A.L. Thompson’s in conjunction with Men’s Shed hosted a workshop for fathers and sons to bond around building and making woodwork.
The event, which took place on 23rd November, 2019 was attended by dozens of fathers, who joined their sons to make special tool holders.
The Caymanian Times spoke to Retail Manager Dan Thompson of AL Thompsons, who explained more about the event:
“A. L. Thompson’s has been exploring ideas on hosting various workshops for our customers for quite some time. When Men’s Shed - Cayman Islands approached us about hosting the event in partnership with them, we jumped at the opportunity as it was a great cause with focus on our youth.”
He added that the reality is that we have become a disposable society (globally)….
“When something breaks, we buy a new one or we call someone else in to fix it. Trade skills and craftmanship are becoming more and more scarce, so we thought this workshop was a great idea by getting the kids involved and creating an event around them.
“What is more empowering and impactful than teaching and encouraging our youth to create something tangible with their own, two hands and exposing them to a trade such as carpentry at an early age to ignite their interest and build their confidence in their own abilities…”
With over 40 children at the event and smiles on each of their faces when they held up the finished products, confirmation of workshop’s goals being achieved was more than evident.
“Hopefully, the tool boxes that were built at the workshop will be around for years to come and encourage the children to fill them with their own tools and make them eager to take on projects of their own,” said Mr. Murphy.
“I would like to thank Men’s Shed – Cayman Islands as well as the Family Resource Centre for their efforts and look forward to hosting more of these types of events in the future,” he noted.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson was also on hand for the event and expressed joy at seeing the fathers and their sons working together on the project.
“I wanted to come and support this event; fathers and sons building tool boxes. My first job at 11 years old was in my Uncle Jimmy Powell’s cabinet shop and so I am a bib supporter of this kind of bonding between parents and their children,” he remarked.
Men’s Shed, which is spearheaded by Mark Nicoll is an organization that seeks to empower men, many of whom struggle to put their emotions into words.
“It’s an international movement that seeks to help them build social connections – and improve their quality of life – in a more hands-on way,” noted Mr. Nicoll.
He added that Men’s sheds began as an initiative in Australia, to bring men together in a collaborative, community setting where they could roll their sleeves up, work with their hands and, hopefully, build new friendships.
The movement has now spread across Europe, North America, and now the Cayman Islands.
The island’s first men’s shed is housed inside the Cayman Catboat Club on North Church Street and is a small woodworking shop that has been set up with donated tools and tables.
For more information on Men’s Shed, contact Mark Nicoll at firstname.lastname@example.org