2000 Review

Our major project during the latter half of last year was the restoration and development of the 1900 George Sandford organ of St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Kaikoura.

This 2 manual and pedal mechanical action organ was hand pumped for many years, as Kaikoura was not connected to the national grid until the early 1950's. Sandford trained and worked in Christchurch for most of his career with an interlude in Sydney, where he assisted with the erection of the 1890 Hill & Sons Town Hall organ and set up a short-lived business in the suburb of Enmore, specializing in pipe-making, voicing and tuning. The Kaikoura pipes are of his own manufacture.

Our current major project is the rebuilding of the 3 manual, 37 stop, mechanical action, Pogson organ for the Verbrugghen Concert Hall of Sydney Conservatorium. This is due for completion by the end of March 2001 and in many respects will be a new organ with new key-action, wind regulation, voicing, capture system and physical configuration.

New Zealand's largest parish church organ, the Hill, Norman & Beard at St Mary in Merivale Anglican Church received considerable restoration of the pneumatic key and stop action towards the end of 1999. The Pearce organ of St Stephen's Anglican, Lincoln was also restored and relocated in the redeveloped Church at this time, in conjunction with John Dodgshun and the NZ Organ Preservation Trust.

Last year we carried out pipework repairs on the 1906 Norman & Beard organ of Wellington Town Hall to maintain New Zealand's crown jewel of historic pipe organs in pristine condition. At the beginning of this year we carried out extensive repairs on the Norman & Beard/Croft organ of Auckland Town Hall organ to keep it in reliable order pending a possible major restoration in the near future. The Croft organ at St Peter's Cathedral, Hamilton received a major site overhaul and revoicing and will shortly have a new Great Trumpet installed. The Croft organ of Diocesan School, Auckland recently received a new Muldersoft switching and capture system.

Other organs that have had on-site overhauls in the last year include the Bevington at All Saints Anglican, Dunedin, the Strachan at St Paul's Catholic, Dallington, the Compton at St Thomas Anglican, Motueka, and the Matla organs at L.D.S. Hataitai, Avalon and Napier. St Stephen's, Ponsonby (console action), Trinity Methodist, Wanganui (great primary action), St Paul's, Devonport (front-pipe action) and Nelson Baptist (swell primary action).

Recently restoration work has been completed on the Hobday organ of Trinity Anglican, Darfield (pneumatic touch boxes), the Hathaway organ of St Thomas Anglican, Fendalton (ventil soundboard, stop-action, touch box and Pedal-coupling system) and a privately owned Belgian Arburo Orchestrion (bellows and wind regulating system).

Muldersoft switching and capture systems are due for installation in the organs of St Paul's Presbyterian, Wanganui (which is also to gain a new Great Trumpet stop), Oxford Terrace Baptist, Knox Presbyterian, Dunedin (which is also to gain a new Tuba stop), and St Andrew's Presbyterian, Geraldine. Several site overhaul projects are due for completion before next Congress including the organs of Khandalla Presbyterian, St Mary's Anglican, New Plymouth, and St Mary's Anglican, Hawera.

The number of organs tuned and maintained under contract has significantly increased during the year, particularly in the Auckland area where we look after approximately 40 instruments out of a national total of around 300.

 
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