December 2022 Newsletter

President's Annual Report 

Well g'day all,

Where did this year go? It seems like only yesterday I missed the AGM and was voted in as President (that'll teach me!).

A lot has happened this year.

We have had many visitors to the Shed and the consensus among them is that it is a fantastic place for men to go to be with like-minded people and to have some fun whilst pursuing worthwhile causes.

We have implemented some changes and these will continue into the new year with a major clean up planned for January.

Monthly free lunch barbecues continue to be popular.

We have a plan for the next three years, our Strategic Plan, some facets of this have already been implemented, more to come.

We have received some great funding over the year and the Garage Sales continue to be a good revenue raiser for the Shed.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Doug Tysoe for his efforts in this area over the last three years, thank you Doug!

Many members have worked tirelessly over the year completing commissioned jobs and I think all members enjoy the camaraderie present in the Shed.

The Shedmen are enjoying being let loose on the general community again, post COVID, and have had some pleasant engagements with various community groups over the last few months. They are going from strength to strength in their larger practice area and are attracting new members also!

We have had some difficulties, what with Dave C becoming unwell early in the piece and Rob left to run the Shed on his own until Alan stepped up, this has been a big year for Rob.
It has also been a big year for Dave battling illness!

We lost a couple of members also in sudden circumstances which was sad but not unexpected given the demographic we operate in.

Most of our members have some health issues and just coming to the Shed is an important tool in addressing the mental health of our members.

As many of you know Rob H is resigning as Shed manager this week and Alan and our new assistant Joseph will now run the office. Rob has done a fantastic job over the last nine and half years in this position and there's nothing he doesn't know about the Shed. I would like also to publicly thank Rob for this marathon effort, thank you Rob!

Robert will still be here in the Shed when he wishes to attend and hopefully will continue to be a source of information when required, just don't ask him every five minutes!
Thank you to all members for your contribution over the year, we are all working together for a common goal, to remain a great Shed and to be the most supportive Men's Shed in Australia,

Keep up the good work,

El Presidente

Chris Hansen

General News

Community Visits

Woolworths managers from Nambucca to Woolgoolga visited the Shed bringing morning tea with them. The purpose of the visit was, Paul Stewart wanted to introduce the other store managers to a Men's Shed with the idea of each store adopting a local Shed to support. They were very impressed with our Shed!

Hearing Australia visited, providing hearing tests to all those who were interested, after a general talk during smoko.

Service NSW representative Sarah delivered an address during smoko outlining the benefits available to residents in NSW. A free service is available either online or at motor registries to help identify saving individuals can access. This service helps reduce the cost of living with more than 70 rebates and vouchers.

Gurmesh Singh is invited next Tuesday to officially open the mezzanine upgrade. The funding of $50,000 was provided as a grant from the NSW Government Stronger Country Communities Fund. It would be nice to have a good turn out of members for the occasion.

Commission Jobs

Following comments received during the development of our Strategic plan it has been decided to cut back on the number of commission jobs done each month. More details will be conveyed at tool box meetings etc during the coming months.

These jobs have been our life blood for many years and the funds have helped in the growth and improvement of the facilities that we enjoy today.

Over the past 9 years the dedicated few have shouldered the burden of completing these jobs to a professional standard. The Shed would like to thank those who have generously given of their time and expertise over these years.

Oh, we can't afford to stop doing them! We are hoping to ease the burden by restricting the types and number of jobs undertaken.

Tom has recently completed a major re-imaging of an old pianola. The owner originally wanted to donate it to the Shed. We declined the kind offer because we have more than enough pre-loved furniture that Op shop won't take anymore.

The owner then asked Tom if he could make it into a desk. As you can see the results are amazing!

Don is at it again! He keeps testing himself with jobs that he undertakes from browsing through woodwork magazines at the Shed. This job is an antique library staircase used by well to do owners of private library rooms. Don has no plans to refer to, he works off photos in the magazine. He design s and builds as he goes.

Others in the Shed provide Don with help with the many tasks a job like this requires, he is not as agile as he used to be. They are only to happy to help and watch and learn from the master.

The planter boxes Wayne made for the Council were so well received by the community, they have asked us to produced more! Wayne is back in the States until the new year so Tom has stepped up.

