24 April 2014

Grumpy Old Men

23/11/2011 10:51:00 a.m.


Watching the Menzshed in Haining St operate “was a joy” according to Sister Margaret Ann of The Sisters of Compassion.  The building is owned by the Sisters who operate the Soup Kitchen next door.

Last week we published a story about the Menzshed Wellington Charitable Trust (MSW) (http://www.capitaltimes.co.nz/Whose-shed-is-it-anyway)  which described the rift that has developed within the Menzshed between the original trust started by John Gibbons, and a new trust started by a group including John Shrapnell seemingly aiming to help the same people.
Spokesman John Shrapnell had been attending the Menzshed and was  one of a group who styled themselves the “grumpy old men”.  He is one of five trustees who have begun the a new trust, the Wellington City Menzshed Charitable Trust (WCM). 
Briefly, Shrapnell’s group became unhappy with the arrangements at the Menzshed in Haining St, after a long dispute with Gibbons about “membership”.   Gibbons locked them out for three weeks  in an effort to get some agreement about how the shed should be run, and though the shed is now open again, Gibbons has taken out a trespass order for Menzshed against Shrapnell personally.
Shrapnell disputes some of the Capital Times story and has complained that it lacked fairness and balance but when Capital Times phoned him to ask him to clarify and expand upon his complaints, he declined..A number of comments about the story have been received by the paper alleging sloppy journalism, but have not provided any detail.
Shrapnell told Capital Times  he’s only the secretary of WCM, however he is the founding trustee and secretary, and since the three week lockout he has held   meetings at his house, among others, and he has made vigorous efforts to see if his group can assume the lease of the  Haining St Menzshed which is owned by the Sisters of Compassion who manage the Soup Kitchen next door.
Sister Margaret Ann says she is full of admiration for John Gibbons who “did a great deal of work organising and getting the Menzshed up and running.  It was a joy to watch”.
She says Shrapnell visited her after a number of telephone calls and an unannounced visit,  and when he finally saw her on November 10  she says  “…he was trying to twist my arm”.  She says she made it quite clear to Shrapnell that it was a clean lease and it would stay with the original lessees.  She described the Capital Times article as “very fair”.
Gibbons suggested last week that a $16,000 grant made by the Medibank Community Fund to CMS (Shrapnell’s group) may have been made when they thought there was only one Menzshed in Wellington. Shrapnell says that is not true.  Medibank, when asked if they were aware there were two different Menzshed trusts in Wellington said that they hadn’t asked and that they assess grants on the basis of the applications.
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Sally Kabak at 9:50 a.m. on 24 November said

Once again the Capital Times has published an article that is totally bias.

The Menzshed does not belong to Mr John Gibson and why he should take out a personal trespass order against Mr John Shrapnell is beyond my understanding. Does Mr Gibson feel like he has to be in control of the Menzshed? The Menzshed belongs to all the men that wish to use the facilities not to one person.

Why does the Capital Times have to feel the need to mention other parties in the article thereby smearing the good name of a wonderful man that has done so much for so many people and without asking for any recognition?

The Capital Times and certainly Mr John Gibson need to apologise to John Shrapnell.

Clane at 4:50 a.m. on 25 November said

Congratulations, great second chapter in series on the MenzShed.

How typical that Shrapnell and his cronies style themselves grumpy old men. We’ve all met that type before, haven’t we?

This week’s story got even better with the inclusion of a nun from the Sisters of Compassion. Poor woman, harassed by the “number of phone calls”, Shrzapnell arriving “unannounced” but the sheer imagery of Shrapnell gripping the little nun while she complained “he’s twisting my arm!” A touch of brilliance.

My only disappointment is that you say he is still declining to comment beyond his complaint. That’s a sure sign of a guilty conscience.

Can you try again to get him to talk? After the nun incident if you report almost anything Shrapnell says we’ll soon get the readers baying “Crucify Him”.

This is modern journalism at its most exciting!

P. Rinterink

John R at 7:33 p.m. on 7 December said

Both reports by the Capital Times, in my view as an ex member, are accurate and factual.

Mr Shrapnell was clearly given the opportunity to respond to both articles but ran for cover.This as a sign that he is in the wrong. He seems to be very good at going behind backs to try andget things done his way. I cannot see anything in the articles that reflects this, despite the comments of his supporters.

I cannot recollect the lady Sally kabak being a member, or seeing her at Haining Street, so it is hard to see where she is coming from.

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