He was immediately encouraged to join Midland Men’s Shed as a way of meeting some locals in the community.
‘This has been a great move for me as God has given me great friends like John, Stan, Kevin, Arthur, Dave, Ray Brown, Jim Riddle, Bob and Bill and 60 men who met in the shed, too,’ he said.
‘Activities involve us talking together and some people teach courses and attend courses like building woodwork.’
Mr Shonhayi said he was born in 1945 and went as far as primary school before leaving in 1956.
‘After I looked for employment and obtained a job with the Zimbabwe Sugar Refinery,’ he said.
‘I worked for 35 years as a front-end loader or Kumatsu driver, feeding boiling sugar to the weigh house.’
Mr Shonhayi said he met a beautiful girl ” Loice ” and she accepted his proposal. They were married on August 17, 1969 and now have seven children ” two girls and five boys.
‘One of the girls works in New Zealand and the other at Swan District Hospital ” the rest of the children had to remain in Zimbabwe as they were over 25 years of age,’ he said.
‘My youngest is now 26 years of age,’ he said. ‘I have two grandchildren ” both girls ” one five years and the other one is two years.’
Mr Shonhayi lost his legs in a road accident when a bus in which he was a passenger rolled as he was travelling to work. Several of his workmates lost their lives.
‘I was lucky,’ he said. ‘I’m a Midvale resident now and my wife and I live here, but if all my children were here I would be happier.
‘I’m 68 years of age and I hope my children can join me here in Australia.
‘I like it because in Zimbabwe there was no medicine and here I can have very good medical help and it’s very important, since I lost my legs.’
‘I thank all Men’s Shed members for making me so welcome and I say God bless the Men’s Shed as they are friendly to each other and let us hope that in the future we will all be working in our own shed.’
Midland Men’s Shed meets each Tuesday, from 9.30am to 11.30am, in the Baptist Church Hall, Bellevue.