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EQ Memorial Concert 2019

The Earthquake Memorial Concert was held last Sunday 10 February 2019, a little early this year but this did not detract from the event at all.  In fact, we were blown away by the public response, due in part no doubt to the imminent closure of the beautiful Sacred Heart Basilica for repairs and strengthening.  The closure is expected to be for the rest of this year.

The large audience (around 120) were greeted by the SIOC Directors, and were then treated to a sensitive musical performance from Dr Brett McKern of St John’s Church Gordon, Sydney.    His programme selection was most approachable and yet not lacking in technical skill and depth.  The audience was enthralled from the first sounds of the lovely Rigaudon by Campra to the final piece, Dambusters March by Coates.

As has become the norm, our MD John added to the significance of the occasion with his enjoyable yet poignant baritone solo renditions, this time The Glow Within by Will Reed and his arrangement of Olive Pattison’s The Lord’s Prayer.

The generous donations received from the public will enable us to make a contribution to the Neil Stocker Memorial Fund.

With Love We Remember – Neil, Scott and Paul.  We also remember Ross Weir, our Christchurch assistant who passed away unexpectedly on January 17, 2019.  He was with our men in the February 2011 quake.  Ross brought us his electrical skills, an enquiring mind, his love of music and positive disposition, and he will be missed.

Thanks to Father Brian Fennessy, Helen Simmons and Martin Kane from Holy Family Parish for allowing us to use Timaru’s Sacred Heart Basilica and the Hobday organ. Thanks also to SIOC staff for their valuable contribution and support of the occasion.

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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.

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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. 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