October 2020 Newsletter

President's Report

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

General News

  • The Annual General Meeting is set for Thursday Dec 10 at 10.00am. Further details or changes will be announced in the next newsletter.
  • The Committee is looking into a venue for this years Christmas Party. Details to be announced as they are decided. Restrictions due to Covid need to be considered and adhered to.
  • Robert wants to have a large screen "Race Day" on October 18. The Bathurst Race will be shown, ad free, on a big screen at the shed. This is a great social event for the boys (and may be a relief to their partners). Please call or talk to Robert if you are interested.
  • We have been accident free for a long time, but a shedder nearly took off 3 fingers recently while using a saw to shape some timber. He spent the night in hospital. Accidents like this don't happen if you follow ALL the safety rules, so BE CAREFUL.

A tribute to Ken Hall

Ken was an extremely hard worker and believed in the benefits of the Shed and the early efforts in Rotary to get a shed going.

He was on the early Steering Committee in 2009 and made a fine contribution to getting the Shed established. His firm, Advance Metal Industries and Ken, provided all the frames for the six or eight workbenches which are used daily in the Shed.

Ken was instrumental in getting the initial Government Grant of $75,000 which gave us the credibility with the Council, which enabled the Shed to get underway. He was also the man responsible for producing the "Rules of the Shed" which are displayed in the lunch room.

Unfortunately, Ken had some health problems over the past few years and we haven't seen much of him in the Shed.

Ken Howe gave an Eulogy at Ken's funeral on October 10.

Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words about Ken. I have had the pleasure to work with Ken in the 40 plus years he was with the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour, that's half a lifetime.

Ken was inducted into Rotary in 1977 and he took his time to see what he was most comfortable with and interested in. With his boundless energy and ability, he was soon invited to join the board and in fact, served as President in 83/84.

A great family man, Ken had quickly become involved with many Youth Programmes that Rotary offered and he and Shirley hosted many an exchange student at their home and they also involved their children in these programmes.

I think one of my fondest memories and fun with the Halls was on a Club organised trip in 1987 to the Rotary International Convention in Munich. We were away for several weeks and a pre-convention Friendship Exchange in Denmark had been organised which included a lot of bus travel. One of the team members said it was great, sight seeing all day and partying half the night. Well, most of us would enjoy a bit of a kip on the bus, but Ken with his endless energy and being an avid photographer, would take great delight in waiting to see who went to sleep and then get videos of them, preferably with their mouths open.

Another treasured moment I have is at the BIG Club where Ken was bestowed with his Paul Harris Fellowship and I had the task of hiding Shirley and the children until after he was presented with his gong. All went well, and Ken was blown away by having his family there to congratulate him at the surprise ceremony.

In his Presidency, he had the Rotaract Club rechartered and he received the letter from the local 'Ostomy Society' that sowed the seed for the BowelScan Programme. Ken championed "Bowel Screening" in Coffs Harbour and it was his baby, and he and Shirley for years put a lot of energy and effort into it.

Ken received a Sapphire for his Paul Harris award in recognition of his years of service.

In closing, Ken saw the benefit of Men's Sheds and became involved with the Coffs Harbour Rotary Men's Shed programme and served on the early steering committee and made a huge contribution in getting a Shed established.

Goodbye Ken I hope Peter can keep up with you.

Garage Sales are back in full swing

Lots of fresh items for sale

The garage sale on Saturday 3rd October had another great turnover, generating around $1,300 for the Shed. Ken Ryan took these photos on the day. Thanks Ken, and thanks again to all the shedders who make this day a success. Visitors are welcomed to the shed, and shedders get the opportunity to socialise instead of working, keeping the atmosphere pleasant and enjoyable.

Tom leading the pack

Dave is always on hand to cook breakfast

Personal Sales Assistants...


Thanks to Denise Stevens for her donation of this ride-on lawn mower.

Logo Design Competition

This is the current logo for the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed. It was designed By our manager Robert and has been used over the years as our primary logo.

The Shed now is conducting a competition for a new logo design. It doesn't have to be polished, or colour accurate, but could be innovative, a play on the initials, a better graphic underneath etc. We are offering a $50 Bunnings Gift Voucher to whoever comes up with a clever, usable design. The competition will run for a few months but will be decided upon when a suitable logo is submitted, or time runs out.

If you have something to suggest, or a design to submit, send it to Robert at the shed, or to me (Ray) using the links below.

Happy drawing...

Robert's Email

Ray's Email

Special "ShedMen" Article

Shedmen Information

The Mens Shed music group "The Shedmen" in now well and truly up and playing.

With support of some early grant monies the shed is now the proud owner of a state-of-the-art Yamaha MG12XU mixer and some microphones.

Members still use their own instruments primarily, but it is anticipated that monies will become available for more leads, microphones, stands, instruments and electronic drum kit. The current drum kit is now old and partially holding together but we look forward to an improvement soon, not only for space, but ease of transport when we hopefully perform publicly.

Members should be aware that official practice is currently on Tuesdays from 10am
(til we get shut down?).

Any existing members or new members are welcome to join in, play along, or just sit and listen. Maybe you have a latent desire to take to the stage and use your vocals.

Our current group have a wide variety of abilities to include lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, banjo, harmonica, electric keyboard, saxophone, piano accordian, drums/percussion and vocals.

Please be aware that the door to the music room is only closed to protect the hearing of other shed members, so don't be afraid to join in any time.

