The Life of Brian has been one of tireless dedication and thankless work, nothing funny about it.
This week the Whyalla Men’s Shed bid farewell to a man who helped make the group what it is today, through dedicated volunteering in the Whyalla community.
Founding member Brian Marshall is leaving the steel city to be closer to family in Adelaide, departing the steel city where he has served as a member of groups including the Whyalla Mount Laura Lions Club.
Men’s Shed Coordinator Gary Misan presented Brian with a bookend and medal made by the group’s members, an honour which recognised Brian’s devotion to the shed over the past decade.
Brian is a decorated member of the community, having received the 2010 Australia Day Whyalla Citizen of the Year award for his work.
Gary met Brian through a men’s health event at university in 2012, and the two decided to explore the possibility of establishing a Men’s Shed in Whyalla.
“At the end of 2012 we organised a couple of public meetings to gauge the interest in forming a Men’s Shed in Whyalla … there were quite a few people who were interested so it all took off from there,” he said.
“I had some funding to appoint Brian as a part-time project officer, and we started getting the ball rolling.”
Brian was the coordinator on the first ever Whyalla Men’s Shed committee, and worked with Life Without Barriers to secure a location for the Men’s Shed.
At the end of 2013 the group moved into their current site on the corner of Williams Street and Norrie Avenue, and Brian negotiated support from the Whyalla City Council to clean up the area.
The shed was officially opened in September of that year and since then Brian has dedicated many hours to helping the group flourish, serving as President between 2018 and 2020.
“Brian’s very community-minded…he’s had a passion for men’s health for a number of years which is reflected in the work he’s done for the Men’s Shed and Lions,” Gary said.
“He’s just the kind of man who gets things done, if there’s something that needs doing he puts his hand up to get his hands dirty.
“We wish him all the best with his move to Adelaide.”
Brian said he was proud of the progress made on the Whyalla Men’s Shed since 2012, and it was “lovely” to receive a medal and bookend from the Shed.
“I’ve been here 30 years and I’ve had a really good experience with the Whyalal Mount Laura Lions Club and the Men’s Shed,” he said.
“I’ve very grateful to have received the Australia Day Whyalla Citizen of the Year Award in 2010.”
Brian will be departing Whyalla for Adelaide in mid-July – before then he’ll be taking his caravan around for a holiday.