Rob has been busy on the CNC again. He gets this work done early before too many members arrive and distract him from his tasks. The CNC is showing its age and we are looking to replace it. It has paid for itself many times over doing commission jobs.

Members jobs

The final product. Don has donated this piece to the Shed for sale in the Shop.

Don Langley loves a challenge. He saw a unique occasional table in a woodwork magazine on the lunch tables and decided to make one. The wave shape he designed from scratch and then set about turning it into a reality. 

My daughter lives in a small house in Balmain and wanted a free standing surfboard rack. Thanks to some significant help from members, this is the final product.

Sudheer is making an artist's easel for his daughter.

Community Donations

Park Beach Bowling Club

$4,750 received from PBBC was the result of a grant application through CLUBS NSW. The donation has been used to purchase a new fixed router table. 

Toyota Material Handling

$5,000 was received, following Rob engaging them to service the fork lift. This reimbursed us for the service and new tyres for the fork.

Coffs Harbour Woolworths

Provide about $1000 worth of sausages and salads etc for the members luncheons each year as a donation.

New Equipment

The new drop saw. It was severely damaged within a couple of days through poor technique. The laser guide has been broken, housing cracked and the blade damaged and needed replacing. 

A reminder that all members need to be inducted in the correct use of new machinery. Newer models have different features and controls. Please ask before use!!

The new saw has been moved to hopefully improve the  storage of garage sale items each month. 

The new jointer has been around for a number of months now. Are you inducted?

Tom practicing what he preaches. We have a fully automated dust extraction system but you still need to ensure you leave the machinery as you would like to find it.

Garage Sales

Doug Tysoe is stepping down. Murray Smith has agreed to take it on and Paul Fitzgerald has offered to assist in the evaluation and sorting of donations.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Doug for his tremendous efforts over the past 3 years, firstly for taking on the job and secondly for developing the garage sale into the successful fund raiser it has become.

Reminder: The sale is on the first Saturday of each month during the year.

As you know, sale days are an important source of income for the Shed, averaging around $1200 - $1500 a month.

With all the money coming in from commission jobs and garage sales we have managed to make just under $4000 profit for this financial year after expenses!

It has been encouraging to see members stepping up to help at the Friday setup and also at the Saturday sale days. The Shedmen's  performances have also been very popular, they often help with setup if numbers are down.   A big THANK YOU to all those who help, many hands make light work!

Remember, it would be very helpful if a couple of members could come early on that following Monday to lend a hand to put the place back into working order, thanks.

Members are reminded not to rummage through received goods until they have been evaluated and priced. If you a looking for a particular item then let Murray know. He keeps a book on requests from members and earmarks received items for consideration by these members before putting them out for general sale.

Members Health & Well Being


Jacko has been fighting to get his licence back after a split decision with an assessment due to his age went against him. In true Jacko style he has taken them to task about the unfairness of the process and after a monumental battle it looks like he will win! Good onya Jacko!
I dread the day I will have to step onto the treadmill!

Member Profile: Doug Tysoe

I was born in Parramatta in 1948. My father was in the Navy and worked in electrical trades. I went to Macquarie Boys High till the Intermediate Certificate in 1963.

I left school at 15 and my first job was as a labourer at a plant nursery where I did all the soil mixing. I worked there while I went to Granville Tech doing a Certificate Entrance Exam. I went on to do a chemistry and physics scientific certificate.

Then I got a job in a physical laboratory where I tested the tensile strength of re-enforcing bars and mesh.

Whilst there I was in the pub one Friday night and was offered a job assaying on a remote copper mine in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Being young and adventurous and loving the bush, I jumped at it and I did 2 weeks of training at the copper smelter in Wollongong before I left for the Territory.

The mine was only small and I had to set up a scientific lab under a lean-to. The mine was worked by 5 blokes and so I was the radio operator for the flying doctor, the cook, the powder monkey and a truck driver. My job was to assay the copper ore and decide on the direction for further extraction. The ore was  processed in Mt. Isa.

After 12 months the wet season started so I moved back to Sydney. There was a drought that year and jobs were scarce, so I took a job with Grace Bros. in sales, managing gardening, car accessories and lawn mowers.

