South Canterbury, N.Z. Organ Notes

In 2007 there were 16 pipe organs in South Canterbury including at least three house organs. Ashburton has five organs and Waimate has three organs. 

Christchurch use to be considered New Zealand's pipe organ capital until the earthquakes struck in Feb. 2010. Of the 74 pipe organs in the greater Christchurch area, only 16 were playable in 2011 and only four are fully intact. Until the earthquakes historical organ devotees from around the world use to spend days in Christchurch visiting churches and their outstanding organs. Aug. 2012 update. But even before the earthquake, time and use had taken its toll, with worn leather, felt and low-voltage electrical components and consoles needing replacement. Lyttelton - Holy Trinity organ survived  Postcard CC2822.: The reordered chancel showing the nave alter and organ, Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch, 1988. Photograph by Colourview Publications Ltd, Oamaru.

Jan. 2014. An organ, built in 1904 by Edgar Henry Jenkins from the Knox Presbyterian Church in Bealey Ave, Christchurch, is being restored and rebuilt at the South Island Organ Company by 12 staff. The organ's action was converted from tubular pneumatic to electric with Ethernet transmission. Tones added include the trumpet and pedal trombone. An organ from St Michaels and All Angels in Oxford Tce has just been restored. The Timaru company has 16 organs in storage from churches damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes and the future of some of them is uncertain.
Dec. 2014. The South Island Organ Company has removed 25 organs from earthquake-damaged buildings and reinstated five of them in Christchurch. Six church organs were destroyed.

Gazetteer of New Zealand pipe organs: South Island click on South Island. Photos including St. David's Memorial Church at Cave and Chalmers

A Kimbell pipe organ installed by A. H. Hathaway in Sept. 1915. St. Stephen's Fairlie. Nov. 2011. 
A Kimbell pipe organ installed by A. H. Hathaway in Sept. 1915. St. Stephen's Fairlie. Nov. 2011.

 SIOC Opus List  -South Island Organ Company -Timaru

Timaru Bank St Methodist  (S.C. Funeral Services) - 1913 Nicholson & Lord erected by N T Pearce
Timaru Woodlands Street Methodist - Hathaway 1902 removed from Bank Street in 1913
Timaru Methodist Bank Street II (Pearce 1912-13)

Timaru Chalmers Church - Brindley & Foster 1903, elect. Hayman 1964, rebuilt in 1971 by SIOC
Timaru Craighead School Chapel organ made by the SIOC in 1971
Timaru St John's Anglican Church  - 1955 Vermeulen organ
Timaru St Mary's Anglican Church  - 1886 T.C. Lewis organ rebuilt by SIOC 1982
Timaru Sacred Heart Basilica in Craigie Ave,  - 1912 Arthur Hobday organ in loft
Timaru Catholic Convent Sacred Heart (Hathaway 1904)
Timaru Trinity Presbyterian Church - 1903 Hobday organ  page 133
Timaru Congregational (Hathaway 1904) rescued from the estate of Maurice Baker in Christchurch and now in storage as of 2012.
Waimate Methodist St. Paul's (Hathaway 1912)
Waimate St Patrick's Catholic Church - organ by Arthur Adrian Hobday 1918, their last one. [First built by Arthur Adrian Hobday, the son of Arthur Hobday senior in 1906 a St Matthews, Masterston was dismantled and moved to St Patrick's basilica in Oamaru]
Waimate Knox Presbyterian Church  - organ by Lawton & Osborne  1929
Waimate St Augustine's  - organ 1929 Hill, Norman & Beard
St. Andrews St Andrews,  - 1908 organ
Geraldine St Andrew's Presbyterian -  Hayman 1964.
Cave St David's Church  - Positive Organ presented (2007) by SIOC to the church (organ formerly in Waikouaiti Presbyterian Church (now demolished)
Temuka 1910 Jenkins/1944 Alden organ from St. Peter's Caversham sold to a Temuka organist and installed in a music room built for the purpose.
Temuka St. Joseph's II - 1920 Jenkins organ
Temuka Catholic St. Joseph's I (Frederick Sandford 1894) moved to Lincoln Rd Methodist Church, CHCH in 1920, in 1975 moved to the chapel at Sunnyside and in 2007 moved to Ferrymead
Temuka St Peter's Anglican Church,  Sandford & Sandford 1888, rem. from Christchurch Temple of Truth, rebuilt 1925 Pearce, restored 1987 by the SIOC.
Pleasant Point St Mary's  (don't know if it is still there, probably not)
Pleasant Point St Aidan's Anglican - Berry (Wicks style), removed from Timaru Orphanage St Saviour's, dismantled, before that removed from a residence in Geraldine
Geraldine St Mary's Anglican Church - Positive Organ Co.
Geraldine Catholic Immaculate Conception,   Positive Organ Co., restored 1990 SIOC.
Fairlie St. Stephen's - removed in 1915 from the
Harry A. Le Cren residence Timaru, a Kimbell organ, pre 1898. A.H. Hathaway installed it in Sept. 1915. 
Timaru Herald 6 November 2005 page 1
The home is the most organ-ised in town. The Davey residence, Temuka - 1910 Jenkins /1944 Alden organ from St. Peter's, Caversham was purchased by a Temuka organist and installed in a music room built for the purpose.
The Couper residence, Timaru - has an Imperial reed organ
St. Augustine's Anglican Waimate - the Great pneumatic slider action organ was releathered in 2005  

