The Origins

  1. The concept of starting a Pyrmont Mens Shed came from meeting between Peter Devoy, Bruce Napthali and Robyn Davies, Uniting Church Minister and Ian Avery. Thomson Reuters Publishing staff in Pyrmont became involved as part of their contribution to the community. One of their staff designed the PUG Logo. The Uniting Church NSW started a Shed at Lane Cove in 2007 and supported the setting up of the PUG Mens Shed contributing $13,000 over a 3 year period.

The Shed celebrated 10 years in 2019 from the date of our first Annual General Meeting in December 2009. The PUG Shed had begun to operate as a group by working on the Kanangra Ferry at the Sydney Heritage Fleet in Rozelle Bay in 2008. The use of the Ferry was offered by Jon Simpson who was then CEO of the Sydney Heritage Fleet. There was a small workshop on the upper deck where the Shed members helped with the restoration of the ferry’s windows and doors. A group of ten men attended the first AGM which was held in the cabin of the Boomerang Yacht. We give thanks to those men who drove forward the idea of the Shed some of whom are still members.

  • The Foundation members of the Shed who worked at the Kanangra Ferry in 2009 are Ross Brown, Phil Bryan, Tom Collins, David Daish, Peter Devoy, Ross Hindmarsh, John Kepski, Colin Knowles, George Kristen, Paul Limmer, Mok Shu, Bruce Napthali, David Porter, Paul Shea and Jon Simpson.
  • Men who joined the Shed during our renovation and first year at the Viaduct in 2014 were Harold Adolphe, Chris Brown, Chris Durman, Malcolm Garder and Geof Graham.

The Entity

The PUG Mens Shed became Incorporated on 6 December 2012 under the Association Incorporation Act 2009. By the Shed becoming incorporated the “Not For Profit” entity was allowed  to apply for Grants that were only given to Incorporated Associations.

Incorporation are required  a Constitution. The Shed adopted the Module Constitution provided by the NSW Fair Trading. The advantage of this Constitution was that it was automatically updated with any changes in the applicable laws.

In 2013 the PUG Mens Shed Incorporated became part of the Australian Men’s Shed Association and has given Level 1 Membership for complying with the AMSA Constitution and By-Laws and subscribes to the AMSA Group Insurance Scheme. 

PUG Mens Shed AMSA Membership provides Access to a wide range of Policy and Procedure documents for the running of a Men’s Shed; Insurance to cover Public & Products Liability, Voluntary Workers Personal Accident Cover, Industrial Special Risks cover and Association Liability  – Available upon request by Men’s Shed committee member


The Diversity

2015 saw the beginning of the transformation and the diversification of the “The Shed”. Two recycled Kitchens were blended to convert a makeshift cooking  and storage area into the focus of the social and diversified activities particular to the rejuvenised Shed 1. Thursday Lunches matured into a new life where members took turns with the cooking.  Members were encouraged to give talks prior to lunch about their career and the interesting paths they took  Special interest groups such as the Photography and Sketch groups formed part of the new wave of activities offered to members and none more diverse than the music group which sprang from a Jorge Campano “learn Spanish Guitar” initiative into a jam session with Jorge on guitar, Harold Adolph on percussion, Graeme Sobels on Acoustic Guitar, Richard Vickery on Bass, Michael Hogan on Harmonica and John Forest on Ukulele. The PUG Band grew from Thursday Lunch becoming Thursday Jam and a friendly pint at the pub afterwards.

A Ukulele group originally under the direction of John Forest is now managed by Alan Lonnon.

Jorge established  the Spanish Guitar, Rhythm and Percussion group/school.

This shift of focus away from simply working with wood two mornings per week created a greater opportunity for a larger membership when opportunities arose for men who held no interest in working with wood. A review of the shed activities by the Vice President exposed great inefficiencies but revealed enormous opportunities  and with a new look at member diversity in interests and abilities with a drive to increase skills transference. This resulted in a three fold increase of the previous  25 members. 

From this fresh look at membership areas of interest began to emerge and rather than the Executive Committee trying to introduce and drive the new groups, the members expressing the interest were encouraged o recruit fellow interested members and establish the group and so;

  1. Trevor Payne put forward the book club
  2. Ken Bradley recruited the Tech Group
  3. Tom Collins was the initiator of the card group with Ken Bradley.  

Future groups at the end of Covid will be:

  • Photography and Photoshop Sills by Paul Harmon
  • Art, Drawing and Water Colours by Ian Chapman
  • Harmonising and Chorustry