She didn’t want to end up alongside her John in one of the big cemeteries, so Alison looked for alternatives and found that the beauty of the grounds at The Monastery, Glen Osmond were perfect.
Together with her second husband, Alastair, they began to investigate the possibility of establishing a garden on the site where memorial plaques could be placed and ashes interred.
In consultation with the then parish priest Fr Tiernan Doherty CP, Alison and Alastair set up a small committee to work on the project, secured planning permission and in August 2013 the Memorial Garden was officially opened.
“The Tandy family have had a very long association with the Passionist Order… in fact my sister-in-law who is 89 has never lived in any other parish.
“John had been a member of the parish all his life – 75 years – so it was perhaps fitting that he was the first interred here,” Alison told The Southern Cross.
Alastair’s first wife Trish was a parishioner at Glen Osmond for more than 30 years and was the second to be laid to rest in the peaceful location.
Located near the entrance, the establishment of the garden involved the hard work of many people, including architect Ken Milne and Br Jim Coucher CP, who coordinated and assisted with much of the manual labour. More recently, Sophie Thomson of the ABC Gardening Show has been involved in design work to ensure the ongoing beauty of the natural landscaped space.
Incorporated in the design are the memorial plaques – with or without ashes – which are positioned along the pathway kerbing to denote the final resting place of loved ones. Currently 124 graves have been sold but there is capacity for many more.
For Alison, being able to sit in the garden in the shade of the magnificent old gum trees is a wonderful setting to remember her husband of 42 years.
“I like that my grandchildren also want to come and see ‘Grumpy’ here. They actually make the effort to visit three or four times a year – I think because it is so peaceful and beautiful here.”
She added that one of the attractions of purchasing a plot was that it was “in perpetuity”, meaning the initial fee covered all administration and ongoing costs involved with looking after the garden and plaque.
Governed by a committee, the garden is open not just to those in the Glen Osmond-Parkside parish, but anyone wanting to inter a loved one’s ashes.
“You don’t have to be a Catholic to have a plot here – it’s non-denominational as long as the person accepts the ethos of the sacred place,” Alison explained.
For further information about the Memorial Garden, contact The Monastery office on 8338 8700 or go to www.themonastery.net.auJump to next article