A short history of the Eurobodalla Woodies
organisation started 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 of the group. Membership would be open to
all skill levels, and all kinds of woodwork. He
felt that the group should actually make things,
not just talk about them. The group would use
membership funding to buy timbers, agree on
projects, make and sell the items and use the
proceeds to buy more timber and tools.
charities too was part of the original concept.
The meeting was a success and lead to regular
gatherings. The organisation quickly took shape,
with membership reaching 25 after just 2 months.
Homeless, but happy
The organisation became incorporated on the 22nd March 1990 to be known as The Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild Inc. and as a ‘not for profit’ its aim was to support community and other charitable organisations. Download the Constitution)
activities of the Guild , over the first 7 years
is richly told in a publication with the above
name, compiled by Norm Lee and published by Judy
Lee in February 2001.
next temporary home was the workshop of Malua Bay
builder, Imre Szedlack, well know for his clocks.
Then came a stint at Durras at the home of George
Donnelly, followed by a period at Tony Whelan’s
home at Surfside. The guild by this time had
started to acquire tools and machinery using funds
from the sale of made items.
The Bowling Club years
first independent home came in the form of part of
the green keepers and bus shed at the Batemans Bay
Bowling Club. It was a mutually beneficial
relationship, with the Woodies offering support to
the Club in many of its projects, in return for
accommodation. Unfortunately with the Bowling Club
undergoing a transfer of ownership and a change in
priorities the Woodies were required to again seek
a new home.
The Woodies at the former Batemans Bay Bowling Club
Back to Mogo
Guild followed up an invitation by Maureen Nathan,
owner of the Original Gold rush Colony, to utilise
some space in a machinery shed. Once again this
proved to be a mutually beneficial arrangement for
was only partly enclosed and required considerable
work to make it secure. The Guild set about laying
a concrete floor and fabricating new walls and
installing many power outlets. Over the following
10 years the Guild carried out various extensions
to the premises, including a toilet, compactus and
outdoor but undercover work spaces.
benefit of the Community Building Partnership
program grants in 2011 the Guild was able to
upgrade machinery and to buy a very important dust
February 2011 the Guild entered the information
age with its own Domain name and website.
workshop was officially opened by the local State
Member of Parliament the Hon. Andrew Constance on
Saturday the 1st October 2011.
happy period the Guild became an integral part of
the Mogo community, participating in open days
during the River of Art Festival and visitors to
the Gold Rush Colony. This was a period of
consolidation where membership grew to over 60 and
many projects were carried out for groups such as
Eurobodalla Shire Council, Anglicare, St Johns
Church Moruya, Batemans Bay Tennis Club to name a
for a Home
some time after the fires, the only way that the
Guild could function was to again revert to the
old practice of using the home facilities of
those members fortunate enough to have space. It
was a considered imperative to keep the
wasn't long before a generous offer was made by
Mr Steve Love and family of 'Woodlands' to allow
the Guild to use part of their acreage. This
entailed the rebuilding of Steve's burnt out
shed. The guild is blessed with the skills to
carry out the task and now enjoys a small open
sided roofed space flanked by 3 containers. This
facility does not allow many members to work at
once but has proved to be a boost to membership
and maintain the Guild’s spirit.
is not a permanent solution and the Guild has,
since the fires, sort assistance from various
organisations for assistance in acquiring
permanent tenure on land within the Shire.
much negotiation with the Guild and other
similarly affected groups, the Eurobodalla Shire
Council has now agreed to lease land to four
Clubs and create an 'Artisan Centre' at Mogo.
will require the 4 groups to raise all the
necessary capital to clear the land , excavate,
provide car parking, all services and construct
each building at their cost. This is a
monumental task for 4 not for profit groups.