GREAT DAY: Harold Wray, 79, Don Simpkins, 79, and Bruce Rultey, 67, at the opening of the new Casino Men's Shed at the Casino Showgrounds.
GREAT DAY: Harold Wray, 79, Don Simpkins, 79, and Bruce Rultey, 67, at the opening of the new Casino Men's Shed at the Casino Showgrounds. Susanna Freymark

New shed for Casino means the world to the men

HAROLD WRAY is 79 years old and when his 52-year marriage broke down, he was at a loss.

"I could have been six feet under," he said.

He had cabinet-making skills and wanted to put them to use.

"I built my mum's kitchen when I was 10 years old," Mr Wray said. "My dad taught me how to use a hammer, saw and chisel."

It is men like Mr Wray who come to the Casino Men's Shed to share their skills and for the mateship.

At the official opening of the barn-style shed at the Casino Showgrounds, the 75 members were delighted with their new home.

One of the 2010 founding members Charlie Cox said he joined because he liked to do things with his hands. The former school teacher and Richmond Valley mayor said most men didn't prepare for retirement.

"Socially, the men's shed has a direct influence on the health and wellbeing of the community," Mr Cox said. "It's a place where people feel valued."

The new facility was funded by a $160,000 State Government grant to build the shed and $13,300 to install a solar supply and solar hot water, $18,000 from the Federal Government for the kitchen and partition walls, $45,000 from volunteer efforts, $20,000 in-kind labour and $3000 from Richmond Valley Council.



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