“Grumpies” not so grumpy after all
If you’ve ever wanted to meet some grumpy old men, the recently established “Grumpy Old Fella Group” in South Hedland is definitely not the place to find them!
The group is part of Wirraka Maya Health Service’s “Indigenous Family Healing” program and was formed following discussions with older gentlemen who indicated that loneliness or isolation was part of their lives.
Wirraka Maya’s Well Being Centre instigated a Thursday morning get together several weeks ago, whereby any interested men over 40 could be picked up by Wirraka Maya staff and brought to the centre to spend the morning in good company.
Co-coordinator of the Grumpies group Liza Andrews says it’s quickly become a great place for men to get out of the house and make friends or share stories.
“Activities that they actually want to do and enjoy doing are very important,” Ms Andrews says.
Already, the fledgling group of “grumpies” has not only met to watch a movie, paint and share home cooked meals (mmm…shepherd’s pie), but been fishing at Cemetery Beach, even taken a day trip to Point Samson.
“They actually teach us quite a lot as well, in history about this area.”
Once such gent is Basil Snook who grew up on Pippingarra Station and has seen Hedland change greatly over several decades.
“Old fellas who want to come and join in… [should] get together and enjoy yourselves to help one another,” he says.
Noel Garlett attends the group and assists bringing gents over from Southern Cross Community Care.
He says the Grumpies have room for a lot more men.
“I see a lot of difference when they’re home…they just have nowhere to go, nowhere to get a ride.
“I’d just like to see them come here, just sit around and talk.”
Grumpies group member David May looks forward to coming along too.
“I just enjoy going out really, meeting other people,” Mr May says.
“There’s a different thing to do every week.”
Keen fisherman Noel McKenna also calls the grumpy old fellas his friends.
“We all get together, talk to one another, have a little bit of a yarn about what happened during the week,” he says.
A women’s group “Yarning Up” has started on a Tuesday morning for all women 18 and over.
Interested men and ladies can call Wirraka Maya on 9172 0444 or pop in and say hi to Liza or Markysia.