Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove popped into Tarago on Sunday to officially open a project more than two years in the making.
The Tarago Men's Shed was opened before a crowd of some 150 people, including the 32-strong Australian Men's Rugby Choir.
Sir Peter, who is patron of the Australian Men's Shed Association, proved a popular choice.
"It was quite a buzz to get him there and we're very thankful to him for coming," outgoing Tarago Men's Shed president Keith Hunter said.
The idea took hold in 2016 as a vital outlet for men's health and wellbeing.
"We did a feasibility study and, after looking at several locations, decided we'd build it on council land set aside for community use next to the Tarago hall," Mr Hunter said.
Members, who initially operated out of the Showground pavilion, secured $86,500 from the Veolia Mulwaree Trust for the concrete slab and a 30-metre by eight-metre shed. They also successfully applied for other state and federal government grants for tools, equipment and fittings. Other Men's Sheds in the district, including Goulburn's, have donated equipment.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council approved the plans designed by Topcom Enterprises Pty Ltd last year. It also waived development application fees, for which Mr Hunter said the organisation was highly grateful.
The result, which is just stage one, is a $150,000 structure where men can go to do woodwork and other activities.
Mr Hunter said it was very much needed.
"We lost a man to suicide last year and I very much hope that's not repeated," he said.
"We think it will it will make a difference in the region. There are also a lot of people on farms and it gives them an outlet."
Currently there are 57 members, with an average age of over fifty. They include four Vietnam War veterans and 10 ex-service personnel.
They and the crowd especially appreciated Sir Peter's attendance.
"He was very personable and spoke on a wide range of topics," Mr Hunter said.
It was something of a double act, with his wife, Lady Lynne Cosgrove, being patron of the CWA. The organisation's Tarago Women's branch catered for the event.
Other guests included Hume MP Angus Taylor, Member for Goulburn Pru Goward, Mayor Bob Kirk, who spoke as a director of the Veolia Mulwaree Trust, and co-director John Reynolds, accompanied by wife, Prue.
Representatives of Men's Sheds from Goulburn and district also attended.
Meantime, Tarago members are looking to secure sponsorship for the $100,000 stage two of the project. This includes rooftop solar panels, lining of the building and landscaping.
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