Organ Building in New Zealand 1895-1930: 1996 online
A thesis by R.G. Newton University of Canterbury. In this thesis all 140 organs built in New Zealand between 1895 and 1930, and the lives of twenty of their builders, are substantially documented with specifications, transcriptions, and some photographs. Length: 2385 pages  NZ Organ Manufactory - Oamaru
Quake recording

In 1981 John Stiller, research officer of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia under the auspices of an ANZAC fellowship scheme of the internal affairs department stayed several months in NZ and investigated eighty pipe organs and documented thirty-five. His work provided a basis for research and created awareness among organists, historians and the general public of the significance heritage of New Zealand's pipe organ heritage.
John Stiller - Pipe Organ Documentation Project - copies are also held by the respective churches.

Sacred Heart Catholic Basilica, Timaru 	Arthur Hobday & Son 1912 	Standard & pipe scales documentation
St Patrick's Catholic, Waimate 		Arthur Hobday & Son 1916-20 	Standard & pipe scales documentation
St Joseph's Catholic, Temuka		E.H. Jenkins 1920 		Standard documentation
Peter's Anglican, Temuka 		Sandford 1888 			Standard documentation

Timaru Herald
, 16 June 1884, Page 2
The ship Dunedin has brought out an organ for the Knox Presbyterian Church, Dunedin, the first in Otago.

