The Contract Has Landed!

South Island Organ Co Limited is excited to announce that on 31 August 2018 we have been commissioned to build a new pipe organ for St John’s Anglican Church, Gordon, N.S.W., Australia.
This is a great mile stone for us as we had been nursing this project for nearly 10 years.

In 2009 we were invited by Dr Brett McKern on behalf of the organ committee to investigate the possibilities for installing a new organ in St John’s to replace the ailing and unsuitable Rendall instrument. We were excited to find a church with the need, the space, the will, the liturgy, the choral tradition, the choirs, a competent organ committee and an expert music director and organ consultant in Brett.

By November 2010 we had formulated the exciting plan, complete with CAD drawings and specifications.

In March 2011 we were invited to quote on the plan in competition with 2 other companies.

In 2013 we requoted and in 2014 the parish accepted our quotation in principle and decided to go forward in two stages with our vision for the organ.

Its essentials are as follows:

Removal of the Rendall organ to storage for restoration to its original concept and development as a west-end gallery division of the new organ.
Installation of a new 4 manual organ based on a redundant romantic – symphonic style 1934 Hill, Norman & Beard instrument owned by SIOC.
Redevelopment of the unused organ chamber over the vestry to give the organ an elevated chancel position to fill the church without sounding oppressive and free up the overcrowded sanctuary floor.
Expansion of the resource organ with an expressive division of matching Hill, Norman & Beard pipes, a new façade, blower and digital transmission to give it the musical versatility to accompany the full choral and organ repertoire and facilitate a revitalisation of parish music.
Stage 2 of the project is to install the west-end antiphonal division of the new organ based on the restored Rendall organ.

SIOC has supported the organ committee‘s work by providing full specifications and technical design drawings ahead of the signed contract to facilitate their research into the civic, legal, structural, contractual, aesthetic and functional requirements for the successful realisation of this project.

St Johns willingness to engage with our imaginatively designed proposal to craft such an instrument from new and pre-loved materials, fills us with great enthusiasm to make this organ special. We believe that it will prove a wise investment facilitating a mission opportunity that is special to this parish, one that is urgently awaiting this nourishment.

Now we are full steam ahead building the perfect new instrument at half the cost of an all new equivalent organ. Completion of stage 1 (Chancel organ) is expected by the end of 2019.

Photos of St John’s Church by Kevin Chamberlain Photography.
Rendered images of the new Chancel organ by David Kohlmann.

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Our Book is Available for Purchase

More than a Pipe Dream

This book pays homage to the highly skilled individuals in the South Island Organ Company who have dedicated so much of their lives to designing, building and restoring pipe organs, highly complex musical instruments as they are. It unveils an impressive amount of detail about this unique company's development, achievements and adventures, including secrets of the instruments construction and the art of restoration, all of which is presented in a highly readable manner so that you will never feel overwhelmed by technical jargon.

This book is the work of multi-award-winning writer Jill Worrall.

$99.99 plus postage & handling fee.

Here are some comments:

  • "Thrilled to have the book arrive today. What a gorgeous production it is and how poignant the earthquake stories and images. Thank you and I will enjoy it in greater detail as the days go by". - Tim McWhannell
  • "The book has arrived....amidst the busy day, I just had to have a quick flip through. I am absolutely gobsmacked!  What a magnificent publication -accolades all round!
    You have exceeded!  I am wordless, and speechless!
    Bravo!" - Roy Tankersley
  •  "The book arrived today! Excellent publication" - Alan Edwards
  • To John: "I enjoyed the book...indeed more than a pipe dream, that's for sure. From it I can see you've had a  remarkable and interesting career amongst some great talented craftsmen and artisans and have formed a great company in SIOC which you must be proud of. The tragedy of the losses SIOC suffered with the deaths of your men following the earthquakes is so sad and I am sure is a deep loss to you and Val personally. But what an outstanding first 50 years" - Craig Maclean & family
  •  "My copy has arrived. It is superb!! Many thanks to Val and John, and to all those who had input into its publication" - Robert Cleaver