When it was decided that Glen Osmond was the place to re-install the statues the first factor to consider was transport. Just how would one transport these beautiful, though somewhat weathered stations the 1200 Kms from Goulburn, NSW, to Adelaide, SA without damaging them further? Because of their specially equipped hydraulic dampened tray tops, the transport company chosen to undertake the task was Chess Intermove, and a specialist firm from Melbourne was hired to crate the statues in solid pine boxes, with foam of various densities for padding.
Regrettably there had been damage to some of the stations due to previous moves and storage. A hand was missing from one, the occasional finger from others; cracks had appeared in places, and over the years much mould and dust had collected on most of them. Under the supervision of Carmel Nicholls, the statues were uncrated and painstakingly cleaned and restored, while kept locked away in the Monastery garages. Greg Dabrowa, a renowned sculptor from Sydney was enlisted to repair and rebuild any damage, which he did to perfection.
Planning the Garden
In order to plan the Garden and to ensure the necessary finance, several committees were formed, a large auction was held and many money raising ventures implemented. One of these was the opportunity given for Memorial Plaques. The plinths were constructed, drainage and water supply added, and the gardens planted by several teams of TAFE Students under the supervision of Tim Jenkins, the Monastery groundsman of the time. Gates were designed, built and installed, and paving laid by Albino Ragnelli. The Passionists and indeed, all those who visit the Sacred Garden, are indebted to the many tradesmen and others who donated their skills and time to make this venture possible.
A Media Launch was conducted on, Wednesday 16th April. The Premier, Hon Mike Rann attended along with the spokesman for the National Trust, who approved the project, recognizing the Sacred Garden to be of aesthetic and historical heritage significance. The media gave the project much coverage, so shown by the weeks of constant attendance by various journalists and photographers.
The Opening Ceremony was conducted on Good Friday, 18th April, 2003. 1500 chairs were used by people attending the function and a further five hundred people remained standing throughout the ceremony. The Archbishop, Most Rev. Philip Wilson, DD, accompanied by the Passionist Provincial Fr. Denis Travers, and Community Leader Fr. Kevin Hennessy, blessed and followed the Stations with a select group, and this was radio broadcast to the people at the front of the Monastery. At the conclusion of the blessing and prayers, the people present were invited to make the stations privately, which almost all did, despite the huge number attending.