WIMMERA MADE: Bob Bowden of Nhill admires a restored 1928 Gardiner Aussie Fire Engine manufactured in Warracknabeal, which the Warracknabeal Men’s Shed restored. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERMORE than 120 men attended the Wimmera’s first Victorian Men’s Shed Association state gathering on Friday.
Nanjing Night Net

Men from Geelong, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Gippsland and the Wimmera attended the event at Horsham Cycling Club.

Horsham Mayor Mandi Stewart opened the gathering, describing it as ‘noisier than a CWA conference’.

“The men were all busy sharing stories,” she said. “It was great to have to them here in Horsham.”

Wimmera Men’s Shed Network convener Geoff Witmitz said the day was about networking.

Mr Witmitz said the gathering discussed serious issues including funding options and occupational health and safety, as well as giving men opportunities to socialise.

He cited Warracknabeal Men’s Shed as an example of what Men’s Sheds could achieve.

When the shed first opened in 2007, the members decided to restore a 1928 Gardiner Aussie Fire Engine, originally manufactured in Warracknabeal.

“The Warracknabeal shed is amazing they know all the history of the fire engine,” Mr Witmitz said.

“As well as being able to take it apart and put it together again, they also know the story and can link it back to the community.”

Warracknabeal Men’s Shed president David Mollison said shed members brought the fire engine to the gathering to share with other men.

“It was rusty and badly needed repairing,” he said. “In the 1920s they built 85 of these, which went all over Victoria.

“This one was found in the Western District and we thought the restored engine was worthy to bring to Horsham today as a bit of show and tell.”

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