March 2024 Newsletter

Annual General Meeting 2023

Meeting opened: 10:00am 14/12/2023

Present: As per the “sign in” sheets, 42 members present

Apologies: Clive Longstaff, Alan McFadyen, Brian Franklin, Tom Skinner and Gary Lenard

Minutes previous AGM: Moved: Chris Hansen, 2nd: Tony Winter, carried unanimously,

No business arising.

President’s Report: Copy in the December 2023 newsletter

Treasurer’s Report: AGM financial year - November 22/23 The full statement is available from the Office.

Break-ins cost us $11,676 however they occurred over 4 events meaning we would have to pay excess $2500 per event. Committee has decided it was not worth it.
We also had donation of security grills for the windows from the Logue family, replacement locks and keys by Coffs Harbour City Locksmiths and a meal for members during clean up by the Fishing Co-op.

Moved: Garth, 2nd Robert Houston, carried unanimously.

Outgoing Committee

Chris thanked the current committee for their generosity and dedication as members of the management committee. A voluntary role.

All positions declared vacant 10:25am, Returning Officer Chris Hansen read through the nominations and declared all required positions elected unopposed.

There were 10 nominations for 6 ordinary member positions on committee. A secret ballot was then conducted and a scrutineer appointed, John Farugia.

The voting proceedings are available for members to view if required. The committee elected for 2024 consists of:

President Robert Houston
Vice President Ken Ryan
Secretary Tony Winter
Treasurer Garth Howard

Elected ordinary members
Member Dave Churchyard
Member Peter Jackson
Member Ken Howe
Member Alan Cook
Member Brian Franklin
Member Doug Tysoe

Unsuccessful candidates
Gary Lenard
Ian Finn
Dave Gilchrist
Steve Leary

General Business:

Xmas Party: RSVP Friday 22nd December till Tuesday 2nd January
Clean Up: starts Tuesday 2nd January until finished. NO personal jobs to be allowed during this time.
Xmas Celebrations: BBQ lunch at the Shed, barefoot bowls 16:30 dinner from 18:00

Meeting Closed: 10:46

General News

Shed Men

The Music Section Sub-committee is dedicated to continually improving the music room and facilities at Coffs Harbour Men's Shed, with a primary goal of enhancing the overall well-being and engagement of its members.

The music section at the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed experienced remarkable growth last year, witnessing a surge in both the number of musicians and the diversity of musical genres embraced within the facility. In fact, there are now 35 active musicians and 5
musical genres (Acoustic instruments, Country, Easy listening, Blues and Rock) who use the facilities from Monday through to Friday.

The positive ripple effect of performances and interaction by the Men's Shed Musical Groups within the wider community include:

● amplifying the visibility of the Men's Shed and its diverse activities
● spreading the sheer joy that musical performances naturally bring to everyone in the
● see video on engaging in music boost brain health
● mateship and general fun and enjoyment of the members.

A modern and well- equipped music room provides a creative space for individuals to explore their musical talents, fostering a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie among the music group members. By aligning with the evolving needs of our dynamic Men's Shed musical community, this update aims to share information, activities and goals of the broader group of Shed Men musicians with the entire Men's Shed community.

2023 Christmas Party The Shed Men Musos were pleased to be invited to perform again at the 2023 Christmas party. The boys had a lot of fun and reported a fun time was had by all.
A video has been posted on the Facebook page.

The band warming up for the gig

The Shed Men introducing their members

As part of the entertainment, a game of beer pong was adapted to allow members to vie for prizes!

2024 Planning underway:

In late January, the representative committee of the music group convened to appoint the inter-group subcommittee for the year. Every day boasts the presence of at least one sub-committee member.

The sub-committee's chief objective is to ensure that the voices of all musicians across
different groups are heard. It plays a pivotal role in synchronizing operational enhancements, introducing new activities, and orchestrating future plans for the entire group.

