Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2015-05-27 Contents PAGE 12 -- The Courier Wednesday, May 27, 2015
By Genevieve Cooper
Every third Wednesday of the
month since the start of 2015, the
Echunga General Store has been
invaded by men.
They started gathering in a small
group to chat alfresco in the summer
but now that the weather has turned
chilly, they have taken over the dining
The informal gathering is a men's
shed "without the shed" and is the
brainchild of three locals who wanted
to provide a social outreach for other
men in their community.
"Funnily enough it all started over
a coffee with a small group of us
involved in the All British Day event
in Echunga," said one of the instigators
"We were aware that many men in
the area were either working on the
land or might be in isolated workplaces
or even retired and they didn't have an
opportunity to meet other blokes and
share ideas about how to do a job at
home or who is the best local to help
with a job.
"I was thinking about having a men's
shed in Echunga but at that stage
there was not enough support.
"One of the beauties of the All British
Day is that it brings people from
different groups in town together --
the RSL, the church, the school, the
sporting clubs -- so we thought about
having a social event to just give men
an opportunity to have a chat."
The group decided to meet for coffee
once a month and to extend an open
invitation to other men in the district.
They started with 13 people in
January and now they have a network
of about 30 with about 20 catching up
at any one time.
Most of the network is aged 50--70
years but there are some younger
"When we've been outside we've had
complete strangers walk past and ask
what is going on," Mr Williams said.
"We say we're just having coffee, come
and join us' and they do.
"... We talk about anything and
everything and you'll hear a few tall
But the mornings have had some
wider social benefits with the group
checking in on those facing health and
other personal issues.
"The morning is all about having a
chat, sharing a joke and enjoying some
company but we do look out for each
other," Mr Williams said.
Enjoying a cuppa and company at this month s Echunga coffee morning were (clockwise from front left) Steve Murray, Gary
Ling, Robbie Morgan, Ian Hirst, Bob Sexton, Brian Pearce, Matthew Carratt, Wayne Quine, Peter Adcock, Greg Walker, John
Ward, Bob Bentelismeier, Graham Beauchamp, John Pitchford, John Bailey and Richard Williams.
Like a men's shed ... without the shed
From page 5
It also has a representative from a Nairne
working party which had previously been set
up to explore options for a new school in that
That group was unable to find a suitable site
in Nairne, but Mr Sanders said the Sims Road
facility would be easily accessible to families
from that area.
"Because of the new freeway interchange
going in and with all the new connector roads,
it makes what is here really accessible to the
Nairne community as well," he said.
The LSA wanted to develop the site as a
partnership with local schools, the community,
the Mt Barker Council and developers, Mr
It is holding public meetings next month to
seek community ideas for the site.
"It's always been the aim that it's a partnership
and for that partnership to work we need to
have that consultation," Mr Sanders said.
"There are three elements we are going to be
asking people to provide their thoughts on --
there's the educational element, the ministry
element and also the shared use element."
For details and to register to attend a meeting
The path to more
Land to be bought by the
Mt Barker Council for a new
sports hub will cost $408,000
less than expected.
The council agreed in March
to buy the farmland on Bollen
Road to the west of the town from
developer Burke Urban and the
Herbig family for $2m.
It will now pay just over $1.59m
after changes to the purchase
agreement, councillors were told at
a meeting last week.
Under that agreement Burke
Urban was to reimburse the council
for the full purchase price, interest
and other costs over time through
a separate rate applied on five
parcels of land it expects to develop
off Flaxley and Bollen roads.
However, the company and its
entities only own three of the five
The Herbig family, which owns
one of the other sites, wanted their
land excluded from the separate
rate arrangement because no deal
had been finalised to sell that land
to Burke Urban.
The developer agreed to the
change and the lower price for the
A legally binding deed will apply
to Burke Urban's three allotments
requiring it to repay the purchase
price as that land is developed for
In turn, Burke Urban may be
able to use the sport and recreation
area to offset its required 12.5%
open space contribution. The deed
will also require the developer
"continue to use reasonable
endeavors" to attract a new private
school to be established on land
next to the future sports hub.
Cheaper deal for sports land
A motorcyclist suffered serious facial
injuries when he crashed into a tree near
Mt Barker Summit in the early hours of
The accident near the intersection of Back
Callington Road and Summit Road was reported
to emergency services at about 2.30am.
The rider, a 46-year-old Mt Barker man, was
taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
His injuries were not considered life
In a separate crash, an Adelaide man was
killed on Saturday morning after the motorcycle
he was riding collided with a car near the
tollgate on the freeway.
A man shunned by his Hills
Jehovah's Witness congregation
for adultery has been found
guilty of attempting to poison
a church elder and the man's
family with weed killer.
It was alleged that several times
between April and October 2011
Brett Darren Mardon injected
glyphosate into milk, apple juice
and other drinks in the refrigerator
of the elder's home while the
family were attending church.
Glyphosate can cause health
problems if ingested in large
The District Court heard that
the elder became suspicious about
someone entering his home and he
set up a CCTV camera.
Judge Rauf Soulio last week found
Mardon guilty of three counts
of attempting to create a risk of
harm. He also rejected Mardon's
testimony that he never intended
to harm the elder and his family
and only sought to "emotionally
disturb" them in order to get back
into the church fold.
Judge Soulio said Mardon's
explanations were unconvincing
and his evidence was irrational.
The prosecution had alleged that
the accused had wanted revenge
for "disfellowship", a disciplinary
action that allowed a congregation
member to attend church but other
members had to ignore them.
The defence said the action
had broken Mardon but he never
meant to hurt his victims because
he used a poison with a repugnant
taste that was easily detected.
Mardon was remanded on bail
to face sentencing submissions in
'Guilty' verdict in poison case
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