Timaru Herald, 24 July 1886, Page 3
Our readers will no doubt be glad to have some account of the organ in St. Mary's Church, which has recently been erected by Mr G. Hathaway of Dunedin. The instrument was built by Messrs Lewis and Co., Brixton, London, and does full justice to their reputation as perhaps the best organ-builders in England. Externally it presents a somewhat plain appearance, nothing having been spent on mere decoration, but the interior shows workmanship of first-rate character, every part of the organ being as good as the best materials and the most thorough finish can make it. It stands about 17 feet in height, being 9 feet 6 inches wide, and 7 feet in depth. All the pipes, of which the open diapasons in the great organ show in front, are of the best spotted metal, a mixture of nearly equal parts of refined grain tin and lead, which produces the fine singing quality of tone noticeable in really good organs. The wooden pipes are of pine and mahogany and throughout the instrument which is roomy and substantial, mahogany, birch, oak, and pine have been liberally used. The bellows are powerful, and as soon as the machinery is completed, will be driven by water power. All the latest inventions with regard to pressure of wind have been adopted, while by means of what are known as divided pallets, the touch of the keys is as light as on a piano. The pipes are of full scale, and m every instance the stops run throughout the manuals from CC to G; 56 notes. The swell box for the swell organ is of large dimensions, formed of wood two inches thick, papered and painted to ensure proper effect of sound, and with vertical Venetian shutters. The organ having only recently been erected will not be used for a week or so, as is the custom with new instruments, but from what has been heard of its performance already, it may safely be said that the parishioners of St Mary's are to be congratulated on the possession of an instrument which in most brilliant and yet of rich mellow tone, with good variety of stops, and grand power. The situation of the organ is in the temporary chancel, which is lofty, is admirably adapted for sound, and will serve to bring out its quality to the beat advantage. An organ of this quality and power carries far, and to hear it in perfection a listener should be well down towards the western end of the church. We are informed that altogether it has cost £500, and we have no doubt that, as this sum has not yet been wholly raised, the churchwardens will be glad to receive contributions for the purpose The following is an account of the stops, and also a brief description of their kind and quality
Great organ— CC to G; 56 notes.
Open diapason, metal, 8 feet.
Lieblich Gedact, metal and wood, 8 feet.
Salicional, metal, 8 feet.
Octave, metal, 4 feet.
Swell organ— CC to G 56 notes.
Rohr flote, metal and wood, 8 feet.
Geigen principal, metal, 8 feet.
Viole do Gambo (prepared), 8 feet.
Voii Celeetes (prepared), 8 feet.
Geigen principal, metal, 4 feet.
Oboe, metal, 8 feet.
Pedal organ — CCO to F 30 notes.
Sub bass, wood, 16 feet.
Couplers Great to swell: swell to pedal; swell to great; two composition pedals.
Open diapason — The foundation of the organ full, mellow, and brilliant, of grand power.
Lieblick gedact — A stopped diapason, wood and metal, extremely soft and beautiful; a German stop.
Salicional —An open diapason, of clear voice like tone and considerable power.
Octave — Corresponds to the great open diapason, an octave higher very brilliant.
Rohr flote — A covered flute, clear and soft and of considerable power.
Geigen principal — A German stop of bright strong violin-like tone, one of the most beautiful stops known.
Geigen principal — An octave higher than the other very telling and effective.
Oboe — Exactly represents the solo instrument of the same name; a rich ringing tone of great beauty.
Sub bass A grand deep bass an octave below the lowest note on the great organ, played with pedals.

Nov. 2009.
Geraldine St Andrew's Presbyterian - Hayman 1964.

Timaru Herald, 30 August 1887, Page 3
The organ recital at St. Mary's Church last evening was attended by a large and appreciative congregation. The organist, Mr Gooch, opened the proceedings with a voluntary, played as usual with taste and expression. Then followed that old but peerless anthem "Lord of all power and might," which the choir, accompanied by Mr T.F. Gooch, did full justice to. The next organ solo was a barcarole, by Sterndale Bennett, a melodious piece, full of pleasing harmonies and brilliant runs and mutations, which again served to show the softer stops to advantage. This piece was full of rapid transitions, and it required the hand of a master to redeem it from the imputation of mere meretriciousness. This master-hand Mr Tendall supplied and his interpretation did more than justice to the composer. Mr Tendall played very effectively a marche funebre, by Chopin, while the churchwardens took up the collection, amounting to £13 7s 6d. This was followed by a " fugue " by Sebastian Bach. ... This brought the recital to a close, and the Archdeacon dismissed the congregation with the Benediction.