When the wet season ended I was asked to go back to the mine and assay a 10 ton vein. I worked there till the next wet season then moved back to Sydney and resumed work at Grace Bros. This time as the manager of the lighting section and finished up managing the flower section.

Around this time a mate and I had a bet as to who could get a date with one of the girls we both admired. I won the bet and went on to marry her! We had a son and needed more money to set up house etc. I was too young for senior management being 21 yrs old at this stage so I decided to leave and applied for the police force with the view of working in the scientific squad.

All new recruits have to do uniform duty for a couple of years in Sydney before you could apply for transfer to the bush. So I was sent to Eastwood which I wasn’t too fussed about. So I applied for a move to Inverell as soon as I could.

During the 6 yrs I was there my marriage broke down. I was on my own for few years. I didn’t want anything to do with women. I had enough interests in fishing, shooting and fossicking for gem stones. Through my interest in gems I met a lovely young lady who worked in gem faceting. I got tired of studying for my police exams and learned to facet gem stones and ultimately won all the prizes in the Inverell show for my gem faceting in about 1975. That lady and I eventually married and had 2 daughters.

Also whilst at Inverell I joined the army reserve and rose to the rank of corporal in the Bushman Rifles Battalion.

I was still interested in forensic work so we moved back to Sydney in the hope of a transfer to the scientific squad. I was stationed in Parramatta and found the Station culture very challenging. I went to resign and the Inspector talked me out of it and recommended my transfer to the scientific squad.

I had finally got my wish and moved to the scientific squad in Surrey Hills. Where I underwent training in all aspects of forensic investigation. I topped the State exams in the Police Drafting Course. I also topped the Forensic Investigators Course run over three States. I worked on mug shots and fingerprints and in the photographic unit for some time before going out on the road as a Crime Scene Examiner.

As part of that duty I attended murders, suicides, rapes, car, train or plane disasters on a regular basis. Any major crime – I was there!

Because of my experience and exam attainments, I received accelerated promotion but I just wanted to get out of the city and back to the bush. But I was getting too senior to let me go back to the bush till one day I was offered a transfer to Coffs Harbour to open and establish a new Scientific Investigation Office and laboratory on my own. It was a big job just to get here and establish it.

As soon as I arrived the jobs started. My patrol ranged from Grafton to Taree and inland to Armidale. Occasionally if a neighbouring Examiner was away, I had to cover those serious jobs too.

I was handling the workload of 3 men on my own for 6 years which pushed me over the edge and I had a severe burn-out, or PTSD as they call it today. At one point, I didn’t even know what year it was! It was frightening. So to help me out, the Department transferred me back to Sydney and back into uniform. I ended up at Balmain as a Detective Sergeant.

After being a Detective Sergeant for 4 years, they decided to give me some training but that didn’t last too long for me. I didn’t like their questions and they didn’t like my straight answers. They suggested that I go have a chat to the new police Psychologist. That was about the end of my public career. I paddled on for a couple of years setting up an intelligence office at Leichardt and on and off duty till I was boarded out medically unfit in 1990.

I still have the tendency to take on too much. Overload myself and head down the burnout track again. This time I saw it coming and just had to withdraw from as much as I could to survive; hence I stepped back from the management of the garage sales.

You will still see me about the Shed, or down the creek with a fishing rod in my hand, or maybe on the road travelling across this great land of ours. I could even have a paint brush in my hand. Who knows?

But I really appreciate the Shed. It is a whole new family of men in my life. Some of whom understand the hidden part of me that I don’t let too many see.

I’ve had an interesting life. Sometimes I can talk about it, but much of the time, I’ll just go quiet and walk away. So don’t get offended. I enjoyed running the garage sale, but I need a rest. Thank you for your support and understanding.

The last thing I would say is, Be mindful of the other bloke. You don’t know what he has been through or may still be going through it. Lucky us that we haven’t been in his shoes eh!

Cheers Doug

Notice Board

Office Management

If you have been to the Shed in the last couple of months you would be aware that Rob Houston is stepping down from this most important role after nine and a half years of dedicated service.

Rob stepped up after our founding manager Peter Murphy stepped down.

The Shed was struggling to pay rent and provide adequate facilities and equipment for the members.

