Inspired by Dubbo stories

Kevin Sinclair says the Dubbo Community Men's Shed plays a vital role in forming the future of young people in the city. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE
Kevin Sinclair says the Dubbo Community Men's Shed plays a vital role in forming the future of young people in the city. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

IT ALL started with a simple book that changed the life of one Dubbo man and gave him energy, strength and happiness.

Kevin Sinclair said his daughter gave him a copy of A Shed Load of Stories and after finishing the book he decided to join the Dubbo Community Men's Shed.

"I plucked up the courage and went to the shed and saw the people whose story was in the book," he said.

"When you get to know them personally and then read the book again you appreciate their stories more."

Mr Sinclair has been a member for almost a year and the shed was a great inspiration to him.

The organisation was a place for him to meet friends, express ideas and discuss problems with other members. It also gave him a purpose in life - to be part of something which enriched the life of others.

"I never imagined I would be part of the men's shed," he said.

In hindsight Mr Sinclair wished he joined years earlier as he enjoyed the company of the other members.

Before he read the book he had no idea what the organisation did.

At times he would see a few men on TV who said they were part of a men's shed fixing toys and giving them to children.

"You could easily think, even though I didn't, that it was just a place where men sit and complain and don't do anything else," he said.

"But when you go and see what they actually do it is completely different."

Mr Sinclair has been involved with soccer clubs in Dubbo and Bathurst for 25 years and the shed provided him with an opportunity to continue working with young people.

As the Dubbo Skate Park was next door, he introduced a sit down with the children and members under "the tree of knowledge" every Saturday.

The tree, midway between the shed and the skate park, was a great place "to have a yarn with the kids about everything", he said.

"Some of those children may not have a father or a male figure in their life as a good role model," he said.

"I believe to build the trust between the shed and the kids at the skate park is important as these youth will be the men of the future."

Mr Sinclair said it was "absolutely incredible" to have the chance to leave a lasting mark in the lives of young people.

The children appreciated the help the men's shed gave from fixing a skateboard to listening to their problems and giving them advice.

"It is a tremendous boost to me personally," he said.

The 77-year-old said he had no plans of retiring anytime soon.

"I can't stop working, I need to remain active," he said.

Mr Sinclair encouraged Dubbo men to join the shed.

"If you're looking for mateship, somewhere to go and be active in any craft or just sit and have a yarn - the Dubbo Men's Shed is the place to be," he said.

"It's not all old people, there are several young people too."


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