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Woodcrafters celebrate 30 years of learning and friendship

Posted: 1pm 18 May 2022

There was plenty of reminiscing and laughs shared between friends from the Redcliffe and District Woodcraft Society as they gathered to celebrate the group’s 30th anniversary.

A special morning tea with sandwiches and pastries was held to mark the milestone, with more than 50 members and their partners in attendance.

The group was established on May 15, 1992 and was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act on July 30, 1992.

Speaking to Moreton Daily, President Neil Evans said he was thrilled to be part of the festivities.

“I’ve only been here for seven years, so it’s good to be here for the 30th anniversary and recognise all those people that started up the group before us and left a legacy that has taught us a hell of a lot of stuff,” he said.

“Like many other members, I did a little bit of woodworking in school, but it wasn’t until I retired that I joined here.

“It’s a place where people can learn something new in their retirement or pick up a new hobby to help with their mental health.

“For me, the group is all about comradery and companionship, which is one of the major things apart from learning new woodcrafting skills.”

Their hub in Redcliffe provides different spaces for members to work on a variety of projects including making wooden instruments, wooden toys, boxes, wood turning, pyrography (decorating wood with burn marks), joinery and more.

Marilyn Kunde, who has also served as President, said all members were extremely supportive of each other.

“As a group, we all learn so much from each other, and it doesn’t necessarily have to involve woodwork,” she said.

“We all need someone or something, and that’s what this club is all about.

“Here’s to at another 20 years, at least.”

Learning from the best

Bruce Parker, who likes to joke about being one of the youngest members of the group, joined in February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic escalated.

Being one of the newest members, Bruce (pictured above) said he has already learnt a lot.

“When I was 15, a couple of years back, I loved woodwork at school,” he said.

“I have always had a desire to do something with wood, and it took me until I was 70 to do something about that.

“I am absolutely amazed, as a young person, at the gifts previous members have given to us, as they passed on their talent to the people that are here today.

“I have learnt so much already - lots of new skills from lots of different people and mentors - and that’s why I love this club.

“Marilyn, who is a wonderful teacher, taught me how to finish something that looks beautiful and not just average looking.”

A lifelong passion

Former Pine Rivers State High School Principal Graham Sprott has been a member of the Redcliffe and Districts Woodcraft Society since 1999.

When he was looking for a new hobby, working with wood seemed like an obvious choice, given his father also enjoyed woodwork.

“I have always worked with timber and wood because my dad did too,” he said.

“I got introduced to the group from a tutor at TAFE, who told me he was the president of the group at the time, and I’ve been here ever since.”

Crafting sweet music

The Redcliffe and Districts Woodcraft Society have a dedicated working space where members can make an array of wooden instruments, including guitars and Ukuleles.

Richard Scriven (pictured above) is one member who has combined his love of music and woodwork, having just finished making two guitars.

“Each guitar takes round 130 hours to make,” he said.

“One of the guitars is for my son.”

How to join

The Redcliffe and Districts Woodcraft Society boasts more than 100 members but are always keen to welcome new people.

If you are interested in joining the group, or would like to know more information, you can log onto their website.

Alternatively, you can phone Neil on 0438 099 587 or send an email to redcliffewoodcraft@gmail.com

The group also have a Facebook group you can join. Search Redcliffe Woodcraft Society Members.

You can see more photos from the event below. 

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