Rob set up systems and procedures to try to ensure our ongoing income so that we could keep the doors open.

Commission jobs were promoted and developed to provide these necessary funds. Dedicated members rallied to provide the time and expertise required to make this viable. 

He also suggested the need to introduce  garage sales about 4 years ago to process and sell unwanted goods and tools. Again dedicated members rallied to provide the time and expertise required to make this viable. 

These two areas are still our main sources of income besides grants and donations.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Rob for his selfless dedication and hard work over the years.

On your behalf I would like to extend to him our heartfelt gratitude for his countless hours of service to the promotion and development our Shed, one of the best in Australia, if not the world!

We have a young fella, Joseph who is stepping into the Office role, 3 days a week to learn the rope from Rob. He will be here Mondays, Wednesdays and fridays from 9 am. Other members are designated to open the Shed at 7am.

Alan Cook has volunteered to take up the role for 3 days a fortnight with the remaining day to be manned by other committee members.

If you can lend a hand please front up and let it be known at the Office. Don't leave it to the few.

Using Fixed Machinery

All members are covered for injury while working at the Shed. as a major part of your membership fees. However, as part of the conditions for cover whilst using machinery we are required to induct members in the safe use of each fixed machine. 

This applies to ALL members, non members are not permitted to operate any fixed machinery in the Shed due to liability and insurance issues, regardless of their expertise.

We acquire new machines from time to time and therefore you need to update your induction records/competency forms. Recent acquisitions include a new bench router, drop saw, metal guillotine and press as well as this year a new jointer and circular saw.

Ken Ryan conducts inductions for new members after smoko on a Thursday (book through office). Existing members needing induction/refreshers on unfamiliar machines can also arrange this with Ken.

All members have induction records/competency forms kept in their file in the Office. It is important that you are signed off to use equipment in the Shed. In fact, it is a legal requirement for our insurance and accreditation.

These records must be kept up to date since the insurance company can refuse compensation claims for injury etc. if it is not. They have the right to request access to these records in processing claims

It is your responsibility to make sure that you are not using machines that you are not inducted or competent to use.


Strategic plan

Coffs Harbour Community Men’s Shed 2022 - 2025 Strategic Plan is now available for viewing at the Shed. Copies been posted on Notice Boards in the Shed.

This plan maps the direction the Shed will take till 2025 and will be regularly reviewed. It is an important document for all members as it how your Shed will develop, its priorities and values.

It will be presented and open for discussion by members at the AGM.

Fixed Costs to open the Shed door - Yearly, Weekly & Daily

Yearly Fixed Costs

Power       $3,366.91

Water       $161.00

Rent          $338.61

Phone       $1,909.67

Insurance $7,403.70

Total          $13,179.89           Per Week $253.46             Per day $50.69

This of course doesn't include the day to day expenses such as consumables including tea, coffee, milk, cleaning products, glue, sandpaper, nails, screws, paint etc etc.

Important Reminders

Job Sheets MUST be filled in and filed with the Office before you start any work at the Shed. This is a common sense rule so that the Shed managers know what is happening in the Shed. 

You will be advised of any job charges at this time, usually $10, for the use of consumables eg. glue, screws, nails, sandpaper etc. and equipment maintenance, per job sheet

Donated wood etc is used extensively for commission jobs, thus value adding, which helps offset the costs of running the Shed. If you wish to purchase/use wood etc for your job, please ask at the Office FIRST.

A member found a nice piece of cedar in the shape of a table leg in the stores, he cut it up, without asking, for a job he wanted to make. It turned out that it was the leg off a full sized billiard table which was to be restored!

Materials are generally sold at half the retail price, however, if used without consultation then full retail/replacement price will be charged. Members also store wood for projects at the Shed and will be justifiably upset if members use or cut up their material.

It is often unreasonable to expect to cut off a smaller piece from a larger usable length and expect to pay just for the piece you desire. You may be asked to try your luck at Bunnings.

On that note, we need to have a clean out of unclaimed/abandoned jobs in the Shed. We are running out of space and need to make some much needed space. If you have jobs/materials stored at the Shed it will need to be claimed asap or it will be disposed of.

