News , Special Activities and Items of Interest

11 Mar 2020 – Lunchtime Melodies – Joint Venture between Ginninderra Rotary & Belconnen Raiders Club – 2nd Wed each month between 11.30-12.30PM at Raiders Belconnen (Kippax), gold coin donation – includes various bands, choirs, individuals, films: coffee, tea & option of $12 seniors lunch after. This month features “Folk Music from Around the World” with Capital Folk.  For future months refer to the Lunchtime Melodies 2020 Program

Vale Wally Kulesza 28 Feb 2020. Another very sad time for the Shed – Wally Kulesza died Friday afternoon.

Wally was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago.  After spending several anxious months waiting for a precise diagnosis he was put on an experimental drug program in Sydney last year.  Initially the drugs seemed to work but Wally was taken off the program a couple of months ago.

Wally was a great mate to many and an accomplished entertainer.  He was a guitarist with The Second Movement, a band that started in 1968 and played regularly in Canberra and at venues along the NSW south coast until a few years ago.

Wally was one of the original members of the Shed, joining in November 2008.  He came regularly to the Friday meetings and was a member of the Shed’s EasyRiders cycling group, although we used to rib him about being a “warm weather cyclist”. He also walked on many Shed walks.

Vale Wally, you will be missed. Shed Google Photos album showing pictures of Wally on some activities

Wally at Cooleman Ridge 2013
Wally very happy in front of NPH in 2015

 21 Feb 2020 – Passing of John Canning – It was with great sadness that we learned that our fellow Shedder, John Canning, died last Friday evening (21 Feb 2020). John joined Melba Shed in the early days, in May 2010. He was a strong supporter of the Shed and was a regular at the Friday meetings until a month or so ago when his health deteriorated fairly quickly. John will be truly missed by those who had the privilege of knowing and sharing time with him. Our condolences go to his beloved wife Ching and their family. A Thanksgiving Memorial Service for John will be held at 2.00pm on Mon 2 March at the North Belconnen Uniting Church.

John Canning

21 Feb 2020 – Col Fitzpatrick, who moved up north some time ago, has asked us to try and obtain a tutor (paying work) for after school home work for his two grandsons aged 8 years old, who live in Macgregor. If you would like to help then call Col on 0411 532 199.

12 Feb 2020 – Two worthy causes.  The Cyclists donated $200 via Vinnies to assist a single Mum to buy school uniforms for her teenager.  They also donated $315 to Uniting Care Kippax to pay for an MRI for someone on Newstart who urgently needed the medical assessment.  The total now donated since 2014 has reached the five figure mark ($10,033).

11 Feb 2020 – Our condolences to Greg Worthington whose daughter Angela passed away on Tuesday 11 February. Angela was a doctor, an interventional cardiologist of renown in Newcastle. She suffered from motoneuron disease and had come back to Canberra for support.

10 Feb 2020 – How Does a Bike Stay Upright. Interesting old article from BBC Future. if you scroll down below the article there are more articles on bikes and electric scooters, etc

7 Feb 2020 – Arthritis Australia commenced exercise classes at the Shed. The starting date had been delayed until Friday 7 February because some of the Arthritis Australia staff involved have been directly affected by the recent bushfires. The cost is $10.00 per session for attendees. Before starting the exercises you need to fill out two forms which can be downloaded here. Exercises continue every Friday. Photos of some of the activities from the 1st session on 7th Feb 2020.

17th Jan 2020 – Shed Annual Affiliation Fee – Due now. At the Shed’s meeting on 13 December last year, the President provided some background on a recent Committee discussion about insurance issues. The outcome was a decision to charge all members an annual fee of $12 – a decision that was overwhelmingly supported by members present that day (13 December).

The $12 will partly pay for the annual insurance charge of about $19 per head (this insurance covers public liability for the Shed and members while they are engaged in Shed activities.). More importantly, it has the advantage of clearly identifying those who are covered by the insurance, in the event a claim is necessary (some non-members participate in Shed activities, such as cycling).

