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News and Items of Interest

Financial assistance available in NSW and the ACT to those affected by the bushfires – Jim Grenfell has provided a document that summarises the financial assistance available to those affected by the bushfires. Please pass this information on to anyone who may benefit from it.

3 Apr 2020 – Message From Roger (from 2020-04-03 Melba Shed Newsletter #518)

G’day all members of the Melba Shed,
I hope you are coping well with these unusual times.

I am reading “Mutiny on the Bounty” by Peter Fitzsimons and am horrified at the brutality of the British Navy Officers of 1790’s towards their fellow sailing crew and the indigenous people of the Pacific Islands. The depredations suffered by early sailors make our lives look like luxury in Paradise.

As everyone over the age of 70 has been asked to self-isolate, I feel uncomfortable when walking our male Australian Terrier at 6.30am each morning and our Aussie/Silky Terrier female at 5.00pm each evening. You may ask why I don’t walk them both at the same time. Well it helps to keep the peace as Neddy is a very anxious dog and at any sign of trouble suddenly attacks Elly, his little kennel mate.

I have been exercising by riding my bike every second morning. I cover up to 16 km as I ride down to circumnavigate Lake Ginninderra before returning home. I have been catching up with other like-minded cyclists but have kept a respectable distance while having a chat.

Coralie has also found lots of gardening jobs for me to occupy my time. Although I may complain, there is something therapeutic about digging soil and planting shrubs and garlic.  Coralie has started a 1000 piece Jig-Saw and it is easy to forget all the worries of the World to concentrate on colours and shapes to slowly piece the puzzle together.
Our plans to spend Easter at the South Coast have been cancelled and as we cannot dine out, attend social functions or exercise classes, we are saving money that formally helped the economy to tick over. We will all have lots of savings to spend when this ghastly virus is conquered.
I wish you and your family safe and healthy isolation.

Best Wishes,
Roger Amos

I hope you enjoyed reading about how the President is coping with his isolation so why not consider writing a similar sized article that might be of interest to Shed members and that we can include in the next Newsletter. I’m sure other Shed members would appreciate hearing how you are coping.
Please email any contributions to melbashed@gmail.com with a heading “Newsletter Contribution”.

3 Apr 2020 – Newsletter – Thoughts from Phil (from 2020-04-03 Melba Shed Newsletter #518)

Many of our members are on their own and will be finding it difficult to stay on top of the situation. Why not make a few phone calls to your friends in the Shed just to see how they are getting on and whether they need any assistance. They will value such a call.

We have all been told that we must stay at home and avoid contact with others for our own protection. This especially applies to people over 70 (that’s most of us!) or aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions. This makes it difficult to shop for food, medication etc.

My wife and I have just started ordering our groceries through the Woolworth’s home delivery service. We are expecting our first delivery today. All of us will qualify with Woolworths for priority delivery so why not consider this option and avoid going out to shop. You can learn all about it here.

Australia Post has launched a free Pharmacy Home Delivery Service to facilitate delivery of medicines to vulnerable Australians through Australia Post’s Express Post network. If you need medications, talk to your pharmacy and see if they have joined this scheme. It’s a good idea to leave your part-filled prescription forms with your pharmacist so they can dispense your prescriptions without any need for you to visit the pharmacy. There are smartphone applications like MedAdvisor available for Android and iOS users. Click on this sentence to find out about this product and see whether you can use it to order your medications via you phone (or PC).

3 Apr 2020 – Newsletter – Further Thoughts from Phil (from 2020-04-03 Melba Shed Newsletter #518)

You are, like me, probably quite tired of all the Coronavirus content on TV. But it does pay to keep up-to-date on what’s happening on isolation changes etc. Want to know more about Coronavirus and what we need to do? There are two options that can help:

The first is the official government site. This detail is also available on the Coronavirus Australia app which Android and iOS users can load onto their phones via the Google Play or Apple App Store.

The second is WhatsApp which is the world’s largest messaging system. Android and iOS users can load WhatsApp onto their phones and are then able to message other WhatsApp users. You will be surprised at the number of Shed members who already use WhatsApp for messaging. You can invite any one you want to contact to join, either as a one-on-one or to join a group. WhatsApp provides great video calling, file transfer and messaging. It also hosts the official government app called Coronavirus Australia.

Click on this sentence once you have WhatsApp, which will allow you to access the Coronavirus Australia information.

