Ch.11 The Church Organs

Anglican Church Glen Innes

Researching the history of organs used in Holy Trinity has revealed that in 1880 the Bishop of Grafton and Armidale ordered the L. Davidson & Gray model, at the cost of £175. After 30 years it was removed. Its whereabouts are not known. The 1894 photograph shows that a fine reed organ was then in use. This particular organ is now situated in the Masonic Hall building in Glen Innes. Whatever happened to the 1880 organ remains a puzzle and why a grand Bell’s reed organ needed to be purchased adds further to the mystery.

Another question raised is how the reed organ found its new home at the Masonic Hall.  On the 23rd July 1922 the Rt. Rev. Wentworth Shields, Bishop of Armidale, dedicated a massive pipe organ built by W.G.Rendall as a memorial to the men and women who had fought in World War 1.  The organ cost  £850 and stood in the southern transept. The pipe-organ was a square structure, surrounded by railed curtains situated outside the belfry door just under the present position of the hymn board.  The only access to the belfry was through a small timber door found behind the Prayer Desk. The organ served the congregations over many years.

Research indicates that:  “It was sold c. 1954 to the Re-organised Church of Latter Day      Saints, Hamilton, Newcastle.”  When asked about the old organ’s removal the Venerable Archdeacon Rothero often stated that the organ “was sold to the Mormons for a tenner”.  Those that remember the sounds that came from it towards the end of its life didn’t dispute the price.

On 13th May 1943 the Wardens were asked to make inquiries regarding the purchasing of a replacement organ. It is assumed that there were problems with the War Memorial Organ.  Money would have been extremely short and there may have been a lack of skilled technicians to service organs explaining the delay in obtaining a new one.

The need for a suitable organ led eventually to an appeal being launched many years later.  It was on the 18th September 1955 at the 9:30pm Service that the Rev. Canon Rothero launched the Organ Appeal.  Parish Council authorised him to make investigations regarding the purchase of a new organ and the removal of the old one.

On 24th August 1957 the present organ built by S. T. Noad & Son of Concord, Sydney was dedicated.  It was perhaps the finest organ north of Newcastle costing  £3 500.  The 680 pipes in it were shipped out from England under licence.  In order to house the organ the gallery at the back of the Church was constructed by local contractors B. L. Freak & Son at the cost of £1 270.

The playing of these majestic pipe organs is indeed a great art.  The names of the following artists who have or still provide the generations of Holy Trinity congregations with wonderful music are:  Mrs Simpson, Mrs Henry Yates, Miss Coates, Dr R. B. Lynch, Mr  Ellis Jones, Mrs Faint, Mrs Winifred Marsh, Mrs Isabel (Belle) Carson, Mrs Daphne Taylor, Mrs Jill Gunning, Mrs Mary Lightfoot, Mrs Roma McDonnell, Mrs Gail Hartmann, Mrs Kathryn Duddy, Mrs Samantha Brennan and Mrs Elva Donaghue, who still provides us with beautiful music and has done so for many years.  This list was provided by courtesy of Mr Richard Ward (Inverell) an authority of Pipe Organs.