21 April 2023

Angelo's 'Table of Knowledge' is in for repairs but the yarns continue on Baylis Street

| Chris Roe
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Without his ‘Table of Knowledge’, Angelo has retreated to Muffin Break for his morning catch-ups. Photo: Chris Roe.

Angelo Calvi has been looking a little lost over the past week, deprived of his usual table on Baylis Street outside the Sturt Mall.

“Council takes them away every now and again and they do them up at the Men’s Shed, so it will be back soon,” he says leaning on his car and puffing a smoke.

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Angelo and his mates are a familiar sight on weekday mornings, gathered around their table sharing a yarn and giving warm greetings to passersby.

“They all know us here, people call it the ‘Table of Knowledge’,” he says with a throaty chuckle.

“We’re a bunch of retired fellas ranging from 76 to 84 and [it’s] just nice to get out and have a coffee and a yarn for a couple of hours in the morning.”

Angelo Calvi

Angelo and his mates are a little lost without their Baylis Street ‘Table of Knowledge’. Photo: Chris Roe.

With the Table of Knowledge undergoing a refurbishment, Angelo and his crew have moved to a table outside Muffin Break where owner Natalie Brennan says they are more than welcome.

“In the last week since the table’s gone I’ve had that many people come in and say, ‘Where are the boys going to sit?'” she laughs over a jug of frothing milk.

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“Every day they come and get macchiatos and small coffees, they are a good group and they look out for each other.

“They’ve pulled one of my tables around the corner there so they can still have a … (Natalie mimes puffing a cigarette)”

Men's Shed

Peter Quinane says the Wagga Men’s Shed team will take good care of the ‘Table of Knowledge’. Photo: Chris Roe.

Rest assured, the table is in good hands with the industrious team from Wagga’s award-winning Men’s Shed at Ashmont.

The street furniture project is a partnership that began with Wagga City Council around six years ago and Men’s Shed veteran Peter Quinane says the project is one of many that bring in income to keep them operating.

“About every three years they bring them back in to us and it’s all pulled apart and then it all gets planed and all the old varnish is taken off,” he explains.

“We then re-arris the edges (take off the sharp edge) and then it gets three coats of stain or oil on the timber.”


The street furniture has been disassembled ready to be restored. Photo: Chris Roe.

For the uninitiated, Wagga’s Men’s Shed is an impressive complex of Colorbond structures.

“There’s nearly 2000 square meters under cover with the three sheds and this building here,” says Peter, indicating the large meeting hall where a group of about 20 blokes are gathered around a barbecue.

“We do all sorts of projects from assembling bikes for Big W and Kmart to restoring old double sash windows and furniture.

“We’ve got a veggie garden, bees and there’s a couple of guys that look after the home brewing.”

The good news for Angelo and his cohort is that their Table of Knowledge will be back in place in a week or so, re-oiled and looking better than ever.

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