From the day Bill Henshall moved into Juniper Rowethorpe Retirement Living Village he wanted to get involved in the community on a practical level. Seven years later and a series of technicolour bench seats, gardens, tables, darts area and bookshelves, he is still an active member of the Rowethorpe Residents’ Shed, nurturing his creative side while serving the community.

“In the Residents’ Shed you get to create while serving the Rowethorpe community in a practical way. In retirement, it also gave me something useful to do,” Bill said.

Bill is foremost a practical ‘Jack of all trades’. With an accounting background amongst his many interests and holding him in excellent stead as the secretary and treasurer of the Residents’ Shed, he spent a varied career working with Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley during the 1960s. He was then seconded to assist communities throughout the Fitzroy Valley with finance and community governance.

In retirement Bill took up cycling. Now at 81, he cycles an impressive 50-70km three to four times a week with a group of cyclists of all ages. Post ride he loves to share a much-deserved coffee at the Boat Shed with his lycra-clad mates.

“I took up cycling 16 years ago when I retired because I think it is really important to stay active for as long as you can,” he said.

“Staying active doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It’s the simple things, like going up and down stairs, a daily walk or taking part in a variety of activities that can make a big difference.

“Here at Rowethorpe residents can pop down to the local café, walk across the road and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Curtin University – there are loads of opportunities to explore.”

The Residents’ Shed, which is now aligned with the Victoria Park Lions Club, is looking for new active members. Bill said anyone is more than welcome, whether they live in Rowethorpe or surrounding communities.

“You don’t need to have any experience. We just want people that would like to use their hands for their own benefit or for the benefit of others.  There is an excellent range of hand tools and machinery to use.  The Shed offers a pandoras box of opportunities to all comers”.

To join the Rowethorpe Residents Shed is only $50 a year. If you are interested, you can email Rowethorpe Retirement Living coordinator Jess Brabander on jess.brabander@juniper.org.au or call 6363 6311.

Bill Henshall says members of the Residents’ Shed have access to a wide range of tools and equipment.

Bill with one of the painted benches at Rowethorpe Retirement Living.

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