Rivals unite: Good friends Bob Walder of England and Jim Gall of Scotland celebrated their 88th birthdays at the Eden Men’s Shed on Friday.The Eden Men’s Shed focuses on men’s health and over the past eight years it has made a difference to many people’s lives.
It prides itself on its ability to bring men together, even those from differing or opposing backgrounds such as those ofBob Walder and Jim Gall.
Friday, January 22, was a special day for the men’s shed and these two men. Around 20 people gathered to celebrate the birthdays of these two founding members.
They were both behind the push for the Men’s Shed and joined up when it started eight years ago. They were both 80 years old when it started and over the past week they haveboth celebrated their 88thbirthdays.
These two men, Mr Walder and Mr Gall, are good friends despite having to overcome one of the world’s biggest rivalries, Scotland versus England.
The history between these two nations started hundreds of years ago when William of Normandy invaded Scotland in 1072. Even though a lot has changed over the yearsthere is still a lot ofanti-Englishsentiment in Scotland.
But these two men have managed to put the rivalry between their home countries behind themand become close friends.
Mr Gall, originally from Ayrshire, Scotland, immigrated to Australia in 1950 and Mr Walder immigrated from Devon, England, in 1967.
“It’s not his fault he’s an English man,” Mr Gall said in reference to Mr Walder.
“We have a lot of conversations about England versus Scotland but we have never let it deter our friendship.”
The two men have known each other for around 16 years but have managed to become closer in the past eight years thanks to the Men’s Shed.
Mr Gall lives in Eden but Mr Walder live in Cathcart which makes catching up rather difficult.
However, every Friday morning, Mr Walder jumps in his car and drives 80 kilometres to be at the Men’s Shed meetings that start at 9am.
During the gatherings Mr Walder spends most of his time in the workshop but he always has time to sit down and have a chat with the other Men’s Shed members.
Mr Gall said the whole point of the Men’s Shed is to get people out of the house and to be social.
“We’ve had a lot of good times here at the Men’s Shed, everyone is very friendly,” he said.
The shed currently has around 45 members and 20 of them turned up to enjoy a piece of cake on Friday morning forMr Gall’s and Mr Walder’s birthdays as well as celebrating eight years of the Eden Men’s Shed.
“We have a very amiable group here and we are always welcoming new members,” Mr Gall said.
“Sometimes people are sitting at home too shy or too nervous to leave the house, but the Men’s Shed gives them somewhere to go and people to talk to.”
The Eden Men’s Shed meets every Wednesday and Friday from 9am until midday.
To get involved with the Men’s Shed call Jack Dickenson on 0407 963 036.
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