January 2021

I would like to thank our members for putting their faith in me again this year as President. I am sure we will achieve many varied and worthwhile projects this year. One never knows what will come through the front door.
We are closing in on finishing the work on the mezzanine floor. The elevator has been ordered. There are still a few small items to finalise but they are in hand.
A few of our members have had health problems. I suppose that is to be expected at our time of life. Ron Braun has had a knee replacement. He is no longer the man he was.
Now a big concern at our shed. Complacency when using machines. We have had two serious injuries. These two incidents could have been much worse. I can assure you the difference between half an inch and an inch on a machine can be the difference between the total loss of a finger or just a bad cut. Members should not be frightened to use a machine, but they should be cautious at all times. Concentrate on what you are doing. The lines around the machines are there for a purpose. Don’t enter that area if someone is using the machine. It is distracting.
I know everyone is sick to death of hearing about Covid. However keep it in mind. We have introduced a few new rules to assist with social distancing. Four people at a table. It is not a suggestion it is a rule. There is no need for everyone to sit down together at morning tea. Stagger your time. It is illegal for ten people to gather around the coffee, sugar and urn. While I am not paranoid about covid I am conscience of keeping my social distance. You should be too.
One of our newer members Paul has offered to run a fitness course. I know now, none of us will get to run a marathon, but I am sure a health programme will benefit us all if we commit to participating. More on this later.
Paint. We still have a vast amount of paint. If any member needs some paint please see Ken Ryan. Do not just take it on yourself to take it. You are welcome to what you need but ask first. It was very disappointing last time we offered paint, a couple of members just helped themselves.
The biggest item that we have coming up in the near future is a working bee. Please make some time to come and help. It is a great time to interact with other members in a more relaxed atmosphere. To explain a few points of the working bee. The collection of wood dust on beams around the shed is a fire hazard. The dust will virtually explode if it comes in contact with fire.

We have a notice board with jobs that need attention. If you would like to take on some of these projects, there is no need to wait for the working bee.
Committee meetings. I would like to point out that any member of our shed is permitted to come to a committee meeting to witness the working of the shed. You are also permitted to sight the minutes of any meeting. If you wish to attend a meeting please request to do so. You will not be permitted to speak at the meeting, but your attendance is more that welcome.
It was approved at our recent meeting to purchase a bandsaw mill. This will enable us to mill larger pieces of timber in a more accurate and much safer way.
Prior to the working bee. If members have had jobs stored in the store rooms for some time please attend to them. If you want them come and get them. We are getting far to many items stored and neglected.
Finally I would like to make a point to all members. My position as president and the position of all the committee is for the betterment of our shed. At every meeting I am amazed at the dedication of these members who are prepared to go that little bit further. To take extra time and responsibility. It is not just the meeting times. Members also carry out work away from the shed to improve it for the general members.

If you have any ideas for improvements in the shed please approach a committee member and discuss it. If you have a concern - if you don’t let us know we can’t fix it. My idea of an organisation is an inverted triangle. The small base is the committee supporting the larger section the members.

I am looking forward to sharing a great 2021 with all our members.

President Tom Skinner

December 2020

December 2020

This year has been a little out of the ordinary. I believe we have come through it with flying colours. We never know what tomorrow brings, nor should we. It is how we handle the situations dealt to us, that we can stand up and be counted. If we listen to the media telling us we are confused and undecided, that is what we will be. Don’t listen to the negative ideas presented, but look at the positives that we can take to make our lives better.

It was a bad time for the shed with us having to close for around six weeks. But the positive from that is the importance of the shed and it’s aims being pointed out to us. Members finally being able to come back and admit they had been at a loss while the shed was closed.
When I first joined the shed, I thought it was a facility for men to come and carry on their ambitions to do woodwork. A place providing tools and ideas to fill in time. How I was wrong. I now see the benefits of social activities. Men talking to men, sharing activities, teaching skills, learning other skills and understanding other men’s needs and apprehensions.
If you take time have a look at the positives we have attained during a year that was supposed to bring us down. A monthly garage sale. Positive. A time when members put aside their usual aims and combine to sell unwanted equipment and material to the shed’s benefit. The social activity Friday afternoon preparing the shed for the Saturday. Members who would normally be working on individual projects now working side by side. The asset to our shed financially overwhelming. The clearing of unwanted goods and material essential to our work areas. Thankyou gentlemen.

Another positive the shed has obtained this year is the “Coffs Harbour Community Men’s Shed Symphony Orchestra.” As they say, “From small acorns great oaks grow.”
“We have, From a few nuts. Who knows?” Congratulations go to our music members.

I hope in the future more diverse activities can develop within our shed.

I nearly forgot to mention our new “Market Garden” Another new initiative. “Give the man a carrot, feed him for a day. Teach him to farm, feed him for life."

Unfortunately, this year we lost two valuable members of our shed, Barry Guest and Jim Cleal. While it can be expected with the age of our members this will be an ongoing situation, it is still a great loss and it brings us to the realisation we are not immortal. 

I would like to thank all members who have given me support during my year as president. It has been a pleasure and I know you will all give your support to our new president and committee.

I remind members, everyone in our shed is a volunteer. The input you put into our shed is beyond comprehension. While personal jobs are welcome, remember that our shed will not survive if we don’t apply some of our efforts to support the shed.

I would like to make a point here. We have a shed that would be the envy of any shed in Australia. A shed that has been provided for our use. This has been attained by a few members’ ambitions and goals. We could count on one hand who these members are. I am not going to mention names, but please look at what we have. Appreciate what we have, look after what we have, and endeavour to help improve what we have. 

Just to add the icing on the cake, this year we had our dust extractor installed. A great safety asset. Up till this was installed, the only dust extractor I ever used was my nose. Breathe it in today breath it out tomorrow.

Our new jointer has arrived. Look out anyone who puts a nail over it. Handled properly it will give us quality work.

