1999 Review


Our major project over the last year has been the restoration of the organ of the United Church of Port Chalmers (Iona). This pneumatic action Hill organ came to New Zealand in 1928 after being displayed at the 1924-26 Wembley Exhibition. It originally came from Sherbourne School; some of the pipes dating back to the 1860's while others came from Christie's organ at Glyndbourne. Raymond White, John Hargraves, Ron Newton and Gregory Peyroux reopened the organ in October.

In June of last year we dismantled the NSW State Conservatorium organ in readiness for an $80 million redevelopment of the whole site which is in the grounds of Government House and originally served as the stables. The Verbruggen Hall where the organ was erected was also used for Opera (it was originally used for dressage). Roger Pogson built the 37 stop, 3 manual tracker action organ in 1973 but it had deteriorated badly over the years and will be redesigned and rebuilt to concert standard to suit its new role in the Hall which is being redesigned as an orchestral and choral concert venue. Major changes will be made to the specification, configuration, action and winding.

In July – August we restored the small 1879 Hunter 2 manual and pedal tracker organ at St Matthew's Catholic Church, Windsor NSW an extensive report of which has been published in OHTA News. Formerly hand-blown the organ now has an optional electric blower and has entirely supplanted the electronic organ. Also at St Matthew's Anglican Church, Windsor we are gradually restoring the voicing and pedal action of the oldest Australian-made organ to have survived, the 2 manual and pedal organ made by Johnson and Kinloch in 1840.

Two of our early organs have been cleaned (including minor overhaul work) during the last year. All Saints Anglican Church, Dunedin (restored in 1969) had the organ chamber re-plastered and painted and St Joseph's Catholic Cathedral, Dunedin (built in 1976) was done after a major refurbishment and completion of the temporary East End of the Cathedral. Further work on the Swell at All Saints will take place shortly.

Other significant work included restoration of the Swell pneumatic action at St Mary's Anglican Church in Merivale (largest parish Church organ in New Zealand), overhaul of the Jenkins organ at St John's Anglican Church, Roslyn, overhaul of the Positive Organ Co organ at Sumner Union Church, overhaul of the Croft organ in St Ninian's Presbyterian Church, Riccarton, and partial overhaul of the Lawton & Osborne/Croft organ at St Peter's School, Cambridge. We also carried out extensive action repairs on the Bevington/Croft at St Luke's Anglican Church, Wadestown, and similarly on the organs at St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Napier and St Paul's Devonport.

At Christchurch Cathedral we moved the Cornet and Pedal Mixture chests to a better position. We have made a new swell box and regulated the pipework for the Croft organ at St Andrews's Anglican Church, Bulls. We are progressively revoicing and overhauling the Croft organ at St Peter's Cathedral Hamilton. We are currently restoring the pipework and keys for the Pearce organ at Lincoln Anglican Church.

Currently we are restoring the 1900 George Sandford organ in St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Kaikoura. The Church people have done a splendid job of generating interest and raising the money for this work, which will ensure that this charming instrument is reinstalled in time for the millenium in readiness for its next century of use. The organ has 2 manuals and pedals with tracker action and only 7 stops.

Despite the difficult trading conditions during the last year or so we are greatly encouraged by the number of exciting projects that are presently under negotiation for the future.

1900 G.M. Sandford Organ of St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Kaikoura

1973 Pogson Organ of Verbruggen Hall NSW State Conservatorium

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