How Did the Book Launch Go? – GREAT!

On 7 February 2020 “More Than a Pipe Dream”, a book about pipe organ building in New Zealand and dedicated to 50 years of the South Island Organ Company, by Jill Worrall has been officially launched.

The launch took place at South Canterbury Museum at Perth Street, Timaru.
We thought it was a very appropriate venue – filled to the rafters with history and culture, what we are passionate about. Not to forget the Sacred Heart Basilica exhibition which was happening there at the same time. Not long ago we have done some work to their pipe organ and are now waiting to reinstall it in the EQ strengthened building fairly soon.

We greatly appreciate an amazing support which we received from the staff of SC Museum and especially from Director Philip Howe on the day and prior to this event. We also extremely grateful to everyone who has chosen to share this special day with us.

About 50 strong crowd was perfect for the size of the venue. The atmosphere in the room was warm and cheerful, with the tasteful compilation of organ music on the background as well as drinks and nibbles thoroughly enjoyed by all.

MC Tatiana Hewitson addressed everyone with a kind welcome and gave a special mention to former founding directors of SIOC John Gray, whose contribution to the company success is valued immensely, also Vic Hackworthy and Garth Cattle. Official part of the book launch heard insightful, heartfelt, inspirational and witty speeches from SIOC’s managing director John Hargraves MNZM, his wife and business partner, also director Val Hargraves, director of South Canterbury Museum Phil Howe and multi-award winning author Jill Worrall without who there wouldn’t have been any book.

After the speeches a lucky number was drawn by Ngaire Elder, daughter of John and Val and a recent invaluable addition to the company’s staff. An old pipe organ pipe was used as a vessel and held by Christopher Templeton who has contributed heavily to the book by sieving through thousands of photos from SIOC’s archives and putting names to faces and faces to events for Jill and for the future readers.

Colin Cookson of Timaru was the lucky winner of a free copy of “More Than a Pipe dream” signed by the author and the two directors of the company.

After that John Hargraves pronounced the book launched!

The Guests have been kindly invited to more drinks and nibbles and to exciting moments of purchasing their own copy and signing of it.

Mike Young, one of our brilliant organ-builders, showed a skill of a different kind – in hospitality!!! – Thank you very much, Mike!

Happy faces all around!

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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