Me and a song composed by Wal Sheehan - Down at the Men's Shed.
"The Men's shed is simply a gem. It practices every day, fellowship, camaraderie, social harmony, providing a focus to keeping an active mind, sharing skills and simply having fun," they said.