So stay informed. Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in Google Play or the Apple App Store, or join the official WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

3 Apr 2020 – Feedback from Greg website editor

Not wishing to contradict Phil I have been using Facebook’s Messenger to communicate with my wife who is stuck on a Filipino Island, Negros. She went there to visit her 90+ year old mum and didn’t catch a plane out quick enough. Now with total lockdown stronger than at home here, she is stranded. Luckily she got her niece in Manila to get her a local SIM and charge it up. Thus I am able to communicate with by text, audio or video from my Computer or Phone to her Phone.

There are some features of Messenger that are better than WhatsApp; some that are not as good. It’s up to the individual. I guess those who use Facebook a lot find sympathy in Messenger as its easily accessible from Facebook on a browser. Facebook on an app either laptop or phone requires the user to download the separate Messenger App which can be installed on Laptop Windows 10 or a Smartphone. Confused. Its all heading to apps. I still like Facebook/Messenger on a browser.

Yes but here is the punch line. Facebook owns Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and Instagram. There are rumours around that they may integrate all products into one.

23 Mar 2020 – Melba Shed Closed Until Further Notice

Hello all Shed Members,
I am sure you are aware of the latest announcements made by our Chief Minister and the Prime Minister in relation to School Closures, Sporting Group and Social Gathering cancellations. To comply with these new guidelines our Melba Shed Meetings and activities are cancelled until further notice. I appreciate your support and we will keep in touch through the Newsletter or a News Sheet. Best wishes to you and your families, keep safe and stay healthy.
Roger Amos, President

31 Mar 2020 – No More Scheduled Walks after 19th Mar Until Further Notice

The government’s group restrictions now down to a maximum of two make group walks impossible. Walks will be restarted when things improve and most likely not until at least May

22 Mar 2020 – No Coffee Meetup For Cyclists from 23rd Mar

The government’s crowd restrictions call for people to be 1½ metres apart when they are outdoors.  Roughly speaking, achieving that gap means that everyone would have to be on opposite sides of a table and sit back from the table.  I have thought about asking Black Pepper to set up only individual tables so we could comply but that would restrict the numbers we could have at coffee.  Therefore, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we’re going to have to suspend the Shed’s morning coffee gatherings until crowd restrictions are relaxed.
Once we have seen the full extent of the new restrictions that are being considered this evening, we may be able to meet up each day for a ride but with no coffee involved (shudder!!).  Anything along these lines will be notified by an email to all EasyRiders.

12 Mar 2020 – Security Issues with Melba Shed web site – Note it has been advised that a couple of users found issues trying to access Melba Shed. They used Norton’s Security software which advised them that MelbShed.com was a dangerous page. Checking this out it appears that Norton’s shows Melba Shed with:-
Computer Threats: 0; Identity Threats: 0; Annoyance factors: 0   –     Total threats on this site: 0
Yet it still rates MelbaShed as dangerous. They have been asked to re-assess as the rating doesn’t make sense.
Google rates Melba Shed’s Safe Browsing site status as a Green tick and “No unsafe content found”

3 Apr 2020 a new rail trail is opening. It runs from Tumbarumba to Rosewood, which is a distance of 21kms. Luke Wensing encouraged cyclists to try it out and have coffee and lunch somewhere in the district, which is another region that has suffered badly from the fires in January. Check it out

7 Mar 2020 – Roger stood down as MC with Luke Wensing opening the meeting (Luke was standing in for the President who was taking it easy at the back of the room). Luke explained that the Committee has decided to rotate the Chair of the Friday meetings to give the President a break and to give Committee members a chance to hone their chairing skills.

5 Mar 2020 – The Dystopian Lake Filled by the World’s Tech Lust – BBC Future about how they mine and process rare earths used in modern technology used in phones, electric cars, etc. You could argue the “green” future does not look so clean!

Vale Wally Kulesza 28 Feb 2020. Another very sad time for the Shed – Wally Kulesza died on this date.

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. Our sincere condolences go to Wally’s wife Yaddi and their family. Vale Wally, you will be missed.

Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Wally was celebrated at St John the Apostle Catholic Church, Holt on Thursday, 12 March 2020 with around 300 people attending. Wally was later laid to rest in Woden Cemetery.

Shed Google Photos album showing pictures of Wally on some activities

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

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.

Exercises were suspended after 20 Mar 2020 due to Corona Virus assembly restrictions

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 over 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

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

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 (aallpress@rlssa.org.au) 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 ClubNote these are cancelled until further notice – 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