All Souls Day is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have passed, observed by the Catholic and Christian community on 2 November. Also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, it is traditionally honoured through prayer and Mass services.
This year, we were mindful that many in their local community would be unable to attend our on-site Mass usually held on the day due to Melbourne’s COVID-19 restrictions. In order to provide a space for reflection and prayer, our team decided to get creative with reclaimed materials from our grounds to create a special reflection space for our Christian community to pay tribute in a way that is comfortable and respectful of All Souls Day traditions.
A unique solution
It was important to help our community honour their loved ones for All Souls Day – and to help them do so safely and in line with any current instructions from the Department of Health. Our talented Horticulture, Arbor, Florist and Events teams came up with a unique solution: a peaceful, outdoor reflection space made with materials from the grounds.
It all began with some routine tree removals. Our Arbor team had recently removed some structurally unsound trees from the Garden of No Distant Place at Springvale Botanical Cemetery as part of their usual activity. The timber from trees felled on-site is usually recycled into artisan furniture – but these trees would go on to have a special purpose of their own.
Sections of tree were carefully assembled into a cross formation. Individual holes were added, and the timber treated to protect it against the Melbourne weather. Words of reflection were carved into adjoining timber pieces, and a hollowed-out reclaimed stump was transformed into a ‘tribute hollow’ – a place for our community to place prayer cards inscribed with messages of love.