News , Special Activities and Items of Interest

Latest News

ACT Seniors Card Discount Directory

Most recent talks & presentations at the Shed on Fridays can be found on this page

19th Jan 2020 – Farewell – Rev Tim Jensen. Tim has been a wonderful supporter of the Shed during the past eight years or so that he has been at North Belconnen Uniting Church, Melba. Now he is moving on to some new, very different challenges. He will be the “resident” Minister for Saltbush–Uniting the Scattered Community, which seeks to encourage and connect smaller Uniting Christian communities that do not have a resident Minister. Tim will be located near Lismore but his responsibilities will cover a massive area between Lismore, Armidale and out west of Bourke. He will work partly through gatherings in remote localities and partly through online means (Skype etc).

Tim said he had enjoyed his time at Melba. He highlighted the way in which tragedy, such as the current bushfires, can result in communities connecting more with each other. He also emphasised that it is OK for people to have different opinions and to express them but it is also necessary for everyone involved to be respectful of others’ views. The President expressed the Shed’s thanks for Tim’s support over the past eight years and wished him well for his future endeavours. Tim’s last service at Melba will be on 19 January.

7th Feb 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 box

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.

17th Jan 2020 – Arthritis Australia is about to commence exercise classes at the Shed. The starting date has been delayed until Friday 7 February because some of the Arthritis Australia staff involved have been directly affected by the recent bushfires.

The cost will be $10.00 per session for attendees. More details, including links to two forms that need to be filled in, will be provided in a couple of weeks.

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  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.

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 ood 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. Calum.

20 Dec 2019 – Sick List Update – Alex Ritchie is now OK but still has a bad back. John Machin has left hospital and is now in IQ Care at St Andrews Village Hughes

13 Dec 2019 – Shed Insurance – The Shed’s committee discussed insurance issues at the first meeting of the new committee. At present, insurance is paid on the basis of 55 members, which is a generous estimate of the average attendance each week. However, there are now over 100 members on the books and some attend only a couple of meetings a year, which means they contribute very little to the insurance.

After carefully considering the issues, the committee has decided that every Shed member should pay an annual fee of $12, which will partly pay for the insurance of about $19 per head. 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 insurance covers public liability for the Shed and members while they are engaged in Shed activities.

The $12 will become due at the start of each calendar year, which gives us time to collect it before the insurance premium has to be paid in April. Ideally, members will pay by EFT but it will also be possible to pay by cash (more details will be provided in the next month or so).

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. We have regular payments that will continue (rent, electricity, coffee, biscuits, pizza etc) plus the balance of the insurance not covered by the $12 levy and these weekly contributions are our major source of income.

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

29th Nov 2019 – The F111 in the RAAF – A talk by Dave Rogers

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.

25th Nov 2019 & 6th Dec – Black Pepper is closed on Mondays from this date.  Over the next few Mondays Paul suggested cyclists try out some different cafes in Belconnen.  On this date we met for coffee at the Capital Kitchen in Benjamin Way (until recently it was called “B’Enticed”).  The cafe is about 50 metres from the traffic lights at the corner of Benjamin Way and Emu Bank. It has a canopy out front that can be seen fairly easily as you cross Emu Bank at the lights and is on the left as you come along Benjamin Way from the lake. It seemed OK and it is thought the staff were Nepalese. The guys tried Cafe 2617 in Belconnen Trades area on 2nd Dec. Paul said it was not successful due to lack of space. So they went back to Capital Kitchen on Monday 9th Dec & 16th Dec. We’ll continue with this arrangement on Mondays until we find somewhere better (and convenient) to go to

23rd Nov 2019 – Paul reported “You may recall that we donated $200 in July to assist a teenager, whose brother had died recently, to attend a “Boot camp”.  Belconnen Rotary paid the rest of the $2,000 cost of the camp.  Last Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of attending a Belconnen Rotary meeting at which the youngster, accompanied by his mother and AFP mentor, provided some feedback on his experience.  Also present was “Uncle Bob” who is the organiser of these camps.  Just in case you get the wrong idea that Uncle Bob is a softie who goes easy on the kids, it’s worth noting that he was in the Australian Army for 42 years, much of it as a Warrant Officer.  He described the camp as being strictly along military lines – wearing uniforms, carrying army packs, night patrols, pushups for transgressions, cooking meals etc.  The youngster admitted that the week was tough.  The highlight was a “battle” between two groups to capture the opposition’s flag, using laser-tag rifles as weapons. It seems that the experience and support have been very beneficial.  Recognising the value that he obtained from the first boot camp, Rotary Belconnen has agreed to pay for him to attend a second camp which commences on Monday 25th November. Thanks for your generosity in this and other worthy causes.”

15th Nov 2019 – Barry Howe told us of the success of the Lunchtime Melodies run by Ginninderra Rotary. The last performance for 2019 was on 13 November and featured the Tuggeranong Ukulele Group and the Kingsford Smith School Choirs. The concerts start again next February on the second Wednesday of each month. Barry also sought volunteers from the Shed to assist Ginninderra Rotary man the gates at Belconnen Trash and Treasure on Sunday mornings during the first half of 2020.

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

Light Rail 001 Gungahlin

Light Rail

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

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).

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.

Marisa Agostino and member Ian de Plater

Marisa & Ian

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

Shed Notices

Shed Etiquette – See here

12th April – 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

Pond in The Farm

Pond in the Gardens at The Farm

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

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

Updated May 2018 – 23 Feb 2018 – NBN Rollout Belconnen. For more information on NBN aspects

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

5 Feb 2018 – M​embers 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

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

Peters Jokes

Peter Mitchell telling jokes

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. The events will recommence in Feb 2020

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