New Jointer - still unpacked as of the AGM

 We also have obtained our DA for the mezzanine improvements. Our elevator has been ordered. Early next year this will be installed along with a few minor works that are needed.

It is my aim to see that each member achieves the best possible result for their efforts. Look at what you have made or produced. Is it the best you could have done? If not with a little help could you do it better.

My apologies. I am not a good teacher. Something for me to improve on no doubt. I try to explain in 60 seconds what it took me 60 years to learn and can’t understand why you don’t get it. Bear with me, don’t worry if you feel like telling me to slow down and be more patient. Please do so. I will try harder. As Anthony Cummins said after Bart’s death – “He taught me all I know. The only problem is he didn’t teach me all he knew”.

I would like to add the shed’s thanks to Ken Howe who took onboard the treasurer job when Clive was forced to step down. Also thanks to Garth Howard who put his hand up and took on the treasurer position.

Last but not least, thanks to our managers Robert and David who keep the shed running smoothly in spite of some of the pressure put on them.  

 I wish everyone a very safe Christmas., blessed with love and harmony. May 2021 be the year we rebound with positive thoughts and aspirations.

Tom Skinner
President Coffs Harbour Community Men’s Shed.

November 2020

November 2020

Here we are again at the end of another year. The older I get the quicker they seem to turn up. I am very pleased with the progress of the shed over this last year. It seems there is always something occurring that is making for a much better shed for everyone. I have been very ably supported by a lot of people this year. Their ongoing efforts in supporting our shed is gratefully appreciated. I would like to give them my thanks.

We have had the opportunity this year to work on some special projects. The Art Deco table that has just been finished is one such project. It is a fine example of that period. I would suggest if you are interested please take the time to examine it. When I say take the time I don’t mean just to look. This is a fine piece of tradesmanship. I guarantee that if this was on a an antique program it would be spoken of, as a very fine piece.

Unusual jobs also flow in and then out the door. We never know what we will be designing and making. One of our latest was a pair of Angel wings. The problem we had there was to find a person Holy enough to make them. One of our newer members, Chris, came to the fore. He has not been a member long enough to have been contaminated with the evil ways of some members. A fine job appreciated by the Angel.

I would like to remind members. Our men’s Shed is exactly that.  “Our” Not mine, not the committee. Our.

If you do not treat the machines with care, the result affects you as well as everyone else. Machines allow us to do things so much easier. Please treat them as you might your golf clubs, fishing gear, your car. Do not force anything through a machine. If you have to force it, something is wrong. Stop. Ask. 

One of our bigger gains this year has been the growth with “The Shedders” - our inhouse “Boys Band’
(I use the word Boy’s here very loosely. When you think about it, it was the last century when any of them were boys.) Beetles, Bee Gees, Boy’s Own. Eat your heart’s out. With the improvement in this area I feel the local council had better get their act together with our Entertainment Venue.

For everyone’s input to our shed this year I give you my personal thanks. I know you will continue in this vein next year.

I wish you and your families a Blessed Christmas and may next year be everything you could hope for.

Tom Skinner
Coffs Harbour Community Men’s Shed

October 2020

October 2020

On the good news front, the Coffs Harbour City Council have approved our Development Application for a change of use for our mezzanine area. When the work is finished we will have an elevator to assist members using the upstairs areas. Ross Bryant of R.B. Consulting has very generously offered his services to us, in ensuring all the necessary work is carried out to Council conditions.

On a sad note we lost another member recently. Jim Cleal. Jim was a pleasure to interact with and enjoy some of his many tall stories.

On a very serious note we had an injury occur at the shed recently. This is a timely reminder of complacency creeping in. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are the unexpected can happen. A lot of our machines are dangerous. You should not be afraid to use them, but extreme care should be taken.

I am forever telling members to stop cutting small pieces of timber on bench saws. We do not have a bench saw suitable for cutting small pieces of timber. If that is what is needed please come and see me. There are ways to do it without incurring a lost finger or two.

I would also like to put in a reminder here. Our Shed is exactly that. Our Shed. Members don’t seem to understand they are just as responsible for cleaning, washing up and general inhouse maintenance. One of my few complaints is members not putting things back where they got them. Don’t leave items and offcuts on machines. If you use something put it back where you found it or where it should have been. As I said this is our shed. 

I was disappointed to hear some members think the Committee is unapproachable. We are - if you don’t approach us. Personally I feel we have a very efficient and conscientious committee.

Over all I am happy with the progress of our shed, we have work in front of us till at least Christmas. Please come in and make use of our shed.

President Tom Skinner

September 2020

September 2020

Work in the shed is progressing well. A new 9 inch jointer has been ordered. This will allow us to dress wider pieces of timber. Members still need to check any timber that is put through machines. I had only just replaced the blades in the jointer a few weeks ago. Someone then took 2 chips out through not checking for nails. This is most frustrating. Not only do we have to pay to have the blades reground. It is about an hour to replace and reset the new blades. They have to be set. They cannot just be screwed in. The nail detector is very sensitive. (A lot like me.) You need to check and see that it is adjusted before using it. If you don’t know how, please ask. Not only the nail detector. If you are unsure of any tools please ask. Especially circular saws. If you want to cut something a little unusual. Come and see me. I would rather spend some time with you, explain something, than time trying to replace a finger.

If something is rubbish - dispose of it. If you don’t know what is rubbish, again ask. I was looking for a tin of stain. I found one. No stain in the tin, no lid on the tin. WHY WOULD YOU PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF?
A plastic dish in the store room. 2 holes in it. Can anyone tell me what you would use it for? Throw it out.
6 INCH LONG PIECES OF TIMBER DON’T GO BACK ON THE RACKS. Come on guys. This sort of thing is so disappointing.

