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Men’s Shed Grawin Style

Secretary-Treasurer of the Grawin Mens Shed Jan Morgan with her apprentice, Mandy Brown. Photo TWH

Jan Morgan, a member of the Grawin Men’s Shed since 2014, is also the shed’s secretary/treasurer.

The was kettle boiling, and a plateful of warm fresh, straight-out-of-the-oven scones were waiting when The Western Herald arrived on the opal fields for a day trip.

How many members does the Grawin Men’s Shed have? “Around 15 or 16” was the answer “with about 25% being women”.

“The men who come to the Men’s Shed out here don’t have a problem with having women around, however, there are a lot of blokes on the fields (Grawin, Glengarry and Sheep Yards) that won’t come because we have women here,” Jan said.

We had a cluster meeting here with Lightning Ridge, Coonamble, Gulargambone, and Walgett with a big table set up outside. One of the men from one of the visiting sheds walked in and said, “So there are women here” and I responded with, “So you don’t want any food? The conversation ended there,” Jan laughed.

“It’s so silly, particularly out here as there is nothing for women. There are no fancy coffee shops or dress shops. When one of the women out here needs something, we usually borrow.”

“The women out here mine. They are licensed to mine. They cut and polish opal. The women drive trucks. Women can look after themselves.”

“Just like Mandy,” Jan said as she pointed to Mandy Morgan, Jan’s offsider, and apprentice, “she has her generator and manages quite fine doing what needs to be done around the place”.

Mandy has been a come and go resident for the past 4 years now. “I come out for four months of the year. My dad brings me to the Grawin first and then later in the year he will bring mum. I just love the place. I spend quite a bit of time out here on me own. Out here the Men’s Shed is my sanity. On Wednesdays and Sundays, it’s called 9 o’clock see ya later, I am gone time.”

“At the Grawin Men’s Shed you can do woodworking, welding, cooking, painting, craft - whatever you want. We are looking at obtaining new tools to be able to do bigger jobs. Some of our members bring their own tools and equipment to do jobs and teach others.

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