Timaru Herald, 19 April 1895, Page 3 WINCHESTER
The annual business meeting of St. John's Church was held in the Sabbath school hall on Tuesday evening last. The Rev. Thomas Farley occupied the chair and there was a very good attendance, the large room being comfortably filled. The following gentlemen were elected to form a vestry for the current year Minister's churchwarden, Mr Inwood; people's churchwarden, Mr H. E. Smith vestrymen, Messrs W. DeRenzy, W. Philp, T. Hart, R. Smith, J. Donnithome, J. A Young, Gladstone and Shallard. Hearty votes of thanks were passed to the superintendent (Mr R. Smith) and the teachers of the Sabbath School, the lay reader, Mr Gladstone, and the organist, Mr Inwood. Mr Inwood responded and gave all lovers of music a cordial invitation to join the Church choir. Refreshments of the most inviting description were then handed round and heartily enjoyed by old and young. The good things dispensed seemed to put every one in good spirits for the second part of the programme, namely, the gift auction, to raise funds to complete the purchase money of the Church organ. This fine instrument was purchased some time ago from Mr Hayhurst, of Temuka, and was described by the organist as by far the finest American organ between Timaru and Christchurch. Mr H. B. Webster, of Geraldine, kindly attended and disposed of a quantity of produce at very satisfactory prices. The bidding was spirited and everything dead and alive found a ready purchaser. The proceeds amounted to over £14, which leaves the" organ almost free from debt. On the motion of Mr Farley, a hearty vote of thanks was passed to Mr Webster.   

Timaru Herald, 4 May 1899, Page 3
fairly good number of people— but nothing like filling the edifice — assembled at the Church of the Sacred Heart last evening to enjoy a sacred concert and organ recital. A programme of seventeen items was prepared and another was added. There was plenty of variety, every item was good, though of course there was room to pick and choose among them according to one's taste. Miss Eliza McGuinness was organist, and that was a guarantee that the " recital " would be enjoyable. The Rev. Father Richards, violinist, contributed three items, with organ accompaniment, and one of these, Schubert's " Serenade," was one of the best items given, the instruments going well together, but for a rue against applause and encores, this item should have called forth both... 

Timaru Herald, 26 September 1900, Page 3
There was an excellent attendance at the Church of the Sacred Heart last evening to listen to the concert and organ recital m aid of the organ fund. The recital was a. pronounced success, and provided two hours of keen enjoyment. The conductor was Mr Mayne ; the leader of the orchestra (a small but exceedingly good one) was Mr Coombs, and the organist was Miss E. Mc Guinness.

Poverty Bay Herald, 10 January 1903, Page 2
The deacon of the Chalmers Church, Timaru, are now arranging for the erection of a church, which, with bell-tower, spire, and pipe organ, is estimated to cost £5000.

Poverty Bay Herald, 30 October 1903, Page 2
The deacons of the new Presbyterian Church have received a promise of a cheque of £350 yesterday from the millionaire, Mr Carnegie, as a contribution towards the organ fund.

Press, 25 October 1912, Page 8
A big bazaar is being arranged by members of the Church of the Sacred Heart for the purpose of paying for a £1000 organ which is at present being installed by Hobday and Son, of Wellington.

Dominion, 17 November 1913, Page 1
ORGANIST. Wanted for Trinity Presbyterian Church, Timaru, Organist and Choirmaster, 3 Manual Pipe Organ. Salary. 75 per annum. Apply Rev. T. Stinson.

Ashburton Guardian, 7 February 1914, Page 1
Baring Square Church. Grand organ recital, by Mr Hy. MOORE (Timaru), Thursday, February 12th, 8 p.m. Installation New Pipe Organ. Tickets— 1s.

Waimate Advertiser Jan 14, 1899 Organ Recital 
The organ recital at St Augustine's Church on Tuesday evening was a pronounced success in every way. There was a large congregation in spite of several counter attractions, the church begin quite full. Mr. Well's (from St Michael's. Christchurch) playing was a treat to listen to and must have given satisfaction to all those present, while the programme of music selected for the occasion was well adapted to bring out the power and range of the organ as reconstructed. During the evening the Rev. McKenzie Gibson rendered with fine effect the solos "Thou wilt not leave," and "if with all your hearts," The Rev. C. Coates, formerly Incumbent at Waimate, was present and gave an address on the place of instrumental music in religious worship. It was owing to the efforts of Mr. Coates that the first pipe organ was obtained for St Augustine's Church some years ago and he congratulated the congregation on the forward step they had made in improving the instrument and placing it in a better position where it would be seen and heard too much better advantage.