We had an incident recently. A member claimed the Committee was unapproachable. I don’t believe this. I have requested Ray our media magnate to include the list of Committee members In this News Letter. We even have some member’s photos on the wall in the kitchen. If you want to ask or put in a suggestion please do.

On the occasion of our workshop meeting at smoko. It is not one way. If you want to say something that is a great opportunity.

Personally I am very pleased the way our shed operates. I know we have minor items that need attention,
but I don’t know of any business or organisation that doesn’t. As long as we communicate and try our best that is all I can ask for. I think we have not only a great facility but a great bunch of members.

Keep up the good work and  the interaction with each other. Also remember we still fall within the Covid-19 pandemic. Stay safe.

President Tom Skinner

August 2020

August 2020

There is no doubt members of the Coffs Harbour Community Men’s Shed share a facility the envy of most Sheds Australia wide. This has been achieved by the forward thinking and dedication of a few members long before I came on the scene. I am not going to even try to name them as I would be sure to miss someone. As current members we can give these members our respect and thanks by treating the shed and equipment with our greatest care.
It has been very rewarding to see some of our members step out of their comfort zone and carry out commission jobs. I was most impressed by 2 of these jobs that were done. I would encourage members to take advantage of the tools and machinery and most of all the skills of other members.
Remember a job for the Shed helps to keep our Shed going.

I would like the quality of our work to be the best possible. If you are working on a job, step back have a look at it. Can it be improved, how can I do it better?  Time is not a factor.  I would prefer to have you do it over. You will certainly reap the benefits. Even if it is only yourself pride. Michelangelo was never happy with anything he did.

Please if you have time on your hands, even a few minutes. Grab a vacuum and do a little cleaning. Throw rubbish out. 

I would like to give my special thanks in this time of pandemic to Peter Jackson who has taken on the task of sanitisation. Thank you Peter.

Remember this pandemic is still  a problem. Don’t take it lightly. Follow the guidelines, I shouldn’t have to tell you what they are.

Enjoy our Shed enjoy our fellowship. Most of all stay happy and healthy.

President Tom Skinner

July 2020


Our shed is finally getting back to some normality. The shut down has been a great loss to the members, both socially and mentally.

The main objects of the shed relate to men’s health and well- being. These aims have been thrown into disarray by the simple fact we could not meet. While I fully support our State Government in their decisions it has been a blow to our shed.

We need to follow the guidelines given to us. While they are a little ambiguous at times, good common sense is the key. It is vital we record our attendance at the shed. The arrival and departure times. Names need to be written legibly.  If a member contracts the virus, we need to know who has been in contact with that member.

While we are now opening to a normal situation please, where possible keep your social distancing. Use the provided hand cleanser. Do not take unnecessary risks. This crisis is not over.

Out of all situations some benefits can come to the fore. Ken Ryan and myself have had the time to organise our work load. We have around 50 jobs in the pipeline, some dating back a while. It is not as daunting as first thought as a few of these jobs are small. I am hoping with a little help, some of our members will be able to step out of their comfort zones and do these jobs.

We have to thank our Federal and State Governments for financial support to make further improvements to our shed. Our new dust extractor is working well, thanks to a Federal Government grant. We have a DA into the Coffs Harbour City Council to change the usage of the mezzanine area. A grant from the State Government has enabled us to plan these changes.

Pat Conaghan, our Federal member, told us at a recent visit, our shed is the best in his electorate. His belief is the objects of Men’s Sheds is vital to the community.

We have received another very generous donation from Nan and Les Cowling. The financial support they have given to our shed leaves me in awe. Thank you Nan and Les.

The support from local businesses also has to be acknowledged. It is a credit to Coffs Harbour as a whole that our Men’s Shed is one that sets an example, as to what can be achieved by people with a combined belief in something vital to the community.

It is my hope that in the near future we will be able to expand the activities at the shed. Art and computer programmes are some ideas put forward.

I would like to thank our members for the support given to me. Without that support my position would be unbearable.

President Tom Skinner

June 2020

June 2020

Unfortunately, as we are all aware, we have all been confused, and at a loss. Mentally disturbed suffering the worst time in Australia’s history. Or that is what the media tell us. Take it from me those dim dark ages are nearly over.

At the next Committee meeting I am going to arrange a counselling service  at our shed. For a small fee you can sit on the couch and tell me “How the Covid-19 has affected you."

The news is even better. We have decided to postpone the Annual fees for a month. Next year’s subscriptions won’t fall due until the 1st of August.  Unfortunately we have to keep up with inflation and the fees will be $60.00.

We now have a roster system in place and with a little luck that may also finish soon. We have two time slots per day. 8am till 11am, and 11am till 2pm. If you want to attend the shed please phone the day previous and put your name down. You may also phone on the day to see if there is a spot available.

It is imperative.

  • On arrival you must fill in an attendance sheet. Each day you attend.
  • Answer all questions.
  • Print your name at the top of the form. (We must be able to identify you.)
  • I believe there was a local restaurant fined on the spot $11,000 for not following Covid-19 rules.
  • Don’t forget to sign off when you leave.

I know we a restricted with social distancing but you can still enjoy  time at the shed. There is work to catch up on. We look forward to seeing everyone back.

President Tom Skinner

December 2019

The Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed Inc. has enjoyed a very successful 2018-2019 and I would like to sincerely thank all the members of the management committee for their contribution and great support. Without a strong committee, the shed can’t function.

By far the most notable achievement being the outstanding official opening on 3rd May with the unveiling of the commemorative plaque by the Mayor, Denise Knight. The opening was made possible when we finally received the building certificate in December 2018. Thanks must also go to the Gala Opening committee who brought it all together for a very successful day – thanks to Clive Longstaff, Ken Howe, Tony Winter and John Gregory who assisted me with the event.

