Jim Wills steps down from his role at men's shed

Friendship: Jim Wills (front) has worked alongside Allan Raine, Greg Green, Neville Kennedy, Adrian Leven and Peter Evans for many years. Photo: Rob Douglas.

Friendship: Jim Wills (front) has worked alongside Allan Raine, Greg Green, Neville Kennedy, Adrian Leven and Peter Evans for many years. Photo: Rob Douglas.

Pioneer of the Taree Manning River Men’s Shed Jim Wills is stepping away from his role as president of the group.

Jim has spent over 12 years in the role and will relinquish his position as coordinator as well.

“I want to retire not from the shed but from all responsibility.

"I'm a shed man now with no responsibility, it's better for me,” he said.

Jim’s decision coincides with National Men’s Shed Week, which runs from September 25 to October 1.

This year’s theme is “doing local good”; recognising the contribution the Men’s Shed make in the community. 

He was proud of the contribution the group has made to supporting pregnancy and domestic violence agencies in Taree with their carpentry and metal works.

Jim also highlighted the work the men have done to send wheelchairs overseas, as well as the creation of Mary MacKillop ‘cross in hands’ for sick people.

He insisted the group is driven to provide assistance in the community where they can.

“We call ourselves a community shed.

“We look for people who need help,” Jim said.

Jim said the men can use the shed as an opportunity to keep themselves occupied into their retirement years. 

“We’ve got a guy who just turned 90 and he’s our wood turner,” he said. 

The Taree Manning River Men’s Shed was created after a meeting in 2005.

The shed was based in Jim’s backyard before eventually moving to Railway Parade in Taree.

Jim said a lot of the organisation to get the Men’s Shed off the ground was through Terry Hazel, Adrian Leven and himself.

In 2011, the men found a permanent home on Rifle Range Road. 

Many community members and local tradesmen donated their time and effort to get the shed up and running.  

Since then, several Men’s Sheds have been created in the area, such as Harrington and Wallis Lake to join almost 1000 others around Australia.

At the end of the day, it’s the camaraderie and friendships made through the shed that keeps Jim turning up.

“I just love mixing with the blokes,” he said. 

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