2003 Review

We did not present an annual review for last year's Congress in Napier so there is two years' news to catch up on. I am writing this review in Nelson where we are reinstalling the 2 manual, 25 stop, factory rebuilt and restored 1886 Bishop & Son/Tustin/Lee organ in St John's Methodist Church. This exciting project, which John Scott has written up in the latest Organ News, should be just completed by the time you are reading this and will be officially opened on Sunday June 8 by Paul Brown. The original freestanding casework destroyed in 1965 has been reconstructed from surviving parts and an 1891 photograph and is stunning. Four original carved angels (one holding a portative organ) crown the façade. We have reinstated the Great Clarionet to restore the original specification and added a Great Viola 8'and Lieblich Flute 4' extended from the Pedal ranks. On the Swell we have added a Trumpet 8'and Cornet Mixture III. On the Pedal we have added an Acoustic Bass 32', Bass Flute 8', Flute 4' and Viola 4' extended from the original Bourdon and Violoncello ranks. A Muldersoft transmission and capture system complete with MIDI sequencer has been fitted to the rebuilt Lee console. We have restored the original hand pump reconstructed from surviving parts and have repaired and retained the 1910 Norman & Beard basement reservoir and feeders for later reconstruction of the hydraulic blowing system as a tourist attraction. We have restored the original winding system and wind pressure of 92mm based on one double-rise reservoir and we have replaced the Tustin electro pneumatic action with electromechanical action for optimum performance. This has allowed restoration and strengthening of the original structural framework, which had been dangerously weakened.

In September 2001 we completed the factory rebuilding of the 3-manual, 37 stop, mechanical action, Pogson organ for the Verbrugghen Concert Hall of Sydney Conservatorium. It features CAD design by Ian Hargraves, a new pre-tensioned mechanical key-action and mass-loaded schwimmer wind regulation system designed by Perth Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering Lynn Kirkham, a new capture system by Muldersoft Organ Systems, and voicing by John Gray including a new Swell Voix Celeste and redesigned Swell Mixture. The former Ruckpositive division has been relocated in the case behind the console as a Brustwerk to suit the new orchestral/choral stage configuration. The Hall has been completely refurbished including a new concrete ceiling above the original to enhance the acoustic and remove outside noise. The redevelopment of the Conservatorium and associated High School, of which the organ contract is just a small part, cost A$145 million. Many of the 80 rooms (including 3 of the 4 concert halls) are up to 3 levels underground to avoid spoiling the vista of the historic Government House stables building at the center of the complex, in the grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

In June 2002 we completed the factory rebuilding of the 1938 Onehunga Methodist George Croft organ and 1909 St John's Presbyterian George Croft/Lawton & Osborne/Church Organs organ into one 38 stop, 2 manual, electric action organ for the Onehunga Cooperating Church in Grey St. incorporating all the original pipework, windchests and reservoirs from both plus additional new Trombone and Mixture pipes. The 1938 detached console was adapted for the task and the surviving 1909 casework retained. The organ features a complete Muldersoft transmission and capture system including MIDI sequencer.

In January 2003 after factory restoration to its original specification, we installed a 9 stop, 2 manual, 1877 Hill organ in the Performing Arts Studio of Wesley College in Melbourne, thanks to a generous gift by Pioneer Electronics Ltd. We purchased the redundant organ from St Peter's Anglican Church Riccarton in 2001 and featured it during the 2001Congress in Timaru when John Wells played it in our factory. A capacity audience attended the Melbourne opening concert in April by Andrew Blackburn and Sergio de Pieri. Pioneer Electronics have also funded an annual scholarship for pupils to learn to play on this organ.

In January 2003 we installed a complete Muldersoft transmission and capture system including MIDI sequencer in the 2 manual, Lawton/Croft, Kings College Otahuhu Chapel organ. The installation also included additional Pedal Open Diapason pipes and some overhaul work.

Also in January 2003 we commenced the first stage of installation of the 50 stop 3 manual 1930 Hill Norman & Beard organ formerly in the Scots Assembly Hall Sydney that we are rebuilding in the factory for the Memorial Hall of Scotch College Melbourne in collaboration with P D Jewkes organ builders of Sydney who are responsible for the console, 32' pipes and CAD draughting. The organ will have a new neo Gothic styled case designed by the architect in charge of the refurbishment of the Hall. The largest 10 pipes of the Pedal Open Wood 32' will be on display at each side of the podium arch and the project is due for completion in January 2004. A complete Muldersoft transmission and capture system will be fitted.

During the last 2 years we have carried out many interesting smaller projects including Knox College Dunedin (relocation and cleaning), St Michael's Kelburn (cleaning), Sacred Heart Basilica Timaru (cleaning), St Luke's Mt Albert (site overhaul), Holy Trinity Gisborne (site overhaul), UWA Winthrop Hall Perth (Muldersoft capture system), Sacred Heart Cathedral Wellington (console relocation and new swell engines), St Paul's Waiwhetu (overhaul), Holy Spirit Cathedral Palmerston North (ongoing overhaul), St Peter's Cathedral Hamilton (console relocation), St Peter's School Cambridge (site overhaul), Mt Eden Methodist (new blower), St Stephen's Methodist Stratford (site overhaul and Melodic Bass addition), St Andrew's Presbyterian Gore (console relocation), St Andrew's Presbyterian Stratford (overhaul), St Luke's Union Masterton (pedal action overhaul), Holy Trinity Stratford (ongoing action overhaul), St Mary's Catholic Christchurch (water damage repairs), St John's Waimate North (action overhaul), Durham St Methodist Christchurch (choir overhaul), St John's Invercargill (water damage repairs), Christchurch Cathedral (water damage repairs), St Patrick's South Dunedin (site overhaul), St Andrew's Presbyterian Gisborne (swell Voix Celeste 8' addition), Knox Presbyterian Dunedin (action overhaul), St Mark's Remuera (ongoing overhaul and revoicing), St Matthew's Auckland (vandal damage repairs), Trinity Methodist Napier (pedal action overhaul), LDS Wairoa (relocation and overhaul), St Andrew's Epsom (ongoing overhaul), St Christopher's Seatoun (ongoing overhaul).

In conclusion the Company is in good heart for its 35th anniversary with confidence for the future. Directors John Hargraves, Garth Cattle and John Gray and foreman Neil Stocker celebrate 35 years of service to the Company at the end of this year. Gerald Green has recently celebrated 30 years and Christopher Templeton 10 years. Last year we welcomed John Cookson and this year Zackery Bennett to the full-time staff. We have been very busy for the last 3 years but will be ready for a new major project in 2004. The number of organs tuned and maintained under contract has again increased during the year and totals over 300 from Southland to Northland.


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