Terry (Mr Perfect Founder): "I wanted to make clear that Greg sent this to me purely as a reflection for himself on 5 years since his first Mr Perfect BBQ.
It was so powerful to me when I read it, I could not help but share with the world (with his reluctant permission of course!).
Greg is one of my very few personal heroes and men I look up to, and I look forward to many more years of his huge influence on Mr Perfect".
Knowing it was around this time of year, I looked back through a few old emails recently and found the date I was looking for. It was June 10th 2018, cold and raining, not the conditions I was hoping for when hosting a Mr Perfect BBQ for the first time at The Entrance on the NSW Central Coast.
After waiting a while and no sign of anyone showing up I headed back home with an esky full of snags and even though I had no control over the weather, it was hard not to feel like I had let Terry and the Mr Perfect team down.
Over the next few months, the weather improved and a few men started turning up for the BBQ. Standing around the grill, listening as the conversations flowed naturally from cars and work to illness and grief, I came to realise that far from letting anyone down I had been part of creating a space where men, most of who had never met, could come together and share their stories with each other.
The opportunity for social connection which Mr Perfect provides is what appealed to me when I needed it most. Life had changed quite a lot and there had been a few dark times when I didn’t cope well on my own. Being around other blokes, hearing these raw and honest conversations it reminded me that everyone has struggles and trying to deal with them alone can be the most difficult thing to do.
On the other hand, when things are going well it’s nice to have a group of mates to share and celebrate the good times with. When your footy team wins, when you fix a broken washing machine or build a vegie garden in the back yard, the opportunity to talk with others about the things that make you happy is just as important as talking about the difficult times.
As I clock up 5 years of hosting Mr Perfect BBQ’s and reflect on what it means to me, I can honestly say picking up the tongs and dicing countless onions on a Sunday morning been life changing. I have met so many great blokes, heard men speak about their darkest days and deepest fears, laughed at funny stories and learned life lessons from the older generation.
The most important thing I’ve learned as a Mr Perfect BBQ host is that all you need to do is show up with your esky full of snags and you’ll make a difference.
If you are thinking about volunteering with Mr Perfect to create a BBQ for the men in your community I would encourage you to give it a go. You will be part of something unique yet simple and immeasurably powerful in the lives of the men who gather around the BBQ including yourself.
Want to become a Mr Perfect BBQ Host in your town? Click here to read more.