2019 saw the introduction of a monthly garage sale and to date has been a great success thanks mainly to Doug Tysoe and a few shed stalwarts volunteering their Saturday morning. The revenue generated has been a bonus for the shed.

The shed has hosted several visits from the Coffs Harbour Pacific City Lioness Club, hosted a dinner for the Sawtell Rotary Club and in March we hosted a BBQ for all sheds in the region. We have had morning tea presentations by various organisations including NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, NSW Health Rural Mental Health, Podiatrist and emotional and stress discussions. Thanks to Ken Howe for arranging these presentations.

Several members have formed a band called the “Shed Men” and obviously enjoy themselves while playing. The band performed at the official opening and were well received. They also played a few numbers for the shed during Men’s Shed Week in September.

Some of our very talented cabinet makers/carpenters/metal workers have produced some brilliant work and has been very much appreciated by the community who have had projects completed by them.

In May 2019 five members were successful in completing first aid training which included CPR and AED training as well as basic emergency life support.

During the year the shed has benefitted from the installation of a Pin Router donated by member Barry Guest, purchase of a new table saw, a long belt sander donated by North Coast Doors, re-location of two air compressors including the installation of air lines feeding both sides of the shed with compressed air and fully ducted air conditioning to the mezzanine area. Major projects underway are the installation of a fully ducted dust extraction system and the upgrading of the mezzanine to a habitable area in line with our 2 year Strategic Plan.

We have catered for Bunnings BBQ’s including their Father’s Day family night and also catered for Boambee East IGA’s family day.

During 2019 I did presentations to Boambee East Seniors, Coffs Harbour View Club, Sawtell Rotary, Coffs Harbour Pacific City Lioness Club and Legacy. These have been invaluable in helping promote the men’s shed.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous donations we have received in 2019 form the Park Beach Bowls Club, Commonwealth Bank Park Beach Plaza, Nan and Les Cowling, Warren Skinner/Rotary and McGrath Real Estate through their Community Give Back Program.

Another innovation has been the group outings where several members attended the Slim Dusty Centre at Kempsey in June and the Buffalo Farm at Eungai Creek. These social occasions were well received by those attending.

The shed was flooded on the evening of 29th August when the drains apparently blocked and could not cope with the volume of water. The council was asked to investigate and after viewing the drainage, they will take action to improve the drainage.

Ray Meyer was very active in producing the monthly newsletter and other IT functions and thanks go to Ray. Unfortunately, Ray has resigned from the Management Committee and shed membership, to concentrate on personal issues and we wish Ray well for the future.

Regrettably John Gregory resigned from the treasurer’s position in September after many years in that position and had made a tremendous contribution to the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed during his term. On behalf of the members, I would like to thank John for his service. Also Bob White retiring from the secretary’s position.

Clive Longstaff has stepped up into the treasurer’s position with the assistance of Ken Howe.

Last but not least, our shed managers, Robert Houston and David Churchyard deserve a huge pat on the back from all members. Theirs’s is a very unenviable job and they are the first point of call for community members seeking help etc from the shed. There is also a large admin component dealing with the ordering and finances which keep the shed viable. Thanks to Robert and David. In May 2019 Robert was awarded life membership of the shed for his dedication and long service to the running of the shed.

November 2019

  • The devastating bush fires recently have left many families with nothing. Local Charity “Hope for the Homeless” have organised a collection and distribution point in Coffs Harbour for food/clothing etc.
    Several members of Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed have volunteered their services to help with the sorting and packing of the huge number of donated items. Well done Wazza, Shawn, Paul, Andrew, Bruce and David.
  • The Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed AGM will be held on 11th December commencing at 10:00am at the shed. Please show your support for the shed and attend the AGM. Notification of the AGM will be sent out shortly and will include nomination forms for all positions on the committee. If you are interested in representing the members on the Management Committee, please nominate for one of the positions.
  • The shed’s Christmas Party will be held on 12th December commencing at 3:00pm with ten pin bowling followed by a dinner at the Coffs Hotel. If you are attending, you will need to contact the office to register your name. Partners are encouraged to attend also. It is important we know numbers for catering.
  • The fabulous rocking horse which has been restored by Tony and Glenn is currently being raffled with the winner being drawn at the AGM. There are plenty of tickets for sale and we are asking all members to take a book of tickets to sell. All proceeds will be used to upgrade facilities and equipment in the shed. 
  • Our shed has recently received two significant amounts of funding and we are now in a position to go ahead with laying the carpet in the meeting/recreation room area of the mezzanine. Also the installation of the ducted dust extraction system will go ahead ASAP. It will provide an extraction point at each machine with the collector and motor outside of the building. This is a major project and will benefit the members with a low dust workshop area.
  • Baz and Glenn combined to manufacture this fabulous outdoor setting as a commission job. Well done Baz and Glenn. Another high quality piece of work.

October 2019

  • The shed hosted a group of ladies from the Coffs Harbour Pacific City Lioness Club for a morning tea get together. Once again, these ladies thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the shed. The visit was arranged to coincide with National Men’s Shed Week.

  • On the 26th September, the shed held a BBQ which was also organised to form part of the Men’s Shed Week events.

  • There was another very successful garage sale held on Saturday 5th October where about $1,300 was taken. Our monthly garage sales are becoming increasingly popular with the community and a very worthwhile fundraising event for the shed. Congratulations to the shed members who make it such a success.

  • At the October Management Committee meeting the AGM date was set as December 11th followed the next day by the shed Christmas Party. Details of both events will be sent to members in November.

  • Thanks to Mick Maley, the storage racks are completed and in place at the rear of the shed. These storage racks have been designed to take pallets plus store long lengths of timber and metal.

  • It is now time to ramp up the sale of raffle tickets for the magnificent rocking horse. We would request all members take a book of tickets to sell and help.

  • Southern Cross University is conducting a “Movember” golf day on 17th November to promote men’s health and the men’s shed has been asked to help with the provision of prizes. We have decided to donate a couple of nice cutting boards which have been manufactured at the shed.