The $12 is now due. The preferred method of paying is by EFT to the Shed’s account, which will minimise the work required by our Treasurer (Paul Taylor) in keeping track of payments. The Shed’s bank account details are: – Bank: St George BSB: 112908 Account no: 429515699. Please add your Initial and Surname to the reference area. It is also possible to pay by cash; see Paul Taylor.

It is important to note that the current method of collecting funds via the tin next to the sign-on sheet will remain in place. These weekly contributions are our major source of income. They will pay for our ongoing commitments (rent, electricity, coffee, biscuits, pizza etc) plus the balance of the insurance not covered by the $12 levy

8 Jan 2020 – P2 Face Masks – if your a senior over 65 you can get a P2 (N95) mask (actually they will give you 2) from local chemists for free. See fitting etc instructions (its a powerpoint display) here

Christmas 2020 – Message From Calum Reid

Bob (Email to Bob Salmond). When I left Australia I stayed with my brother in the ‘old home’ in Kyleakin, just on the Skye side of the bridge. I thought that I might be able to buy something and settle there. It turned out to be not possible. The railway terminates at the other side of the bridge, so transport is good, and therefore land is expensive.

During the war we became the naval mine laying base for the North Atlantic. It was called Trelawney. The German U-boats were patrolling this area of the Atlantic because there was a lot of sea traffic on this route from the US. The ‘Queens’ came across to Scotland loaded with troops, close to 20,000 at a time. MOD has always maintained a presence in our area, and are still there. That creates more demand for housing.

Calum Reid

Like Tasmania there is a lot of salmon fish farming in the lochs to the north of us. The Norwegians have a large company called ‘Marine Harvest’ and they have taken over many of the smaller fish farms. They have recently sent about £100 million setting up a food centre for the fish, and are now going do all the processing in this area also. This creates even more pressure on housing.

Clearly nobody cares whether I can get a place to live or not!!! As a result I had to go to Edinburgh. And it is also in demand – especially by the Scottish parliament and public servants. So accommodation is tight. Eventually I managed to buy an apartment in a reasonable area, at a price! My address is: 3/6 West Powburn, Edinburgh EH9 3EW. Tel: 0131 241 8907 – Malcolm Reid <>    I know a few old colleagues here, but I would prefer to be in Skye.

I have to do some modifications to the kitchen and the bathroom. I have completed the bathroom work, and about to tackle the kitchen. It is not a good time of year for this sort of work. Sorry to hear of Laurie’s passing. Have a good Christmas, and all the best for the New Year. Signed: Calum.

13th Dec 2019 – At the Shed Meeting we had a visit from Nathan D’Cunha from the Uni Canberra who is seeking older male volunteers to take part in a study of the dietary patterns of over 55 year old Canberrans

10th Dec 2019 – Cyclists Worthy Cause – Around this date the cyclists provided $600 to a lady DJ with a 10 yr old daughter through Kippax Uniting Care. The lady is on status of having her refugee status approved and needed help paying for some old rent that she has been ordered to pay. She was not able to pay it as she was not working and was not eligible for any kind of support from Centrelink because of the type of visa she holds.

11th Oct 2019 – Exercise Classes – Tori finished her stint (3rd May – 11th Oct) with us as leader of the Exercise Group. The last class were held on Friday 11 October 8.30AM as Tori has started a new job. She will try and see if any UC Students or others may be willing to take on the task for us from early next year.  Tori Montgomery-Martin from The Uni of Canberra ran these further exercise classes, similar to the ones provided in March 2016 by Jon Beale. Each session, including the assessment one, cost $5. It continued every Friday before the Shed Meeting. The previous Excercises in a pdf file format from June 2016 – Tori has had an expression of interest from Arthritis ACT in regard to taking over the group class. Their physiologist Sophie Bullock could do the job although they would charge us $10 a session each. Pictures of Toris’ last exercise class. After Sophie’ talk on 6th Dec Roger has announced that we will consider starting Exercise Sessions with Arthritis ACT on 17th Jan 2020 for $10 a person per session. Now updated to 7th Feb start

15th Aug 2019 – Uni Canberra Magazine UnCover has an article on Bill Murrays heart issues at Black Pepper and student nurse Marisa assisting him

19th Jul 2019 – Talk by Vickie Hingston-Jones End-of-Life Doula plus access to documents End-of-life plans, Paying for funerals, Funeral costs, Paying for funerals, Useful contacts.