There is a simple rule at the Shed: leave equipment and work spaces as you would LIKE to find them.

Please be considerate when using common areas such as the kitchen and toilets. Other members regularly have to clean up these areas.

Report any problems with equipment to the Office so that it can be attended to.

Remember to sign in and out, it allows the committee to monitor usage and safety officers to check off members in the case of emergencies including mandatory fire drills.

Tea and coffee etc are provided as a courtesy. A donation of $2 towards costs is expected and appreciated as you sign in.

This gives you a bottomless cup throughout the day, which is a great deal in anybodies eyes. The Shed outlays about $150/month for Tea, Coffee.

This doesn't include the cost of milk, sugar, butter, sauces, bottled water etc., or the costs of cleaning materials to endeavour to keep the area fit for purpose. 

An increasing number of members are opting not to stop for breaks during the day. These breaks are important as a social occasion and to refresh the mind and body. No work noise should occur for at least 20 minutes during breaks.

A cleaning roster of members has been recently introduced and is available either from the Office or there is also a copy in the pidgeon holes in the kitchen area. This has not been working well, can you please check to see when your turn arises, as this takes the burden off the few.

Members are reminded to wait until after lunch before they spirit away food stuffs provided by OZHarvest. Members regularly make use of these items for morning tea and lunch.

Our Community

Tool Box meetings are held at morning tea during the week following the committee meeting (2nd Thursday monthly) to give feedback to members.

Free member luncheons have been well received and will continue to be provided every month, on the 3rd Tuesday, as an initiative to promote social interaction away from the tools. 

Xmas Party was full subscribed with 80 pre-booked members, the night was a great success thanks to the efforts of Ken Howe and Ken Ryan.

Crib is being played by an increasing number of members during breaks. All are welcome to take part whether you are a novice or an experienced player.

Welcome to the digital world classes have been taken up by 2 members and they were complete novices so have started from scratch. Coming classes will including setting up gmail and other accounts, using search engines and installing and configuring apps.

Cooking healthy meals on a budget Classes have not proved to be of interest to members at this stage.

General Interest

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

It is relatively easier to get a card since the Commonwealth increased the income limits.

To meet the income test, you must earn less than the following:

• $90,000 a year if you’re single
• $144,000 a year for couples
• $180,000 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.

Add $639.60 to these amounts for each child in your care.

There is no assets test.

You can get a card if you meet all the following conditions.

You must:

• be Age Pension age
• meet residence rules
• not be getting a payment from us or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
• give us a Tax File Number or be exempt from doing so
• meet identity requirements
• meet the income test.


You can get cheaper medical expenses with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
With a CSHC you may get benefits such as:

• cheaper prescription medicines etc under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
• bulk billed doctor visits - this is up to your doctor
• a refund for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net.

You may also get the Economic Support Payment. If you’re eligible, this is paid into your bank account automatically.

Other benefits

The NSW government also provides benefits associated with this card.

NSW Seniors Card

As a NSW permanent resident aged 60 or over, you can apply for a NSW Seniors Card.

The card is free and gives you discounts and special offers at thousands of businesses across NSW including shops, restaurants and professional services. Many interstate and oversees businesses also provide discounts on request (make sure you carry your card on you). 

The NSW Seniors Card gives you access to the Gold Opal Card transport concessions and public transport concessions Australia-wide.

How to get rid of mould

How to clean mould yourself, and when you should call the pros.

Getting rid of mould in your home takes time and elbow grease – and you probably won't be using that 'miracle' mould killer you picked up at the supermarket.
It's important you don't just ignore mould growing in your home. It can give off toxic spores and vapours which can be dangerous to your health – possibly resulting in allergic reactions, asthma and flu-like symptoms.

How to remove mould yourself

Step 1: Assess the damage

Before starting, work out what kind of surface the mould has attached to:

• If the mould is on something that's super-porous, like a textile, clothing or furniture, there's a good chance it can't be completely removed and it may need to be thrown out. Anything like wicker baskets, textiles, paper and cardboard or carpet needs to be chucked away – don't even bother with these surfaces. (And don't just let carpet dry out if there's been water damage, as mould spores will be left behind, buried in the carpet fibres.)

• Non-porous surfaces such as hard plastics should be relatively easier to clean.