Mr. G.M. Sandford, of Christchurch, has just completed the re-construction and enlargement of the organ. The old action has been discarded and replaced by a new and enlarged one, with the exception of the four rows of pipes, has resulted in quite a new instrument. The new work comprises a new swell sound board of three stops; two new stops of pipes, one of 8ft pitch and one of 4ft, called Hohl flute and flute; new bellows, with usual weights and counter balances; a complete pedal organ and pipes of 16ft tone, with action to the present pedal board; a swell-box with the usual shutters and foot lever; also a coupler to couple the manuals to the pedals. The organ has been erected on a platform over the vestry-room, in the north-east transept of the church, and placed there lends a new grace and dignity to the building. At the collection, which was in aid of the organ building fund, the amount contributed was £24 12s 3d.

St. Stephen's Fairlie. Nov. 2011.  
Mrs Gwen Shears use to play this pipe organ at St. Stephen's Fairlie, her feet would dance across the pedals.


Sophia St. Timaru. The building across the street from Paper Boy is the Telecom Timaru Telephone Exchange. The galvanised steel and concrete structure, locally called "The Ear", is the work of Christchurch born Russell Clark (1905-1966) painter, muralist, and sculptor who worked for the Listener as an illustrator from 1939 until 1962 and from then devoted himself almost exclusively to sculpture.  He also became the main illustrator for the New Zealand School Journal in 1940. He continued his work with those publications after the war, as well as creating his own artworks, focusing on sculptures and murals. From the late 1950s he had a number of large-scale public sculpture commissions including a work for the Timaru Telephone Exchange (1957) which is a stringed abstract designed to suggest the idea of communications by means of telegraphic wire, to operate on a flat wall providing ornamental relief and play of shadows as the light changes direction. It is typical of Clark's works.  Architect Stewart Minson had asked Russell Clark, to design a sculpture for the new exchange. Clark had a great passion for public sculpture and development of art in the Canterbury region. By introducing adventurous contemporary forms to public sculpture in the 1950s Clark helped change attitudes toward art in public places in New Zealand. Clark said, "I believe it is important that the public should become used to outdoor sculpture and to accept it as they would any seriously conceived decorative work. There is certainly room in the country for greater use of both architectural and commemorative sculpture." He became an official war artist in the Pacific 1944 and worked in the Solomon Islands region sketching the life of men on active service. "The Ear" started off white but the model for the sculpture showed that initial plans were for it to have a white body with areas of pale blue and the rods were to be red, yellow and blue. At some point, the sculpture was painted the unusual mushroomy colour. The Art Registry Company, from Christchurch, restored the work April 2010 to its original red, yellow and blue colours. "Local telecommunications network operator Chorus commissioned the repair in order to keep the artwork alive in the Timaru culture. " TH 16 April 2010 

The Ear on the old telephone exchange, Sophia St. Timaru 
The Ear - Nov. 2011. See photo at the top of the page.  
Even if they had an organ it was cheaper to maintain a harmonium and also easier to find someone who could play it.

russell-clark-retrospective Clark considered the stringed Ear out of scale, too small.  Russell Clark died in Christchurch in 1966 and bequeathed all his working tools and implements in his workshop to his sons-in-law Kenneth Young and Manfred Schmidtke. To each of his daughters he bequeathed her choice of one painting and one piece of sculpture (from his own work or from his collection) and three of his drawings. He bequeathed to his wife Rosalie Peace Clark nee Pahl later Archer absolutely first all the balance of his household furniture and effect including his motor car and 200 pounds. Cedrie Russell Stuart Clark was born to Mary Elizabeth to William Clark in 1905 in Christchurch. Russell Stuart Cedric Clark died in Christchurch 1966

What is the difference?

