Burnett’s Best with David Mollenhauer

Murgon Men's Shed President Dave Mollenhauer. 255711_09

President of the Murgon Mens’ Shed, David Mollenhauer, loves the role his organisation plays in keeping the community active and connected.

In his chat with Burnett Today, David talks about his past, his passions and his group’s projects.

What is your favourite spot in the Burnett? – Fick’s Crossing or Murgon.

How long have you been a part of the Murgon Mens’ Shed? – Since day one. It started off in my workshop on the other side of town about six or seven years ago. When the current location on 75 McAllister Street became available we moved here.

Why are you so passionate about the Mens’ Shed? – I’m retired, and I think I’d be lost for something to do if it wasn’t for the Shed. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands, and I’ve always enjoyed horse gear.

What did you do before you retired? – The last ten years of my working life I manufactured veterinary instruments for a wholeseller in Brisbane, which went to England, New Zealand, all over the place. Before that, I worked at Barambah Machinery.

What is one thing you think your community needs? – More of a cooperative spirit.

What is the best advice you have ever received, and who did you get it from? – I was trying to bend timber for wagon wheels, and Nigel Scullion, the Federal Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs was there, who was a carpenter by trade, and he told me that I needed to laminate that timber.

What’s a project you’ve worked on over the years that has really stood out? – The horse-drawn carriages. Initially, we were given just a few parts of a carriage, and we knew we couldn’t afford someone else to do the wheels or supply the horses, but it all came together one by one to complete it.

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? – Maybe a trip around Australia. I’m not very interested in travel – I’ve worked in a couple of countries overseas and it doesn’t really interest me much anymore.

What do you do when you have 30 minutes of spare time? – I’m usually working on something Mens’ Shed-related. Besides that, I enjoy my garden and spending time with my pets.

What’s something you’d like people to know about the Mens’ Shed? – There are more Mens’ Sheds in Queensland than there are McDonald’s. It’s a problem getting guys to come along, but once they are here, they can see it’s a non-threatening environment where they can do what they like.