• Semi-porous surfaces will be variable.

Mouldy grout can be very difficult to clean.

Mould in bathroom grout or silicone

These areas deserve a separate mention. Once mould gets its grip here, getting rid of it is almost impossible. 

When mould grows, it develops hyphae, or roots, which grow into the grout or silicone. You can clean the surfaces of the grout or silicone, but not deep into it. In those cases you have to replace the silicone or re-grout your bathroom.

Step 2: Vacuum the mould

The next step is to vacuum up the mould, but your vacuum cleaner needs a good HEPA filter, otherwise you could be making the problem worse by spreading the mould around.

Step 3: Remove the mould

Our experts recommend using diluted vinegar, which causes mould to overeat and die.

How to use vinegar to clean mould

• Pour a concentration of 80% vinegar to 20% water into three buckets.

• Grab a microfibre cloth, dip it into the first bucket, then use it for cleaning a patch of mould.

• The same microfibre cloth should then be rinsed in the second bucket, then rinsed again in the third to ensure cross-contamination doesn't occur.

• Microfibre cloths, which reach deep into tiny crevices and have a slight electric charge, can be bought cheaply and washed on a hot cycle in the washing machine with vinegar up to 100 times.

• After using vinegar there may still be streaks or discolouration on surfaces which you should be able to remove with bleach.

Diluted vinegar can be more effective than bleach or commercial products.

Does bleach kill mould?

Experts we spoke to say there's evidence that bleach can kill fungi, but it needs to be at a 10% concentration to work.

Even at a higher potency, bleach won't penetrate porous materials, so if the mould is growing on plaster, grout or wood, it will kill mould on the surface, but not below it.

Also, several experts told us that bleach can be a masking agent. Bleach takes the colour, or melanin, out of fungi, making it invisible. You can't see it anymore, so you think the bleach has done its job, when that's not necessarily the case.

Strong bleach is also harmful to grout and tiles as it erodes and corrodes the surfaces, making them more porous, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to further fungi growth.

Warning: Never mix bleach and vinegar together – it creates toxic chlorine gas.

Do commercial mould cleaning products work?

Commercially available mould cleaning products may look like they're doing the job, but it's probably an illusion.

Most of them use bleach (often listed as sodium hypochlorite) as an active ingredient. But the concentration of bleach in these products marketed as 'mould killers' is often five percent or less.

Bleach has a short shelf life and loses potency quickly, so if products have been on shelves for an extended period of time, they become even more ineffective.

When to call in the professional mould removalists

If mould covers a large area of your home – experts say a rough guide is one metre square – and is dense, if you've had flooding, or if householders are asthmatic, it's best to call in the experts.

The cost of professional help varies. An initial investigation can cost around $1500 for an expert to test the site and find the cause of the mould and write a plan for removal of mould. After that, it's a question of the extent of the problem.

Actual removal of mould can range from $2000 to $90,000, depending on the contamination level and size of the property. Mould removalists need to be certified, have the right equipment, get special training, maintain a high level of fitness and have the ability to sustain thermal stress. They're not just cleaners, so their hourly rate can be $80 – $110.

We had a flooding incident in our bedroom which we discovered on arriving home from holidays. The storm event apparently happened a couple of days earlier and a small pool of water covered about 1 sq metre of our bedroom carpet. 

I called our insurance company who said that they would get a mould remover specialist company to come to dry out the carpet and remove any mould issues. I questioned this stating that until I had a quote I didn't know if I would make a claim or bear the costs myself. 

I was told that the insurance company would carry out these measures in the sake of health and safety, because mould is dangerous, AT NO COST! 

The mould specialist came with commercial blowers to dry the carpet over the weekend. He came back 3 days later and said that he recommended to the insurance company that we needed to cut out that section of the carpet because it was susceptible to ongoing mould issues. 

The insurance company decided to replace the whole carpet and treat the house for mould, which was excellent and ended up being much more than the excess, I was a very happy customer!

How to prevent mould from coming back

Here are some tips for preventing mould from growing in the home:

• Fix any external entry points for moisture in your home, for example, a leaky roof or broken pipes.