  • A group of members had an outing to the Eungai Buffalo Farm on 19th September. A very enjoyable and interesting experience – well worth a visit.

September 2019

  • As mentioned last month our treasurer John Gregory has resigned from that role and handed over to Clive Longstaff. Thanks to Clive for volunteering his services. As well as being our treasurer for many years, John played a significant part in many of the activities which helped get the shed to where it is today. Last month I mentioned John was responsible for securing grants which made the building of the shed possible. He also produced the shed’s Strategic Plans, Constitution and was a member of the Official Opening Committee leading to a very successful opening day. On behalf of the members, a big thanks to John.
  • National Men’s Shed Week is from 23 – 29 September. Our shed will be hosting a morning tea with the Coffs Harbour Pacific City Lioness Club on Tuesday 24th September. These ladies have been very generous donors to our shed and we will be repaying them in a small way.
  • On Thursday 26th September the shed will be conducting an open day with a BBQ and a visit from a member of NSW Health Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.
  • Another of our generous donors, McGrath Real Estate, have invited us to attend a “Community Give Back Sunday Sausage Sizzle” at Boambee Bay Reserve on Sunday 29th September commencing at 11:00am. Please advise Ken Ryan if you wish to attend.
  • As a result of the storm in Coffs Harbour on the evening of 29th August, the shed was flooded when water overflowed from the surface drain on the council side. The members who attended the shed on the morning after, jumped into action and had the water cleared from the floor by 10:00am. They deserve a big thankyou from all of us. Well done guys.
  • Another successful garage sale on Saturday 7th where over $1,000 was taken. Well done Doug Tysoe and his garage sale team. The setting up of the sale area takes time and on the Friday prior to the sales, all work in the shed will cease and all hands on deck to assist with the setting up.

August 2019

  • Our treasurer, John Gregory, who has held that position for many years, has decided to “hand in” his abacus and has stepped down. John was committed to the establishment of our new shed and he was instrumental in the grant applications which achieved the funding to enable the shed to be built. On behalf of the members of the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed, I wish John all the best for the future.

  • Due to John’s departure from the role of treasurer, the committee is seeking a replacement and we would like to hear from any member who would be interested in taking on the treasurer’s duties. Initially the term would be up until the AGM in December when all positions on the committee are up for election.

  • There was another successful Garage Sale held on 3rd August. Since we commenced the monthly sale, it has brought in some funding which will benefit the shed. Doug Tysoe has led the way in getting items ready for sale and his enthusiasm is paying dividends. The setting up of the sale is carried out on the Friday afternoon and help is required.

  • The rocking horse raffle is moving along steadily and all members are asked to take a book of tickets to sell. Books are available from the office – see Robert or David. In the past a similar raffle was very lucrative for the shed.

  • The new table saw has been installed and the 2 older ones have been removed. The new saw has features which the operator needs to know about. You must be signed off on this saw before using it. See Glenn, Tom, Baz or Ken for accreditation on the saw.   
Ken Ryan

July 2019

  • The relocation of the 2 air compressors is complete and they are now housed under cover at the rear of the shed. The supply lines are also complete and compressed air is fed down both sides of the shed with approximately 10 outlets in strategic areas. Great work by Jacko, Terry and their helpers.

  • A long belt sanding table has been donated to the shed and has been installed in the North East corner of the shed. Glenn has taken ownership and enclosed the moving parts with an excellent set of covers making the machine very safe.

  • Another new machine close to being commissioned is the XYZ router which is located adjacent to the long belt sander. The XYZ router was provided by Baz Guest. Thanks Baz. This machine will allow many types of shaping etc including levelling of slabs. Glenn is also involved in commissioning the router. Great work Glenn.

  • A reminder that membership fees for 2019/20 are due now and membership will lapse if not paid before 30th August. Please discuss with the shed manager if there are special circumstances affecting the payment of fees.

  • Ken Howe has arranged for a police officer to be a guest speaker at SMOKO on 26th July. I believe the theme will be security around the home etc..

  • Safety in the workshop is top priority particularly around machinery. We will be conducting “toolbox” meetings at SMOKO regularly to enforce safety, cleanliness and correct use of tools. Also members MUST be signed off before using any machine.

  • Regular member Neville Colligan has had a nasty fall and suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and a knock to the head. Get well soon Neville, we miss the light-hearted banter you deliver!
Ken Ryan

June 2019

  • The grey rocking horse which has been beautifully restored by Tony and Glenn, is to be raffled to raise funds for the shed. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. If the previously raffled horse is any indication, the shed will benefit by a substantial amount. All members are requested to sell tickets which are available from the office.

  • On Sunday 19th May we conducted a BBQ at IGA Boambee East. The BBQ was part of a community event organised by the management of IGA. The Men’s Shed made a reasonable profit and also about $70 worth of Rocking Horse raffle tickets were sold. A big thankyou to the volunteers who made it all possible – Keith, Terry, Tom, Warren, Doug, Neville and Peter.

  • 2019/2020 Membership Fees of $55 are due on 1st July 2019. Notice to all members will be sent shortly.

  • Our regular garage sale was held on 1st June and returned a nice profit to the shed. Thanks to all the members who participated in particular Doug Tysoe and his “sales team”. This event is becoming a great social get together and members are encouraged to attend on the first Saturday of each month and sample the great breakfast cooked by David (Cuddles) Churchyard.

  • The following members have recently completed First Aid Training and have attained a certificate in CPR resuscitation including AED, Basic Emergency Life Support and First Aid: John Gregory, Tom Skinner, Ken Ryan, Warren Skinner and Doug Tysoe.

Ken Ryan, President.

