A short history of the Eurobodalla Woodies
The organisation started back in June 1987, when furniture restorer, Peter Walsh, called a public meeting of interested woodies in his Mogo workshop. Although he expected the meeting to set the tone for the organisation's development, he already had in mind some of the features that were to become important aspects. Membership would be open to all skill levels, and all kinds of woodwork.He felt the club should actually make things, not just talk about them.The group would use membership funding to buy timbers, agree on some projects, make and sell the items and use the proceeds to buy more timbers and tools.Supporting charities too was part of his original idea.The meeting was a success and lead to regular meetings.The organisation quickly took shape, with membership reaching 25 after just 2 months.
Homeless, but happy
The activities of the Guild over the first seven years is richly told in a publication with that name, compiled by Norm Lee and published by Judy Lee in February 2001. A copy is available for download (27MBy). It chronicles the talks, demonstrations, visitors, lecturers, projects, developments, field trips and charity work carried out between 1987 and 1993.
In that time, the Guild met regularly in the workshop of Mogo wood turner and wood turning teacher, Don Lee.The Guild's next temporary home was the workshop of Malua Bay builder, Imre Szedlack, well known for his clocks.Then came a stint at Durras, courtesy of George Donnelly, followed by some time at Tony Whelan's workshop at Surfside.The group started to acquire equipment, using funds raised by sale of items made in the regular meetings.
The Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild was incorporated on the 22 March 1990 as a non profit organisation supporting the community and under privileged groups. (Download the Constitution)
The Bowling Club years
The Guild's first independent home came in the form of permission to use part of the gardening and bus shed at the Batemans Bay Bowling Club. It was a mutually beneficial relationship, with the Woodies offering support for the club in many of its projects. Unfortunately, a change in ownership of the Club made for a change in priorities, and the Woodies were looking for a new home.
The Woodies at the former Batemans Bay Bowling Club
Back to Mogo
The Guild followed up an invite that had been made by the Original Gold Rush Colony at Mogo.Once again, the Guild has a mutually beneficial relationship with its host; one we hope destined for a long future.
Building the workshop
The Colony made
a part of the machinery shed available and Guild
members put in a concrete slab floor and lined it to
make it the very comfortable space we see today.
Work continues to equip the workshop, which now
boasts some very fine resources.Over the last few
years many improvements have been made to the
workshop.The installation of a toilet has meant
members do not have to walk up the hill and use up
precious wood working time! An extension to house
the compactus has freed up workshop floor space
which has allowed room for more lathes. A most
recent extension to the outdoor work area has
resulted in the ability to put more space in between
machinery making a much safer work zone.
A grant from the Community Building Partnership Program in first-half 2011 has enabled the Guild to substantially upgrade its equipment, with a new table saw, long jointer, bigger thicknesser, re-saw band saw, large drum sander and two cyclone dust extractors. That has meant a feverish bout of activity installing the new equipment and training users.
Now settled and equipped, the Woodies felt it was time to look outward and welcome the world to our workshop.In February 2011, with our own domain name and website, we stepped out into the Information Age.
The Mogo workshop was officially opened on Saturday 1 October, 2011, by our local Member of Parliament, the Hon. Andrew Constance.
As is often the case after such a
devastating loss the Wood Craft Guild's committee
are looking at the opportunity for rebuilding our
workshop with a new and improved floor plan.
Modified: 24th January 2020