Hamilton Community Men's Shed has organised six courses for both men and women to try something new in this time of stress.

From the word "heal" as part of the root of health, the Men's Shed has created what it describes as new opportunities for people to be distracted / do something for their own personal development / remain connected at a time that all might seem doom and gloom.

For the uninitiated, the origins of the Community Men's Shed movement, began with healing in mind in Australia in the late 1980s, founding chairman, Dr Neil Bruce says.

Significant traumatic events affecting women and families were observed to follow episodes of bush fire and drought.

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A master carver member designed this as a taonga for the Hamilton Community Men's Shed; it links the shed to the tangata whenua and the Waikato River. Photo / Supplied
A master carver member designed this as a taonga for the Hamilton Community Men's Shed; it links the shed to the tangata whenua and the Waikato River. Photo / Supplied

When rural farmers, who had worked so hard for survival in a dry continent, ultimately saw their stock dying through lack of food or bush fires' smoke and flame, too many succumbed to suicide as a solution to their anguish.

"From what could be described as similarly stressful situations today, many are now caught up in the Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns, comprehensive and widespread summer droughts, and significant damage from recent floods in the North and the South Islands, Dr Bruce says.

In an attempt to provide opportunities for healing and distraction from these often seasonal situations, the Hamilton Community Men's Shed has organised six courses for both men and women to try something new in this time of stress.

Tutors are offering skill development short courses for people to connect positively with like-minded individuals – shoulder to shoulder as is often quoted in shed literature.

"Why not give one of these courses a go? Optimist refurbishment and construction, make a Polynesian ukulele, soft stone sculpture, wooden toy making, Māori traditional carving, or perhaps you would like to make Angel Boxes – caskets for stillborn babies.

The courses will be held at the Shed at 2 Seddon Rd in the Norris Ward Park in Hamilton.

An example of the Pacific Island ukulele made at the Hamilton Community Men's Shed. Photo / Supplied
An example of the Pacific Island ukulele made at the Hamilton Community Men's Shed. Photo / Supplied

Courses beginning in August are:

• Wooden Toy Making 1 & 2 (Wed evenings, September and November)

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• Soft Stone Carving 1 & 2 (Weekend Aug 15/16; Oct 17/18)

• Pacific Island Ukulele Construction 1 & 2 (Wed evenings Sept and Oct)

• Optimist Sailing Dinghy Refurbishment (Fridays 10-3pm begin August)

• Angel Box Casket Construction for deceased children (Wed evenings)

• Traditional Māori Carving project (Four Saturday afternoons Sept 1-3pm).

A 2020/2021 annual subscription of $30 is generally the minimum cost for each course allowing participants to become members of the shed, if they choose, for the coming year.

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Some courses requiring additional costs for materials.

For more information contact : secretary@hamiltonshed.com or phone Arie on: 0226744347.