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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Memories – and tools – live on in Men’s Shed

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The Murwillumbah Men’s Shed has been given a significant boost with the donation of an entire workshop full of tools and equipment.

The family of late Banora Point resident Charlie Gray last week made the generous donation on his behalf after hearing the Men’s Shed was looking for equipment.

Charlie, who died a couple of years ago, was a merchant seaman who took part in a raid and evacuation of the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and the repatriation of Russian nationals in 1941. He was also involved in the Normandy landings in June 1944.

His daughter Ann Gray said the family was pleased her father’s tools would be appreciated and looked after.

‘My father did his apprenticeship in the Belfast Shipyard in Northern Ireland and was a master splicer, a dying art nowadays,’ said Ms Gray.

‘We as a family were happy to donate his tools to a not-for-profit organisation and what better way to keep his legacy alive than giving them to the Men’s Shed.’

Tweed Shire Council has donated the old pump house at the water treatment facility at Bray Park as the venue and is assisting in converting the space.

In early March Richmond MP Justine Elliot announced $5,000 in funding for the facility under the federal government’s Men’s Shed Development Program.

Tweed mayor Barry Longland said the Men’s Shed would be a valuable asset to the community.

‘The Men’s Shed movement is spreading quickly in communities across the country and the main reason is there is such a strong need for it,’ said Cr Longland.

‘Isolation can be a real issue for men, especially as they age, and a facility like this where they can meet others and work on projects together is a great thing not only for them but also for their families and the community as a whole.’

John Pitt, secretary of the Murwillumbah Men’s Shed, said their members were blown away by the generosity of the Grays’ donation.

‘It is simply a staggering amount of tools and equipment, but the best thing is they will continue to be used for years and years to come,’ said Mr Pitt.

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