Seniors look to revive fix-it shop

Heather Latter

Those who want to carve, cut, drill, saw, and create might not realize there is a space in Fort Frances where they can apply their woodworking skills—at no cost.
The Sister Kennedy Centre’s Fix-It Shop, a heated facility containing a variety of tools, has been under-utilized for some time and there’s an effort underway to revitalize it.
In order to get the Fix-It Shop going full force again, a meeting is planned for this Monday (Jan. 18) at 6:30 p.m. for any seniors (aged 55 plus) interested in using the facility.
“We’re encouraging seniors, both men and women, to come and throw some ideas around, ask questions, and get some answers,” said Jack Hedman.
“It’s a really beautiful facility and it’s got a ton of equipment,” he added.
“It’s a shame it’s not being taken advantaged of.”
“We just want to get more people out using it,” echoed centre manager Cindy Noble, who noted her husband, Ken, has been working in it this winter.
“And he’s quite enjoying it,” she added.
Monday’s meeting will be used to gauge interest in the shop and go over some ideas for it.
Ken Noble said some things that might be discussed could include whether or not the shop could be open in the evening and how best to monitor that.
“We want to accommodate people who want to use it,” he stressed, noting some people might prefer to work after supper.
“I’m sure it can be done,” he remarked.
Noble said there’s also the idea of people bringing their own tools and having an area there where they could lock them up.
They also would talk about safety aspects of using the shop and perhaps even start up a woodworking club.
“We have lots of experienced carpenters in the area,” Hedman said.
“I’d love to see a club up and running.”
Hedman noted using the Fix-It Shop is all about camaraderie.
“It just makes you feel connected,” he reasoned. “And it gives you something to do.”
Noble added safety is key and there will be some sort of orientation for those who may be unfamiliar with the equipment.
“There will be lots of help around,” he stressed.
“If you need some help getting started, just ask.”
There is a supply of plywood available at the shop for use, with the cost for those materials posted on the wall.
“But people are also welcome to bring their own materials to work with,” Hedman said.
While the space requires no other fees, Noble said the Sister Kennedy Centre would appreciate a donation from those using the shop.
“It would just help to pay for the lights and heating,” he explained.
The Fix-It Shop, the red building located on the southeast corner of the parking lot, was added to Sister Kennedy Centre in 1987.
An addition was built in 1994.
Hedman said he only just viewed the shop recently and it blew him away.
“It’s well-lit and in tip-top shape,” he remarked, adding Noble has been giving the equipment a tune-up.
Noble said while the tools are not brand new, everything still works well.
“We just want to see it used,” Hedman stressed. “And we want to see if the interest is out there.”
The Sister Kennedy Centre, located at 401 Nelson St.. is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Other ongoing activities offered there include daily card games (Canasta, Smear, Bridge, Cribbage, and Euchre), as well as snooker and floor shuffleboard.
Soup, sandwiches, coffee, and tea are available to purchase.
For more information, call 274-7656.