“Welcome Home to the Croft Organ”

St Andrew’s on-the -Terrace, Wellington

This major organ restoration project for SIOC has drawn to a close now, and was celebrated with a great ‘Welcome Home to the Croft Organ’ fun variety concert on 2 May 2021.  John and Val Hargraves were there, along with SIOC staff members Paul Rosoman and Bryan Jones.  John and Paul were both part of the programme which featured the organ in many of its possible colours and styles, along with other organists who all had had a connection with the organ.  The sell-out crowd heard it in full splendour with timpani, drums, brass, piano, vocals, from Gershwin to Hakim, from ABBA to Handel, transcriptions of TV themes, reflective, loud, and we loved it all.

A special guest speaker was Professor Jack Croft Richards, who presented a little Croft history.  Jack is a grandson of George Croft (founder of the Croft organ-building company) and a nephew of William (Bill) Croft who was leading the Croft company when it built and installed the St. Andrew’s on the Terrace organ in 1962.  John Hargraves followed this with the progression of his involvement with the organ at a personal level at that time, leading to his professional involvement in 1987 when SIOC became its custodian.

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