When asking around the Clermont community about who should be this month’s @ The Coalface Community Champion, everyone pointed me in the direction of one man, Kev Burns.
Kev is a born and raised Clermont local who says that Clermont is the friendliest town around. Having run a business for over 12 years until it’s untimely demise by fire, Kev and his family have stayed, with two of his three children also putting down permanent Clermont roots.
Finding himself with a bit of spare time, Kev has worked hard to help establish Clermont Men’s Shed and is Club President. He continues to give three days a week to the organisation.
“I’m a jack of all trades and master of none!” shares Kev with a laugh. “I do a bit of welding but not much woodwork. There are other blokes that do that. I enjoy the maintenance side of things and have really been concentrating on getting the Men’s Shed up and running so when I retire, I can spend my days up there and build things, making toys and stuff like that.
“At the shed we have been busy building mini tractors for the smaller kids at the upcoming Heritage Day in Capella. We made a table for the Patchwork and Quilters group in town and some chairs for the local school. One of our members helped the Scouts out with their overgrown lawn problem. We are always willing to lend a hand in the community or loan a mower or a BBQ.
“Locals bring us projects or bring something up if it needs to be fixed. We have currently got 45 members with around 10 members at the shed on any given day, so lots of different skills and labours of love being worked on.”
Kev said that in 2022 their biggest achievement was the shed project. That’s where they sort through all the cans and bottle from their distribution points around town and take them over to Dysart to get cashed. That’s how they get most of their funding for the Men’s Shed, thanks to the donations of cans and bottles from the community.
When asked about why he calls Clermont home, Kev says it’s all about the people and a great place to live.
“There’s more to Clermont than just mining jobs, if your happy to clean a motel room or work the bar at one of the pubs there are plenty of opportunities here. And if you want to hang out with a great bunch of people, we are a fun bunch at the Clermont Men’s Shed. We’re always ready to take on a challenge and there’s nothing we can’t fix or find a solution to!”
Next time you’re in Clermont pop down and say hello to Kev down at his favourite watering hole, The Leo Hotel or keep an eye out for the Men’s Shed members out the front of Mitre 10 selling sausages on a Saturday morning.