Media and Communications Office
If you’re looking for a way to add some cheer to your Christmas family activities this season, drive up to St Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Dandenong, home to the now iconic Australian Nativity Scene.
For 15 years, Quality Assurance professional Wilson Fernandez has been building a Nativity scene which is an exceptionally detailed scale model of biblical-era Bethlehem.
‘Everything is made to scale, everything is in proportion to give the impression of the times in which the Nativity story is set,’ says Wilson.
The yearly attraction draws people far and wide of both Catholic and non-Catholic faiths, with some even visiting on a weekly basis to follow the week-by-week story, as told in the Bible.
‘We have had people come from interstate and overseas and those that are not necessarily Christian are still able to follow the story of Christmas,’ says Wilson. 'It starts with a normal set-up and the following week Mary and Joseph can be seen looking for a place to rest in an inn.’
‘Eventually it displays the last scene with Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt.’
Wilson invests much time and thought to creating such a masterpiece.
‘It takes me 6 months in planning and creating new additions to the Nativity scene’ he said, explaining that he hasn’t taken Christmas holidays since 2003, but takes great pleasure in looking after the fine display, which includes watering the live moss and plants used to help create its realistic appearance.
‘I use eco-friendly material as much as possible. including live moss and have used 103 plants and trees of different sizes,’ he explains.
The Nativity scene is made up of a staggering 694 individual figurines and measures at 4.6 by 5 metres and reaches 1.7 metres in height and is open until Friday 11 January 2019.
To find out more information, head to http://www.australiannativityscene.org/ and for enquires, contact Wilson on 0428 927 110 or 9795 6217 (parish office).