14th Jun 2019 – Bruce McAslan’s Talk and Demonstration about CPR and Using a Defibrillator

Shed Notices

Shed Etiquette – See here

13 Sep 2019 – Deposits on cans, bottles etc. Ted Kell proposed a scheme to assist Shed finances in June. It involves members bringing along used bottles & cans which are subject to the 10 cent deposit scheme (beer and soft drink containers, including things such as Yakult, but not wine bottles). They can be left in the blue basket in the store room and Ted will take them to the recycling centre and deposit the receipts into the Shed’s funds. Ted said that the numbers of cans and bottles being left have dropped off. So bring in any bottles, cans etc that have had a 10c deposit paid on them and Ted will take them in to the recycling centre. Alternatively, you can take them into the container return centre yourself. To have the refunds paid into the Shed’s accounts they should be deposited using Ted’s mobile number, which is linked to the Shed’s bank account (0438 481 350).

12th April 2019 – Amy Nussio who presented at the Shed on 22 March 2019 on ‘Driving in Later Life’ has asked that Members be reminded about the research opportunity ‘Living with Dementia and Driving Study’ details of which are on Page 3 of Newsletter #471 of 26th April. If you are interested, Amy will be happy to meet personally with any Member wanting in finding out more about this opportunity. She may be contacted on 0457 779 766 on any Monday or Tuesday and on alternate Wednesdays

15th Mar 2019 – Several members have enrolled for the Grey Medallion Program offered by the ACT Branch of Royal Life Saving Australia. If you would like more details or want to join the program, send Amy Allpress an email ( or phone her on (02) 6113 1994

8th March 2019 –  Dedication of the “Don Gruber Room”  |  Photo Album of the event

Don Gruber Albums: Album of pictures containing Don Gruber on Shed Walks. This covers from July 2010 until Feb 2016Album of pictures containing Don Gruber on Shed Activities (ex Walks) 2009 – 2017

1 Mar 2019 – Shed DVDs – A couple of hundred DVDs are in the Shed’s DVD library in the store room (thanks to David Ruthven). You can borrow any DVD but please remember to return it once you have watched it. Also, anyone who has DVDs they no longer want could add them to the library.

7th Dec 2018 – Belconnen Trunk Sewer Upgrades – Community Consultation

17th Sep 2018 – Accessing and Using NSW SIX Maps and Other Options

Brian Wells still collects second hand glasses. He is also from Sep 2019 collecting Hearing Aids (ie spectacles) & cases from members who no longer can use theirs  as well as out of date medications and passes them onto less advantaged countries. he does this by taking the items to Sister Kim at the Bonner location of the Congregation of Mary Queen of Peace where they are sent to those in need in Vietnam. See here

24th Aug 2018 – David Ruthven has a 10’ by 5’ trailer, which he is willing to loan to anyone who needs something bigger than the standard trailer to move furniture etc. Contact David is 0487 222 585

AMSA’s Summer edition of its Newsletter ‘The Shedder’

5 Feb 2018 – Members are requested to think about any presentations to members that the Shed could organise.   If you know of any interesting speakers or know of topics that Shed members might be interested in, or would like to do a presentation yourself, please give the details to Roger Amos or Rick Causebrook

Sending out emails from Melba Shed – Note this is aimed at the Committee & others who send out emails from the Shed Email account or even their own Email

Viewing Shed Google Photos Albums – The Pictures TAB at the top of the web site will take you to an archive site for Picasa which will still show any albums uploaded from Picasa desktop in some strange order. Click on this for more info on Using & Managing Google Photos

Living Item for Shed Members (ie Pension Issues, Passes, Discounts, Health, etc)

12th Oct 2019 – 2019 Spring edition of the Seniors Card Scoop! with information on getting Seniors discounts etc

ACT Seniors Card Discount Directory

18th Dec 2018 – 2018 Summer edition of the Seniors Card Scoop! with information on getting Seniors Transport discounts interstate & the NSW Opal Card, plus the ACT Housing Option Advisory Service, Christmas lunch & Volunteering Opportunities, and New Discounts to ACT Seniors Card holders

