St Peter’s Rieger – Home at Last

It’s been a busy year so far with most of our staff working away from Timaru for some time.  First up was the installation of the Rieger organ in its new position in the sympathetically upgraded interior of the restored iconic building at Church Corner, Christchurch.  For the organ builders, this organ has been a pleasure to work on, being only 20 years old and not having had the chance to accumulate decades of dust, as have most of our ‘patients’.  You’ll see from the before and after photos that the organ has moved to the opposite side of the church, but can you pick what our master craftsmen had to do, (among other things) to make it fit?

The official opening of the complex was planned for 28 February 2021, but the temporary move to Covid-19 level 2 meant this event and others planned for that day had restricted entry, so only those officiating were able to attend.  We look forward to being there on 27 June for the re-scheduled Choral Evensong and dinner to follow!

John and Val Hargraves did attend the official opening recital by Martin Setchell on 18 April 2021.  Martin was in his element, and presented a delightful varied programme including some pieces from his opening recital played there 20 years before to a full church, and declared the organ even better than he remembered it.  We promise to keep it that way!

by Val Hargraves

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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