Discover your niche

GRAHAM JOHNSON says joining a men’s shed wasn’t on his list of priorities after retiring, but now he can’t stay away from the place and has to keep reminding himself he’s got another life to live.

“I lived in Bridgetown for 16 years and decided to come back to Perth and after retiring wondered ‘what am I going to do with myself’ when a neighbour suggested joining the men’s shed,” Mr Johnson said.

• Graham Johnson discovered his green thumb at the Fremantle Men’s Shed. Photo by Alex Marshall

• Graham Johnson discovered his green thumb at the Fremantle Men’s Shed. Photo by Alex Marshall

“I said ‘no thanks’ because I wasn’t interested in woodwork or metalwork, but then I decided to come down and I found my niche, which was gardening.”

A plumber and gas fitter by trade, he didn’t have much gardening experience, but after showing signs of being a green thumb was given the role of co-ordinating the landscaping and veggie gardens around the shed.

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“I was also into music and I said why don’t they start up a music studio and now we have regular jam sessions with members and their friends – they came out in droves,” Mr Johnson said.

A drummer (which he calls the engine room of a band), he says people will be surprised by the calibre of the shed’s allstar band, saying it contains a few old pros amongst the talented amateurs.

“It was a great move joining the shed, I’d really recommend it to anyone.”

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