Men’s shed equipped to cook up a storm

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Tatura Men’s Shed members are the wearers of many hats, gathering each Tuesday for a home-cooked feast with Charlie at the helm.

Starting from hand-me-down pots and pans, the men’s shed is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art induction cooktop, commercial oven and stainless steel work bench.

Member Gary Hopcraft saw the need for the kitchen expansion and applied for federal funding under the Stronger Communities Program.

‘‘We have upgraded to make the men’s shed sustainable. The improvements make the kitchen cheaper to run, safer and more efficient,’’ Mr Hopcraft said.

He said the Tuesday lunches had become part of the shed’s integral program.

‘‘It is one of the features of the Tatura Men’s Shed,’’ he said.

Member Charlie Lawson said he joined the group for something to do.

‘‘I’ve only been in Tatura for a bit over two years and I get bored at home. I was looking for something to do and I saw there was a advert — ‘come up to the Men’s Shed on a Tuesday’ — so I came up,’’ Mr Lawson said.

Mr Lawson said he knew about the men’s shed, but was not sure what it involved.

‘‘I got down here early one Tuesday morning and another member was in the kitchen and I jumped in to help him out,’’ he said.

Now Mr Lawson is the man to call on for a ‘‘good, hearty, home-cooked meal’’.

‘‘I love mucking around in the kitchen, it’s a bit more than what you’re used to when you’re cooking at home by yourself,’’ he said.

More than 30 members attend every Tuesday for a catch-up lunch and the occasional dessert.

‘‘This week it’s shepherd’s pie, but last week we made up an apple and rhubarb crumble just for something different,’’ Mr Lawson said.

The men’s shed uses home-grown vegetables from the garden to supplement the weekly meals.

‘‘It depends on specials down the street and what veggies we have growing that week as to what we cook up,’’ Mr Lawson said.

Mr Lawson comes in early every Tuesday morning to prepare the weekly meals.

‘‘Everyone does their bit, everyone gets in and does something, it all helps and at the end of the day most of the blokes come in and do the dishes,’’ he said.

Tatura Men’s Shed is located at 157-161 Ross St, Tatura. For more information, phone 58241089 or email [email protected]