New terrace garden honours Monsignor Paul Nadal

Durban’s inner city now has a splash of green at the Denis Hurley Centre, with the opening of the Paul Nadal Garden on the upper terrace.

Paddy Kearney, one of the main inspirations behind the development of the centre next to Durban’s Emmanuel cathedral, described the action as recognition of Mgr Paul Nadal as a patron, trustee and generous donor to the centre — a place seen as a home for the homeless and refuge of the distressed.

Family, friends and clergy met at the centre to celebrate the naming, blessing and opening of the meditative garden.

Manrico Barbieri, a close friend of Mgr Nadal since schooldays at St Henry’s Marist College in Durban, applauded the dedication of the garden in the name of Paul Nadal as a fitting tribute to someone who had given exemplary service in his ministry for an unbroken 58 years.

“It also entrenches the memory of his close relationship with his mentor, Archbishop Denis Hurley, whom he served as vicar-general from 1983 to 1992,” Mr Barbieri said.

Mgr Nadal’s 30 years’ residence in the grounds of the Assumption church provided an opportunity to develop his love of gardening for flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables. The Monsignor was also a keen runner and cyclist in his younger days, completing six grueling Comrades marathons, several Two Oceans mathons, the Cape Argus cycling race, and walking the Camino.

The garden team comprised landscaper Victoria Brennan and Coral Vinsen, both experts on indigenous plants, Roanne Scott and Holy Family Sister Cathy Murugan, who runs the centre’s Sustainable Livelihood and Employment Service — all with Mgr Nadal’s collaboration in planning and setting up the terrace garden. The bench, flower box and stands were made by Eddie Majola from recycled pallets.

Sr Murugan said the garden is an invitation “to come and rest awhile”. It also offers a homeless person employment through tending the garden and selling the excess herbs and vegetables.


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