May 2019

  • On 3rd May we celebrated the Official Opening of the shed with the Mayor, Denise Knight unveiling the commemorative plaque which was designed and made by Robert Houston. The Mayor was presented with a cutting board with a replica of the plaque engraved on the underside which was also produced by Robert. About 100 guests attended including members of Council, Chamber of Commerce, business leaders and shed members. At the completion of the ceremony our own band, The Shedders, played and entertained the visitors. Well done guys! To all shed members who helped in making the day a huge success, I thank you all.

  • Drummer Tony Goninan has kindly donated his drum kit to the shed. Thankyou Tony.

  • On Saturday following the opening day, we opened the shed to the community to showcase what we have. A steady stream of visitors attended and a number of the men indicated their desire to become members of the shed. We currently have 172 members with the numbers growing steadily.

  • For his tireless and passionate dedication to the shed, volunteer shed manager Robert Houston has been rewarded with Life Membership of the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed. Congratulations from us all Robert.

  • The grey rocking horse which has been beautifully restored by Tony and Glenn, is to be raffled to raise funds for the shed. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. If the previously raffled horse is any indication, the shed will benefit by a substantial amount.

  • On Sunday 19th May from 9am – 12noon we have been invited to conduct a BBQ at IGA Boambee East. All profits will be retained by our shed. Volunteers will be requested closer to the date.
Ken Ryan, President.

April 2019

  • On the evening of 18th March we hosted the Sawtell Rotary Club for an inspection of the shed followed by a BBQ. There were 11 of their members attending and they were very impressed with the shed, as they had previously visited the old shed in Marcia Street.

  • On Tuesday following the Rotary Club visit, we hosted an informal BBQ with other sheds from our area attending. These were Bundagen, Urunga, Woolgoolga, Bellingen and Dorrigo.

  • The official opening of the shed will be held on Friday 3rd May with the Mayor, Denise Knight unveiling the commemorative plaque. All members are invited, but it is most important that you RSVP by 24th April as we need to know numbers for catering. You should have received an invitation by email recently.

  • For the three days leading up to the opening, normal activities at the shed will be restricted to allow setting up of the ceremony area. Also we will need to clean up and present the shed to the visitors in a tidy state. There will be VIP’s present and it will be beneficial for us to make an impression on them. I look forward to your cooperation in making the event a showcase for our shed.

Ken Ryan, President.

February 2019

  • Welcome to 2019. The year has started well with a BUNNINGS sausage sizzle and our first GARAGE SALE on Saturday 2nd February. This will be an ongoing event to be held on the first Saturday of each month. The items for sale will include items made at the shed specifically for sale and any surplus tools/equipment the shed has. All members are invited to attend the sale as the first one was well attended and a social atmosphere was evident with Dave Churchyard providing goodies from the BBQ. These two events netted approximately $2,000.
  • The mezzanine floor is now completed and member’s projects in progress are to be stored in the end room which has bee set-up with shelving etc to store items.
  • An official opening day for the shed is currently being negotiated with the events section of Coffs Harbour City Council. The event will be held in May (date to be advised) and will include the official opening and open days for the community.
  • The large thicknesser has been replaced by a more reliable machine with an easier operating procedure. For accreditation on the machine, please see Tom or Ken.

Ken Ryan, President.

December 2018

  • On the 10th December we received the Building Certificate from council which was issued by Joseph Kane, council’s Compliance Officer. The certificate was issued after we had completed all work in the building to comply with various Building Code of Australia requirements. The efforts of Tom Skinner, Barry Guest, Robert Houston, Glenn Cox, Brian Franklin and John Humphries were major contributors in completing the necessary work to achieve certification. A big thank you to them from all the members.
  • The Bunnings sausage sizzle day on the 1st December was very successful grossing about $2,200 with a profit of around $1,500. Good effort by all who volunteered, especially Robert who pulled it all together with only a couple of days notice from Bunnings.
  • The Men’s Shed Christmas Party was held on 11th December and a very enjoyable time was had by all. Thanks to Ken Howe and Ray Meyer for organizing the evening.
  • The AGM was held on 12th December with a good attendance with the majority of the previous committee re-elected plus a couple of new members. Congratulations to all committee members and I look forward to working with them in 2019.
  • Another addition to the shed is the shelter in the garden area with a BBQ area included. A great “engineering” feat by Jacko to complete the shed erection in time for the AGM sausage sizzle.
  • The car parking area has been marked out with 12 spaces which includes 1 disabled space. When attending the shed please park in the marked spaces.
  • Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy 2019. 

Ken Ryan, President.

November 2018

  • From time to time you may see a ride on mower cutting grass around the road in to the shed. Ron Braun is the “jockey” and Ron does a great job with keeping the roadway neat and tidy. As well as mowing, Ron clears debris from the side of the road. Great work Ron, thanks from all of us.
  • We have a resident birdman in the shed. Tom Skinner has managed to train ‘Wilson” the pee wee to eat from his hand. Tom has a reputation with birds? I like the way Tom hold his mouth, maybe bird talk?

  • There has been a lot of activity getting the mezzanine completed and special thanks to all the members who have made a big effort with an expected completion in the next couple of weeks. I am a little disappointed at the response by members to help with painting etc with the bulk of the work being done by the “usual” core group of dedicated members. Thanks to Tom “put plenty paint on” Skinner for his guidance in advising the guys doing the painting.
  • The Essential Fire Safety Measures have recently been completed in the shed – namely fire hydrant testing, fire hose reel testing, emergency lighting, exit lighting and portable fire extinguishers. We are now ready to conduct regular fire evacuation drill and the Fire Evacuation and Drill Procedure will be made available to all members. Please read and familiarize yourself with the procedure.
  • Our Christmas party will be held on the 11th December. Details in this issue of the newsletter.
  • The Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed AGM is scheduled for 10:00am on 12th December at the shed. All positions on the Management Committee will be declared vacant at the meeting and nominations are now open for all positions. Details will be sent out to members. Please support the AGM and allow us to form as strong a committee as we have had in 2018.