The subcommittee systematically assesses, and priorities concepts, ideas, and suggestions forwarded to them, paving the way for subsequent actions. With this year's planning already in progress, the subcommittee eagerly anticipates sharing the outcomes with the broader musical community.
This year’s Music Group Representatives are:

● Geoff Borschmann (Friday Group)
● Steve Cook (Thurs/Friday groups)
● Rick Cooke (Wednesday Group.)
● David Gilchrist (Friday Group)
● Tony Goninan (Tuesday/Friday Groups)
● Neil Matthews (Thursday Group)
● Vern McAlpin (Tuesday/Wednesday Groups)
● Gavin Merchant (Friday Group)
● Warren Sanger (Tuesday Group)

Group delegate to the committee:
To streamline communications this group has nominated Vern McAlpin as the communications officer. Vern will induct new musicians and manage communications with the shed front office and committee.
New members to the shed who wish to join in the music activities can be directed to Vern as well as general communications or group messages. Vern (Band) McAlpin at

In conclusion, the music group sincerely thanks the shed committee for their steadfast
The musicians of the shed eagerly anticipate the continued well-being and enjoyment of all
members. Furthermore, they are dedicated to contributing funds back to the committee in the upcoming year, aiming to further improve the shed and its facilities.

Collectively, we eagerly anticipate a future filled with harmony and prosperity at the shed!

Kind regard
David John Gilchrist, on behalf of the shed men musicians.

T-shirt for Men's Shed Rock group.
  • The music group have designed the above logo for the rock group
  • Each individual group may request their own genre name branding and design.
  • Music group members will pay for their own shirts ($25 each).
  • All shed member will be able to purchase a shirt ($25 each).

The Shed Clean up

The bi-annual clean up happened again at the beginning of January. Numbers attending were a bit disappointing, mainly only the usual suspects!

The Interior was given a good clean and refurbishment by the team. It is amazing how dusty the Shed still gets despite the extractor system. It was also a great opportunity to get rid of the discarded timber and materials around the place.

It was disappointing to see members turn up to do their own thing despite the clean up being communicated in numerous ways in December. Some even were quite put out when asked to stop.

The organisation is evolving and responsive to feedback. Most people were able to use their own initiative when push came to shove.

Shots of the construction of the Timber Mill Shed

Shots of the roofing of the Timber storage racks

A big thank you to all hands!

In early January, Robert & Ken Ryan decided to arrange a thank you luncheon for the
helpers of the Shed clean up that was happening in January.

The arrangement was, that no normal work to be carried out in the Shed
until the clean up in the Shed was completed.

The idea was to give the workers of the clean up an incentive to get on with
it so the Shed could get back to normal activities.

Ken Howe was asked to arrange the meal at the Pier Hotel, partly in recognition of the Shed’s Patron Warren Skinner who owns the Pier Hotel.

The upstairs Terrace Bar was booked by Maxine Skinner for the Shed’s exclusive use and
a dry till was arranged at the bar for a couple of drinks. The Bistro Menu was used
for the Shedders to order their meal.

The meal on Friday 19th January 2024 for more than 20 people went very well and Robert said a few well chosen words and thanked those who participated (Members who signed in during the time were invited).

There was a good atmosphere at the luncheon and overall it was a worthwhile exercise.

Commission Jobs

The refurbishment of a rocking horse, courtsey largely of Don and Ken

We are getting good at this, we have done 5 or 6!

Ib and Garry making a cabinet for a client

Children table and chairs refurbished by Ian Finn

Salt and pepper containers for the Waratah aged care cafe

Graham refurbished this lamp. A fantastic job, worth a look.

Ian Kerr has been very busy restoring outdoor benches

Wayne constructed a series of putt putt courses for Bunnings

Yes! we are still making possum boxes thanks to Dave and Garry

Deck chairs restored by Steve Leary

Jobs made by Robert using the Laser

Wayne working on a commission job

Member Jobs

Tony is making a coffee table from jacaranda he had salvaged

Sudheer putting the finishing touches to his kitchen renovation

Arlon and David made this BBQ bench

Garage Sales

Murray Smith and Paul Fitzgerald his assistant have been setting records in sales. Consist sales figures over $2000. Well done guys!

Storage has been a major problem with the large volumes of donations we receive each month and also unsold items from previous sales.

The Shed purchased a container to house sale items. It has been installed in the extend back yard area and still requires some refurbishment to allow forklift access and efficient storage.

Murray now sends unsold items to the auction house to move things on, making room for new items. It has proved to be an efficient and profitable move.