• Install a good exhaust fan in the bathroom and prevent moisture build-up on surfaces. Squeegee or towel-dry your tiles and floors immediately after showering, and make sure you clean bathroom scum, which mould feeds on.

• Ventilate your home. Inadequate ventilation is one of the main reasons homes become vulnerable to mould growth. When the air stops moving, you can get a build-up of humidity and moisture in those areas. If you can't ventilate, think about a dehumidifier for the room.

• Avoid air drying clothes indoors, especially without adequate ventilation.

• Be careful about extreme differences in heat between indoors and outdoors (for example, having super cold air conditioning when it's 40°C outside) as condensation will form if there's a gap in the window or you open the door.

• Make informed heating and cooling choices – several experts we consulted warned against the use of unflued gas heaters, which release moisture into the air.

• Mould needs organic matter – such as dust or dead skin cells – to thrive, so it's important to keep up with regular vacuuming and dusting.

Choice Magazine 07 March 2022

Ben Hall, Clown Prince of Bushrangers

A lot of people think Ned Kelly was the funniest bushranger, but any fool can put a bucket on his head and swan about writing letters. For bushranging comedy with some real originality and intelligence behind it, you need to look to the conceptual art of Bold Ben Hall, the tragic hero who turned to a life of crime after his wife left him and the police burnt down his house.

Unlike most bushrangers, Hall was not all that interested in shooting people. Even robbery under arms took a secondary place in his priorities to the all-important goal of publicly humiliating the police. To this end, he conducted a criminal career that was less a reign of terror than an extended live episode of Candid Camera.

Hall never killed anyone and gained a reputation as "the gentleman bushranger". And unlike the fifty other "gentleman bushrangers", he actually deserved it.

On two separate occasions, Hall's gang bailed up the NSW town of Canowindra, locked the police in their own cells, and threw a huge party for the rest of the population in the town's pub.

On leaving, they paid the landlord for all goods consumed and the townspeople for their time, just to really rub it in that they were not only smarter than the cops, but more generous.

However, Hall's bushranging career hit a peak when he was being pursued by the local police, near Bathurst.

Disarming the troopers, the gang proceeded to strip them naked and tie them to trees, whereupon Hall delivered a stirring lecture on the pressing problem of police misbehaviour, before riding off into what I presume was a beautiful sunset, leaving the long arm of the law to await assistance in its highly embarrassed state.

It was the ultimate example of Ben Hall's raison d'etre as a bushranger — on that day, one of Australia's greatest bushrangers proved that you could make as powerful a statement by taking the piss out of the coppers as by shooting them.

If Hall's educational address was not particularly well-received by its captive audience, it was certainly well-timed, and one might think a warmer embrace of the Hall method in the corridors of power might be beneficial when dealing with disciplinary matters.

In any case, it was a shining testament to the legacy of Ben Hall, a man who defied the law not for personal gain or the satisfaction of base desires, but for the innocent and noble purpose of having a bit of a laugh at others' expense. Good on him.

Ben Pobjie is a writer, comedian and poet with no journalistic qualifications whatsoever. He has written for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, New Matilda, The Roar, and Crikey, among others. His latest book, Error Australis, is out now.

New Management 2023 (voluntary)


President: Chris Hansen

Vice President: Robert Houston

Secretary: Tony Winter

Treasurer: Garth Howard

Assistant Secretary: Chris Hansen

Assistant Treasurer: Ken Ryan


David Churchyard
Alan Cook
Peter Jackson
Ken Howe
Glenn Cox
Brian Franklin
Robert Francis


Shed Managers & Office Administration:

Alan Cook

Health & Welfare Officers:

Ken Ryan
Ken Howe

Woodwork Shop:

Tom Skinner

Metalwork / Engineering:

Peter Jackson

 Equipment Maintenance:

Ken Ryan
Brian Franklin
Alan Cook

Music Group - The Shedmen:

Warren Sanger

Garage Sales:

Murray Smith

Paul Fitzgerald


Tony Winter

Life Members:

Derek King Scott
 Peter Jackson
Ken Howe
Ken Ryan
Robert Houston

Supporters of the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed

The Coffs Harbour Community Men's Shed wishes to thank all our supporters, both large and small,
for their ongoing support and generous donations of time and money. 


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