The STATUES in Father Woods Park, north of Penola, will not be moved to the town following a request from the Wattle Range Council denied by the Catholic community.
The council consulted with the Catholic community following its November meeting, which decided to explore the possibility of moving the carved wooden statues of Father Tenison Woods and Saint Mary MacKillop to Penola to alleviate security concerns road and access to Riddoch Road at Father Woods Park.
The problems have been compounded by plans for the Coonawarra Rail Trail, which is under construction, to include an off-trail path to access the park via an unpaved road allowance through agricultural property (which the farmer opposes concerned) for the Riddoch freeway near Father’s Woods Park on the other side of the freeway.
It was believed that the move could also help provide an economic benefit to the township of Penola.
Council officers met with representatives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, the Catholic Parish of Penola and the Father Woods Park Committee.
At the Council meeting last December, project manager Muni Krishna indicated that Catholic representatives were not in favor of moving the sculptures, as Father Woods Park is important to the history of Father Tenison Woods’ work. In the region.
The report says Catholic officials informed Council that the statues in the park were being rebuilt and that the new sculptures would be installed in the park at the start of the new year.
Over the past ten years, church visitors’ books for the park cautiously indicate that over 34,000 people have visited Father Woods Park.
The council report said Catholic officials were strongly in favor of the Coonawarra Rail Trail project, believing that the trail and the park would complement each other and significantly increase the number of people visiting the park.
Mr. Krishna reported that a story, which appeared in The Border Watch of June 27, 1883, was presented to Catholic officials by the officers of the Council as part of a request for existing signage on a huge gum tree on the banks of the Riddoch Highway, which names its name as the “Father Woods tree,” was moved to another important tree in the park, as the article indicated that a storm had toppled the original Father Woods tree.
The article read: “… We hear that a cyclone has passed through Limestone Ridge station on the Penola and Narracoorte (sic) road, sweeping dead trees in its path. Among the ancient forest monarchs who fell before her was a tree by the side of the main road, near Mrs. MacArthur’s docking station, known locally as the Reverend JET Wood’s Gum… ”
Mr. Krishna said: “Although reluctant, the Church is open to the possibility of identifying another important tree in Father Woods Park to alleviate the safety concerns associated with crossing the Riddoch Road. [to access the currently signed tree].
“Further discussion will take place on this matter in the hope that with proper signage we can both recognize the fact that the services were held in the shade of the tall red trees by Father Woods and recognize the fact that the original tree was lost in the great storm back in 1883.