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.

Notice Board

Office Management

Robert is back! Robert was hoping for a quieter life pursuing his own interests; however his commitment to shed members has won out, despite his ongoing health issues.

If you have spent time in the Shed over the last 18 months or so, you will have noticed we have struggled to man the Office.
The Shed is now back on a more even keel with both David and Robert at the wheel.

Thanks to those members who helped keep the doors open and ensured that members could enjoy the best of what the Shed has to offer.

It is important that the Office knows what is happening in the Shed at all times to ensure the safety and security of all members.

Please, those guys who try to sneak in and do their own thing without a job sheet or anything, you are only making their job harder!

I for one don't have the knowledge, expertise or commitment to put the time and effort these guys put into managing the Shed. I’d encourage you to show your appreciation occasionally, it lifts their spirits and costs you little.

Using Fixed Machinery

All members are covered for injury while working at the Shed. as a major part of the 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.

Ken inducting new member John Van-stroe

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

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 because the insurance company can refuse compensation claims for injury. They have the right to request access to these records in processing claims.

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

Please don't attempt repairs or major adjustments without consulting the maintenance crew or the Office.

Always use the metal detector before cutting/thicknessing any second hand timber.

 Strategic plan

The Plan informs the committee on the direction that members want to take. It is also an important document when we apply for government grants and funding from the community.

We were successful with our NSW government grant application for $10000, to facilitate the purchase of a new CNC machine and 2 laptops for members use/training as per the strategic plan.

Research is underway for the upgrade to the back yard surface to allow the forklift to access the mill and the garage sale container.

Also the back yard has been resurfaced to allow safer access for the forklift, thanks to Jacko's son Scott and Peter Barker.

The upgrade of the back yard is not yet finished and will require further member working bees.

Member general meetings have been well received, the first occurred last March. The next one is scheduled for 19th March this year.

 2023 Daily Cost to open the Shed door 

Computer Expenses        $ 1,196.91

Insurance (Members)      $ 5,075.00

Insurance (Building)        $ 4,079.91

Merchant Fees             $ 399.00 (EFTPOS cost)

Motor Vehicle (Ute)        $ 8,400.20

Power                       $ 3,701.70

Rent                        $ 801.12

Repairs and Maintenance   $ 3,970.26

Telephone                   $ 1,448.17

Water                       $ 429.36

There are other smaller amounts including consumables not included in this list

                   Total     $ 25,421.40

Weekly          $ 498.46   (51 weeks allowing for  )

Daily              $ 99.70   (255 days) - 5 days / week over 51 weeks)

Your membership fees cover the cost of the insurance! $53/member

Important Reminders

There is a new FAQs sheet on the wall in the dining area to help inform members why things are done the way they are at the Shed. This signage helps explain the items  below.

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.

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.

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 have to clean up these areas, as your mother doesn't work here!

A new shelf has been added to the kitchen to try to keep the area cleaner and tidier. Thanks to Wayne, Robbie and Ian.

Tea and coffee etc are provided as a courtesy. A donation of $2 towards costs is expected and appreciated as you sign in. The donation box is next to the Sign On book.

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 new cleaning roster has drawn up with all members names placed on the roster. The roster can found under the Sign On book. 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 times 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. These luncheons are subsidised by Woolworths and Dominos Pizzas. Meals will alternate between sausages and pizza.

Card players euchre/500/crib are 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.

New Management 2024 (voluntary)


President: Robert Houston

Vice President: Ken Ryan

Secretary: Tony Winter

Treasurer: Garth Howard

Assistant Treasurer: Ken Ryan


David Churchyard
Alan Cook
Peter Jackson
Ken Howe
Doug Tysoe
Brian Franklin


Shed Managers & Office Administration:

Robert Houston 
David Churchyard

Health & Welfare Officers:

Ken Ryan
Ken Howe


Robert & Dave

Metalwork / Engineering:

Peter Jackson

 Equipment Maintenance:

Alan Cook
Ken Ryan
Brian Franklin

Music Group - The Shedmen:

Vern McAlpine

Garage Sales:

Murray Smith

Paul Fitzgerald


Tony Winter
Brian Adam

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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