Pipe Organ - a musical instrument consisting of one or more sets of pipes sounded by means of compressed air, played by means of one or more keyboards, and capable of producing a wide range of musical effects. A pipe organ uses pipes, which can be categorized in to two groups; Flues and reeds. Flues are simply whistles - no moving parts. Reed pipes contain a brass tongue but unlike a reed organ they beat against a flat surface with an opening - the "shallot" upon which a resonator is mounted. The majority of pipes are flue pipes.

Harmonium - an organ like keyboard instrument with small metal reeds and a pair of bellows operated by the player's feet. These have no resonators and require little space. Alexandre Debain's name for the first free reed organ perfected by him in Paris in 1840. A substitute for the more cumbersome and expensive pipe organs. Omnipresent in homes, smaller churches and church halls. Went by many names: cabinet organ, parlor organ, reed organ, American organ, melodeon (a horizontal wind chest resting on slender legs rather than an upright cabinet reaching the floor.)

The Harmonium is often times confused with a reed organ as they both use vibrating reeds to create sound. The Harmonium is unique in that it pushes air through the reeds, rather than sucking it through, which is what happens with reed organs. It also has two sets of bellows. The first set is used to inflate the second set. Air then evenly escapes from the second set which allows the Harmonium to create a continuous sound. In some respects, the Harmonium works like a set of bagpipes rather than an accordion.

To operate the instrument, the Harmonium player slowly pumps a set of pedals at the base of the instrument. These pedals are connected to the first set of bellows which inflates the inner set. Air then leaves the inner set and causes the metal reeds to vibrate. Stops are used to turn on and off air flow to the different sets of reeds and a coupler switch connects the lower keyboard to the upper keyboard, meaning that whatever notes are played on the lower keyboard will also be played on the upper keyboard.

This is a Bell Co. palour harmonium was made in Canada and can be found in the Timaru Hospital Chapel at the back of the room in a corner. Photo taken October 2017.

The Bell Organ and Piano Co. was advertising in the Wellington newspapers from 1911 an 8 stop pedal organ. The organ factory in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Organ  was discontinued production in 1928.

In the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo. Similar to the one down the road in St. Patrick's at Burke's Pass.
A Estey chapel organ in the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo. Similar to the one down the road in St. Patrick's at Burke's Pass.

interest is reviving here..

Harmoniums - many had quite a bit of excitement in their lives and may have been still working despite having had no work done on them since new.

Many churches in populous places started with a reed organ - and these are sometimes still to be found tucked away for occasional use even when a pipe instrument was acquired later. Harmoniums were popular as home instruments, not infrequently appearing in photographs and mentioned occasionally in diaries and memoirs. The same features of economy and portability would appeal to both home and church buyers. With religious songs ("The Holy City", "The Lost Chord" etc.) popular in homes, and Sunday evening hymn-singing observed in many an organ would make a very suitable domestic instrument. Of course, many others stuck with the harmonium, which gave - and often still gives - excellent service. Observation and statistics suggest that most harmoniums in Canterbury, N.Z. were made in the USA, though the idea seems to have originated in France and French models are to be found more in former French colonies than in English-speaking regions. Mass production methods in the States made their models relatively cheap. This, ease of transport (compared with that involved in moving even a small pipe organ) and very rugged construction that involved no "setting up" on site and practically no maintenance or tuning for years on end made them ideal for remote places. Very often when they fail it is because the leather of the wind system has perished or been attacked by mice/rats or because the webbing connecting the pedals to the bellows broken through age or wear. It is a pity when one is scrapped for this latter reason, as the repair is quite simple. Re-leathering of bellows and wind reservoir is more complicated but quite possible after some research and if not rushed. Friendly organ builders will sometimes give useful tips.

