From gardens to trucks and furniture, Leigh Williams is the go-to man for Tatura Men’s Shed.
A founding member, Mr Williams had recently retired as an aged-care nurse and felt a need to settle down somewhere where he could develop his interests.
He said in the early days before the shed even existed, members would meet for a meal.
‘‘That’s what got the gardens going and the vegies growing to put a meal together for the members,’’ Mr Williams said.
Every Tuesday, members of the shed still gather for a home-cooked lunch to enjoy their home-grown vegies.
Mr Williams said one of the first men’s shed projects was building the raised garden beds.
‘‘It was one of the first projects the shed had and it’s kept going because it’s so useful and I’m very proud,’’ he said.
The three garden beds continue to grow silverbeet, cauliflower, parsley and a variety of herbs for the shed’s cooking enthusiasts to indulge in.
Mr Williams has been given the unofficial role of shed facilitator, allocating jobs and being the community contact for the shed.
‘‘I’m a bit of a facilitator, I guess I have the people skills, so that’s become my unofficial role,’’ he said.
‘‘If someone wants a job done they’ll come and see me.’’
Mr Williams’ lifelong interest in furniture also has a place in the shed where he is given the space and tools he needs to create and refurbish.
‘‘I’ve got the room here to do it and all the skills around me to call on. It’s really important, if something needs welding I just yell out,’’ he said.
Mr Williams said it was the communication with the community he enjoyed the most about the shed.
‘‘When people have projects on, the community know we’re here and they know who to ask,’’ he said.
The shed’s latest community initiative is a display stand for the Tatura Boomerang Bag project.
‘‘There are always little things going on, such as building cubby houses; that sort of thing comes in every week,’’ he said.
Mr Williams is in the process of restoring a Toyota Dyna 1976 truck that was left over from a previous project.
‘‘The truck is my long-term project, it will never go on the road, but will become the shed truck for multiple use and as a portable work bench,’’ he said.
‘‘It was donated initially for another truck project where someone just put their hand up and said I’ve got one of those in the paddock, so we went and pulled it out and then we decided well, we’re not going to just junk it — and here we are,’’ he said.
Mr Williams said the truck would be a two-year project but he already had the motor running.
‘‘At the moment we are restoring the tray and then the cab will be re-painted,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got all the facilities here to get it up and running and it will become a real asset.’’
The Tatura Guardian will continue to catch up with the men’s shed during the next month.
- Madeleine Caccianiga