Ken Ryan, President.

October 2018

  • Dave Harnett who was a management committee member, tended his resignation from the Committee and the Shed due to personal reasons. Dave is returning to North Queensland and will join the Tully Shed. Dave contributed a great deal to the shed, particularly in the metal work area. Dave’s parting words are, “ If any of you southerners decide to brave the crocs and cane toads, there will always be a coldie in the fridge.” We wish you all the best Dave.

  • Coffs Men’s Shed recently made a donation to the Mental Health Unit at Coffs Harbour Hospital so that they could purchase a keyboard which member Ron Braun’s wife plays to entertain the patients. The Manager of the Mental Health Unit has thanked us for the donation of the key board to assist patients in their recovery.

  • Graham Miller is pleased with the progress of the gardens area. The concrete slab for the BBQ area was poured on 10th October. Some planting has taken place with more to follow. Graham is doing a great job with the landscaping and gardens.

  • We have recently delivered a presentation to Sawtell Rotary and we have an invitation to do a presentation to the Grandparents and kinship carers forum on 19 October 2018.

  • Also we have a table at Toormina Gardens on the last Friday of the month where we are able to show off our products and sell items and generally promote the shed.

  • On the 20th October we will be represented at Talloumbi Gardens to assist them with a drought fundraising day. Robert will be seeking assistance with this.

  • Finally, congratulations go to Graham Campbell who has had the honor of being made a Life Member of the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed. Graham has been a member of the shed for many years and is a stalwart worker performing many tasks. We look forward to his continued involvement. 

Ken Ryan, President.

September 2018

  • A big thank you to all involved in the garage sale fundraiser for our contribution to the drought relief. A great effort. As you are probably aware, our shed has partnered the Gilgandra shed and we have sent $3,000 to them which will benefit the Gilgandra district. The contribution includes $2,000 raised at the garage sale. The Gilgandra Men's Shed have resolved to include our donation as well as the Gilgandra Men's Shed in the fund known as "Gilgandra District Drought Alliance". This organisation includes representation from The Gilgandra Men's Shed, Country Women's Association, Gilgandra Lions Club and St Vincent de Paul. The group was formed with the intent that any donation could be more effectively distributed using the resources of the combined organisations. The main distribution method will be with $250 credit cards from the local Bendigo Bank. The cards are such that the proceeds can be only spent within the Gilgandra shire through EFTPOS. Application forms are available throughout the Gilgandra Township, applicants can apply for themselves as well as anonymously on behalf of a person in need. A representative committee will process the applications and make funds available to those in need.

  • The shed clean-up week was very successful and it was great to see so many members roll up to help. Inroads were also made into the construction of the mezzanine. Thanks to Robert for pulling it all together and thanks to David for the culinary delights at lunch time. 

  • Graham Miller continues to work on the garden/landscaping and I’m sure he would welcome anyone with a “green thumb” to help out. Also items for the garden would be welcome eg shrubs etc. 

  • I will be out of action for about 6 weeks after shoulder replacement surgery. Hopefully I will be able to visit the shed regularly and have a cuppa.

Ken Ryan, President.

August 2018

  • Our shed has recently been involved in activities to promote the shed.

  • Tom Skinner recently participated in an interview on 2AIRFM. It was an excellent interview and Tom did a great job selling the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed.

  • Ray Meyer and myself did a presentation for the Senior Citizens group at Boambee East. The presentation raised a lot if interest  in the operation of our shed.

  • The committee has decided to make a donation to the NSW drought relief and this is being arranged in partnership with the Gilgandra Men's Shed who will use the donation in community activities. $1,000 will be donated plus the proceeds from a garage sale we will hold at the shed shortly - further details to follow.

  • SMOKO "toolbox talks" will be held regularly to provide info and feedback to members.

  • The kitchen area floor has been painted and it looks great, making cleaning much easier. Thanks to the members who contributed to the preparation and painting. Other floor areas will be painted as time permits.

  • Graham Miller has made a lot of progress with the garden/landscaping and it is starting to take shape. Well done Graham. All you keen gardeners out there see Graham and I am sure he will find a shovel for you. The plans are to add a pergola to the garden area.

  • Our old ute (1991 vintage) is showing it's age and the committee has decided to replace it with a more modern version of similar type. Let Robert or David know if you see anything suitable in the $6,000 range.
Ken Ryan

July 2018

  • Already July and another Newsletter has been produced with thanks to Ray Meyer. If you have any items of interest, photos etc of shed activities, please advise Ray for inclusion in the next Newsletter.

  • Recently Nan and Les Cowling visited the shed and shared a cuppa at Smoko. They made a very generous donation to the shed and Nan and Les have been supporters of our Men’s shed for many years. On behalf of all our members, a big thank you to Nan and Les. Their support is greatly appreciated.

  • Thanks to all members who assisted in the garage sale conducted on 23rd and 24th June. Surplus tools and other items were sold and the shed benefited by $1,000 plus.

  • On Saturday 30th June we were invited to assist the Coffs Harbour Support Services with their special day at the Showground. Coffs Men’s Shed provided the sausage sizzle and thanks go to the volunteers Tom Skinner, Mick Maley, Ray Meyer and Nev Colligan.

  • Lunchtime at the shed has become a popular time for using the microwave oven to heat up leftovers etc. If you have a microwave oven which you have recently retired, we can certainly use another at the shed. 
Ken Ryan

June 2018

  • Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed. We currently have 167 financial members, a slight increase in the last month.

  • At the recent Management Committee meeting the member’s fees for the 2018/19 financial year was raised and unfortunately, due to increases in insurances and operating costs, the fees for 2018/19 have been set at $50 per member. Member’s fees become due on 1st July 2018.

