Young people from Job Ahoi worked on Christ figure for the first time

In Nicole Mayer's studio: Rebecca, Simon and Andreas Huemer (work supervisor at Job Ahoi).

In Nicole Mayer’s studio: Rebecca, Simon and Andreas Huemer (work supervisor at Job Ahoi).
©OJAD/Herbert Rella

The OJAD work project helped with the restoration of the “Gfrörer” wayside cross.

Dornbirn. This task was new and demanding, especially since it meant the first restoration of a valuable cultural asset for the young people at Job Ahoi. So far, the workshop of the Open Youth Work Dornbirn (OJAD) is mainly known for repair and renewal work on wooden boats. This completely new order was all the more exciting. Tells how it came about Herbert Rellaon whose leased property on Poststraße there is a cross, more precisely the “Gfrörer” wayside cross.

In the course of his work on the former gatekeeper’s house, which he began in 2015, he found that the wayside cross – and in particular the figure of Christ – was leading an increasingly dreary existence. “The reason for this was probably the death of a neighboring pair of siblings who had previously lovingly taken care of the small complex,” Rella knows. He realized that further lack of maintenance would mean the demise of the small monument. “That annoyed me and I couldn’t watch anymore,” says Dornbirner, who was born in 1954, describing the garbage thrown away and deliberate damage to the figure. Something had to be done and who, if not him, should take care of it. A fence with climbing roses was his first action.

The rescue initiative

As a result, Herbert Rella looked for comrades-in-arms for the “Team Wegkreuz”. He managed to get representatives of the parish of St. Martin, the diocese of Feldkirch, the city and the city museum of Dornbirn, and a neighbor to the table. A good 7,000 euros and various voluntary services were promised for the project described by Rella for the repair of the cross and the complete restoration of the Christ figure. As a professional restorer could Nicole Mayer be won. For difficult preparatory work such as sanding off several layers of paint, “I ran along Martin Hagen, MD of the open youth work Dornbirn, open doors”, affirms Rella. “We had to be very careful with this task. Out of respect for the unknown artist who carved it, too much of the surface could not be removed,” explains Andreas Huemer, leader of the work project Job Ahoy. For the youngsters Tobi, Ivan, Rebecca or cream it was an exciting task in which they invested a total of 192 working hours. The intercultural project was well received by the nine young people involved – they discussed and philosophized, because they had never come so close to old craftsmanship in the form of a Christ figure as now. The crowning glory was the visit to the restorer’s studio, who let you experience some of the final steps, the painting and gilding of the figure.

For the solemn blessing of the restored wayside cross on Whit Monday, June 6 at 10.30 a.m the public is cordially invited. “If the weather is suitable, there will be a contemplative morning pint on site afterwards,” informs Herbert Rella.

“Gfrörer” wayside cross, Dornbirn, Poststraße 12

Intersection (small roundabout) Poststraße, Altweg, Bildgasse

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