After all, the music group is only another extension of the wide variety of interests in our shed.

Tony Goninan.

For further information contact Warren Sanger, Tony Goninan or a Shed Manager.



Warren: Rhythm guitar, vocals.

(Charlie Pride eat your heart out.)

Hi this is Warren Sanger and as a member of the Shedmen I am a self taught musician who has a little musical talent but with the help of the other professional musos in the band it helps me make  a reasonable sound. I hope other shed members will come along and enjoy being in a band. Remember good musicians can make you sound great whilst enjoying the making of music and song.

Tony: Drums, percussion. 

(definitely no vocals) 

Pause and think…….What would the world be like without music? Tony Goninan started drumming in a school rock band at Orange High in 1962/3. Luckily I got involved with an “Old Time Band” in Braidwood in1966 which taught me the importance of keeping good dance time. This progressed to a semi rock band which played up and down the Sth Coast for another 13 yrs then I moved overseas where unfortunately my direct involvement in bands ceased. It is so rewarding now to be involved with such a great group of “old musos” at the Men's Shed. We are reliving our youth with fun, laughter., music. We jam on Tuesdays and anyone with an interest is welcome to come join in the fun. 10am onwards. (“Just remember, the tempo is whatever I say it is”)

Neil: Harmonica, sax, vocals.

(I can play anything…….)

Neil Matthews has been playing harmonica, sax and singing in bands for over 40 years in folk, blues and rock music. "I enjoy playing with the Mens shed band since it is fun and relaxed and very welcoming to new members no matter what your level. We play a wide variety of music styles which keeps it fresh and we have a lot of laughs along the way."

Dave: Electric keyboard, accordion and some vocals.

 (Fats Domino , Jerry Lee Lewis re - incarnated)

"My name is Dave Peterson and I play the keyboard or accordion with the SHEDMEN. Since moving to the Coffs coast area last year and joining the Mens Shed I was very pleased to discover they had a group of like-minded blokes who also liked playing music. I have always played the piano since childhood, usually just for my own amusement but sometimes with others in small combos for local dances or parties. I consider it a privilege to join in with the SHEDMEN where there is no judgment or criticism, except in jest with the emphasis on FUN and mateship. We practice every Tuesday, practising anything from blues/rock to country and western in an atmosphere of tolerance and laughter."

Dave (Gillie): Lead guitar, vocals. 

(star in our midst)

Dave Gilchrist (Gillie) started playing a ukulele at four years of age with his Pop, Dad and Uncles when they got together to jam on stations in central Queensland in the early 60’s. He got his first guitar at age seven, and in his teenage years Gillie thought he might want be a Country (& Western) star. As he grew up in Tamworth Gillie spent his early years deeply in the country scene. As a fourteen year old he was part of the original "Teenage Country Style" band that toured and played many live radio events. He won a number of talent quest awards in those years including the Mal Gardner Award & Buddy Williams Award at the very first Tamworth Country  Music festival. Gillie has written, recorded, toured and played music for over 50 years in bands in Australia, America and Germany. The Men’s shed band is full of wonderful musicians, and Gillie is enjoying the comradeship and fun they have making music together.

Col: Bass guitar.

(Daddy cool,…... Mr Bass man)

"Hi, I am Col Hampshire. I grew up in a musical family where all boys played guitars and drums. Played bass guitar in a few bands on the South Coast and Snowy Mountains for many years. After moving to Coffs Harbour in 1982 played in a couple of bands here as well. The best thing has been the formation of the Shedmen, it is wonderful to play with such a great group of guys who love music as much as I do."


Chris: Rhythm, harmonica, vocals, learning lead guitar.

(Just tapping into all my hidden talents) 

Chris Pile: "Got my first guitar on my 15th birthday and played with a high school garage band. Briefly played in a jug band in my art school daze in the early 70s playing guitar, mandolin, harmonica. Was part of Bellingen based AkaBella choir playing at festivals, gigs and community events for more than 10 years. Always enjoy jamming with others with with a variety of instruments but haven't played regularly with a group till joining up with the “Shedmen” a couple of years ago. It's a pleasure playing with bunch of other old blokes playing old songs from our teenage days of the 50's and 60's…  It's good to be playing in a supportive caring crew - we have a lot of fun and laughs. After so many years of playing acoustic guitar I was recently inspired to buy an electric guitar.... The best new toy I've had in years!"

Jamming in 2018

Before getting their own room, the "Shedmen" jammed in the office. Some of the faces have changed, the acoustics are poor and the drums a little archaic, but the boys still managed to sound great.

Committee 2020


President: Tom Skinner
Vice President: Ken Ryan
Secretary: Tony Winter
Treasurer: Garth Howard


David Churchyard
Robert Houston
Peter Jackson
Ken Howe
Glenn Cox
Warren Sanger
Brain Franklin


Shed Managers & Office Administration:

Robert Houston
David Churchyard

Health & Welfare Officers:

David Churchyard
Ken Howe

Woodwork Shop:

Tom Skinner

Metalwork / Engineering:

Peter Jackson

Information Technology / Website / Media:

Ray Meyer

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. 


Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service used on our website that tracks, reports traffic and measures how users interact with our website content in order for us to improve it and provide better services.


Our website allows you to like or share its content on Facebook social network. By activating and using it you agree to Facebook's privacy policy: https://www.facebook.com/policy/cookies/


Integrated tweets and share services of Twitter are used on our website. By accepting and using these you agree to Twitter's privacy policy: https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-cookies