Manual Arts Centre (MAC) -North Albury

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 A return trip to Holland where an Albury man saw his former employer create a work space for retirees was the instigator for the City's Manual Activity Centre.
The Centre was opened in North Albury in 1978 and set up by our Rotary club as a place to socialise and learn and share skills
It's recently been extended with a metal workshop facility added.
Fondly known as MAC, Vice President Frank Lange says the idea came from Rotarian Jim Dekruiff.
Lange says on a visit to Holland (where Dekruiff was born) Dekruiff took a tour of his old workplace and discovered his former employer had opened up a part of the factory for retirees to meet.
The Directors of the factory decided it was a good way for former employees to beat loneliness and the feeling of uselessness in retirement.
Dekruiff loved the idea and on his return to Albury mentioned it to fellow Rotarian Doug Delarue who said "We can do that!" and the Manual Activity Centre was created.
Albury City took over the Centre in 2002 and has leased it to Age Concern Albury Wodonga since 2005.
President of Age Concern Albury Wodonga Celia Bevan says MAC is an important part of the community.
"For something like thirty years we have been involved with programs in the community where people can pursue what interests them; hobbies, education and a whole range of activities.
"A centre like this, a manual activities centre, is really important for people who have manual skills and want to keep them up or for people who want to come in and learn those skills.  "Bevan says the MAC is for all ages.
Along with the new metal working space there are other programs including woodwork sessions, sewing groups and mentoring programs available to the public.
Lange says the centre is not-for-profit."It's the greatest place in the world to spend a few hours.
"We are more than happy to do community work.
"One chap repaired skeletons for Albury High School, they (the school) brought all the parts in a box and one gentleman spent hours sitting in this room putting it together, Keith got a lot of pleasure out if it and we learnt a lot about the body!"
"I think one of the great things here is the acceptance of everybody, nobody is in competition, they all accept each other."