  • We are in the progress of rationalising the tools we need to operate the shed and there will be a large number of power and hand tools which are surplus to our needs and are available for sale to members. The tools have been isolated and placed on a pallet on the shed floor. If you are interested in purchasing any of the tools, make an offer to Robert.

  • On the 23rd and 24th June, we will be holding a garage sale at the shed and all surplus equipment will be offered for sale to the public. The sale will be from 8am to 1pm on each of the days and volunteers are required to assist. If you can help for an hour or two, put your name on the roster at the shed.

  • Thanks to Doug Simmo, Ray Johnson and Andrew Ryan, the drawers containing hand tools have been rearranged into alphabetical order and labelled with their contents. No longer will you need to search to find the right drawer for the tool you are looking for.

  • From the woodworking area it has been reported that we still have people misusing machinery. If a machine’s normal set up is altered to do a particular job, it must be returned to its normal state.

  • All consultant’s reports have now been received and hopefully work will recommence on the mezzanine area in the near future.
Ken Ryan

January 2018

From the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed management committee, a happy, healthy and safe 2018 to all members and their families. I would also like to welcome the new Committee.

In the near future we will be celebrating the official opening of the Shed. This will be a huge event in our Shed’s history. I believe our Shed is second to none and with the final occupancy certificate we can look forward to the completion of a wonderful facility. Finally, if any member has any suggestions or complaints etc please don’t hesitate to talk to a Committee member.

Enjoy the Shed.
Ken Ryan

June 2017

The new shed is now pretty well up and running. Most of the machines are now connected to the power and we can now focus on getting back into business. The jobs are rolling in and we need to get cracking to build up our finances to fund further developments and machine upgrades. It is well worth commenting on the sterling efforts put in by a handful of faithful shedders over this last few weeks. To those of you who have bent your backs to get things set up I give a hearty thank you. You are awesome! I was absent for quite a bit of the time during May but each time I came to the shed great changes were evident and lots of our precious stuff has been sorted and sent to the tip. The guy at the tip was amazed at the amount of stuff we got rid of.

Your committee has held its first meeting in the new shed and we are already planning projects to settle things in. Our webmaster Ray Meyer has accepted an invitation to formally join the committee. He has a wealth of admin and business experience and is going to look at our methods to see if they can be streamlined to assist Tom and David in the office.

It is of some concern already that Tom and David are being swamped for time to time, even though we still don’t have a phone or internet connection and probably won’t for some time. We will need to again implement the structure we started at the old shed to spread the load, with people directing enquiries to the suitable person instead of just to the managers. I will review all this over the next month and we may need some more volunteers. As part of the ongoing plans for the shed, the committee has decided proceed with a number of grant applications.

   1. A grant from Coffs Council to complete the upstairs mezzanine floor with three rooms, metal stairs, disabled chair lift and metal balustrade, plus a female toilet. This will have a budget around $70,000 if successful.

   2. A grant to establish the paint shop area. We are proposing to build a room similar in size to the new office and install a 4mt filter wall system at a cost of around $11,000. The total budget will be for about $17,000. Part of the grant will be for 2 dust scrubbers to be hung from the roof near the machine area to filter any airborne dust from the air. I understand these units are very affective. Sanding and prep will be completed over some vacuum sanding tables to minimise local dust.

Personal cupboard space. 
Because we do not have space to allow all members to have a cupboard or draw to store personal stuff on site it has been decided that this practice from the old shed will not be available now. Locks have been removed from all doors and drawers around benches. If you had personal stuff in a cupboard or draw best come and collect it ASAP.

The car hoist we had has been sold to a guy from Armidale in the last few days. Money from this sale is going to be allocated to getting our shipping containers finally on site and repaired ready for timber storage in the back yard.
Goals for the next few weeks.
1.     Organise and establish the storeroom next to engineering.
2.     Clear out finished jobs from the kitchen area and set up more tables for meal times.
3.     Connect power to the benches.
4.     Collect/install racks and a table currently being stored by Ken Howe.
5.     Install the containers in the back yard.
6.     Mount defibrillator to sick room wall when delivered along with new first aid box.

Reminder Notice.
Shed membership runs out at the end of the month. Membership fee $40 is due from 1st July 2017.   All members will be asked to fill in a fresh membership form with complete contact details so our files can be updated. Quite a few emails have changed and not all members are being kept informed.

Alan Larkin

26th June 2017

Good news.
We have won a grant of $37,300 to complete the framing, stairs and upstairs toilet.
We can start very soon on these projects. Watch this space. Some helping hands may be needed.

Alan Larkin

May 2017

Message from the Vice President - Ken Ryan

  • As of Thursday 4th May, a large amount of material, tools, cupboards, work benches have been delivered to Howard Street. This has been achieved with a lot of effort by several of our members who have unselfishly used their private transport together with our Men’s Shed ute.
  • The mezzanine at the old shed has been cleared and the showground storage was also cleared on time.
  • The kitchen, toilets and disabled toilet areas are complete except for painting. The office area has been erected and in the process of being completed.
  • Most of the work benches and associated cupboards are now in place and the set-up of the storeroom and machine shop is progressing.
  • Most significantly, the very heavy machines (large band saw, metal lathe, heavy wood lathe, large thicknesser and panel saw) were moved by the generosity of Tom at Barry Smith Engineering. (Thanks to Ron Braun) Tom supplied the truck with hyab and some of his staff and they picked up and delivered all these item in about 2 hours. Some of us “old fellas”  watched and wondered – I’m sure we could not have moved them as quickly and efficiently as Tom and his men. 
  • Power is currently being connected to the work bench area and our solar power system is delivering close to its rated 10Kw.
  • On behalf of the committee, I would like to give a great big thankyou to all involved in the ongoing move.
  • We still have a way to go and hopefully the new shed is fully operational in 3-4 weeks.

Ken Ryan
Vice President.