MenzShed Invercargill soon to add engineering projects to its work list

21 April, 2021


MenzShed manager Peter Bailey, left, and member Kevin Joyce are among a team of workers changing an empty building in Liddel St, Invercargill, into the organisation’s new headquarters.

Article courtesy of Jamie Searle, Southland Times

MenzShed Invercargill not only completes lots of woodwork projects a year, it’s providing an environment for seniors to meet and work together.

It’s got 30 members but committeeman Ken Bowie says the number will rise when the organisation moves from its Forth St workshop to a bigger building in Liddel St in May.

He and manager Peter Bailey agreed the move would enable more projects to be done and the introduction of the long awaited engineering section.

“As soon as we mention that we’re open for engineering, there’s probably half a dozen guys, I know, ready to join,” Bowie said.

He has no room in his town house to set up a workshop and is pleased to share his gear.

The camaraderie at MenzShed made it enjoyable, Wilkey said.

Assistant manager Nick Sarisa said MenzShed gave members a place to form friendships, help each other on projects and learned new ways to do things.

It’s a place retired people can go to, he said.

“When they retire [some] people are sitting at home getting bored and that can lead to health problems. The health and welfare of the men is important to us.”

MenzShed Invercargill members in the building they will soon move to in Liddel St, from left manager Peter Bailey, Ken Bowie, Kevin Joyce, Simon Seear, Paul Goffin, back; Bailey’s grandson, Jacob Maisuria, front; assistant manager Nick Sarisa, Russell Crowther, Warren Whatson and Trevor Wilkey.

Some members had “come out of their shells” with involvement at MenzShed, Ken Bowie said.

Most of the members are retired tradesmen or had a handyman background. A few others came along just for the company.

Virtually all work done by members had been on woodwork projects since MenzShed Invercargill opened three and a half years ago.

MenzShed was grateful for funding from the Invercargill Licensing Trust, ILT Foundation and Community Trust South to enable it to move into a bigger building, Bowie said.

MenzShed took out a lease on an empty building on Liddel St on April 1 and members had begun changing the layout to suit the needs of the shed. The building is owned by the HW Richardson Group.

“We’ve outgrown our current building faster than we anticipated,” Peter Bailey said.

“We thought we’d be there for five or six years.

“There’s not enough room [in the Forth St building].”