Feb 2020 – Living with Dementia and Driving – Uni QLD

25th Sep 2019 – Upgrading a Laptop with an SSD Drive

8th Mar 2019 –  Free Movie Tickets for DVA Gold Card Holders. Adrian Shee advised us that Dendy Canberra gave him a free movie pass as he had a Gold Card. An internet search found that Hoyts, Dendy & Greater Union all offer DVA Gold Card holders one free pass per day, conditions apply. Hoyts excludes after 6PM or School or Public Holidays

16th Dec 2017 – The Green Bin Program & Bulky Waste Collection Services

6th Dec 2018 – Dog Walks in Canberra – Do you own a dog and are looking for great dog-walking track guides for our city? Why not click on the this link, where the site contain terrific information and maps about numerous walks around Canberra that are suitable for dogs. It also provides great links and information about all major issues relating to owning dogs in Canberra e.g. dog accommodation, training, welfare etc. This link was the basis of the recent walk around Yarralumla 

14th Sep 2018 – Phil advised that Martin was able to get a 25% discount off his ACTEWAGL Electricity Bill by ringing them and saying that Origin had offered this discount and asking what ACTEWAGL could offer. It appears you might get more if you state that Origin offered more than 25%. Apparently the discount is contracted for one year but will continue after that time. The discount does not impact any contracted solar rates a householder receives. However it is not clear what happens if the solar rate is the non Government rate that is the only one currently on offer ie 8c per kwh. Good luck!

24th Aug 2018 – Downsizing contributions into superannuation – Barry Howe has provided the following details of a new initiative that may be of interest to some Shedders. It is an ATO provision, from 1 July 2018, of “Downsizing contributions into superannuation”, whereby those over 65 who have lived in their house for more than 10 years can now contribute up to $300,000 each into superannuation from the proceeds of selling their house. The ATO website provides details for eligibility and application forms.

30th Jun 2017 – Securing IDs – One member advised us to look at securing our IDs & bank accounts. People can also get a free credit check one a year and also check with ID Care to secure their own ID data. Tel 1300 432 273. Info on Credit Reports & Bans Also info from The Office of the Aust Info Commissioner 

Member & Friends Information

Lunchtime MelodiesJoint Venture between Ginninderra Rotary & Belconnen Raiders Club – 2nd Wed each month between 11.30-12.30PM at Raiders Belconnen (Kippax), gold coin donation – includes various bands, choirs, individuals, films: coffee, tea & option of $12 seniors lunch after. About Annie & Michael. Annie Sloane is the lead singer of Annie and the Armadillos a four piece concert group with Michael Lynch on guitar and other strings, John Black on keyboard and Ben Schumann on drums. Annie was voted by respected musicians within the industry as ‘Performer of the Year’ in 2004. She gathered her Armadillos in 2000 and is now regarded as a Canberra icon, being the first invited to perform at Summer Sounds in the Australian Botanic Gardens, Government House functions, etc. For future months refer to the Lunchtime Melodies 2020 Program

Yin Yoga – North Belco Uniting Church – Every Tue evening 7.30-8.30PM – Enjoy benefits of Yoga – Gentle stretching, fully qualified instructor, Judith, flexible commitments (no RSVPs), $5 per evening. These 1 hour classes are a great way to take time out & enjoy some gentle & invigorating floor exercises, set against some relaxing music or poetry. Arrive 10 minutes early if you can. No RSVP is needed & there is no commitment to long-term attendance. An enjoyable way to give yourself some breathing space in your busy week & develop your core strengths via safe, stressfree exercises for all levels of fitness. Bring a yoga or exercise mat, cushion & light blanket with you

2014 – Open letter from North Belconnen Day Centre – It meets in the Church building. Any Melba Shed member is welcome to talk to Jeanette Branch on 6258 5784 if they have friends, family or neighbours, men or women, who would benefit from the day centre activities or whose families / carers would benefit from respite by those they care for accessing NBDC sessions (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10am-2pm)

Health Items of Interest to the Shed

Items or Services for Sale