Tens of thousands seem to have been made. A great many have been lost over the years, of course, neglect, damage (rodents and borer especially) and changing fashion taking their tolls. Difficulty in finding someone to carry out repairs when these were eventually needed has been another factor. The advent of the electronic organ in both church and home was another factor. Reed organs are becoming more widely appreciated again and instruments that would have been consigned to the scrap heap only twenty years ago are being put back into working order. There are firms that specialise in this - and some pipe organ builders will undertake work: spares - such as replacement reeds are being manufactured. Quite a number of restorations have been as do-it-yourself projects by people who have acquired an old (and often battered) example for use in their homes. No one seems to manufacture new ones now, (except very small portable ones for use by itinerant musicians in India) so those that remain are precious. Information courtesy of David, posted Oct. 2012 PIPE Organ - CHCH

Trade-me had eight reed pump organs for sale in Oct. 2012., all American, priced from $25 to $350.


Estey (Brattleboro, VT., USA) was a well-established maker of musical instruments - not as big as Mason & Hamlin so their organs have are found less frequently in New Zealand. In a private home near Fairlie there is a walnut Estey American Palor harmonium, Estey serial No 401680, in the entryway, an ideal location to display framed b/w family photos. This organ belonged to Mr Thomas A. Archibald of Allandale and is still on Allandale at Brae Lea. It was purchased in 1919 from Chas. Begg & Co Ltd., Dunedin. The total price was 40 pounds 19 shillings. The original  hire purchase documents were found in the compartment above the key board. Yes it still works although the pull out knobs don't. Brochures: 1913 1917 

Estey serial No 401680 

Amazing that the original documents survive. The organ that has been in the family for generations should stay there. Document your instrument. Who bought it? When? What did they pay for it? How many times have they moved it? How many times has it been repaired? By whom? Are there any old pictures of it?
Otago Witness 6 may 1908 pg 68  Otago Witness 14 July 1909 page 18
Perhaps someone might think of cataloguing those old harmoniums.

A U.S. Story and Clark harmonium built around 1880-90.
They do take up space. The wood etchings on the harmonium have been known to be remove, varnished and used as a pair of wall hangings. The Mabel Binney cottage in Fairlie has two harmoniums and the Geraldine Historical Society Museum has a harmonium..

Timaru Herald, 23 February 1866, Page 2 New Harmonium.
We congratulate the parishioners of Timaru on the great improvement likely to be effected in the Church music by the recent acquisition of a new harmonium obtained from England through the kind exertions of R. H. Rhodes Esq., and paid for by subscription among the Church members. The instrument is one of Alexander's most finished make containing twenty-two stops with double key board and patent knee action. It is enclosed in a very handsome walnut wood case, and altogether forms a most appropriate addition to the Church furniture. The small harmonium lately in use in the church has been presented by the vestry to Mrs. Butler, a lady to whose unwearied exertions in the cause of improvement in the Church music so much is due. We think that no more appropriate or happy disposal of the instrument could have been made.

Timaru Herald, 27 October 1866, Page 3
PIANOFORTE. Instruments carefully and efficiently tuned and repaired by a teacher of the pianoforte and harmonium. Terms, strictly moderate. EDWARD BADELEY, Late Organist at Lyttelton. Apply to Mr. Younghusband, Bookseller.

Timaru Herald, 14 August 1869, Page 3 Wanted
A duly qualified person to Play the Harmonium and Lead the Singing in the Presbyterian Church, Timaru. Salary £40 per annum. Applications may be lodged, up to the 6th September with Rev. MR. BARCLAY. A. Hart, Sec.

Timaru Herald, 18 October 1871, Page 3
Household Furniture. On Thursday, October 19th, 1871. MESSRS F. W. STUBBS AND CO Have been instructed by R. M. Bovey, Esq. to sell by Public Auction at his resident Church-street, Timaru, on the above date Household Furniture, comprising Sofa, Tables, Chairs, Pictures, Carpets Bedsteads, Bedding, Toilet Glasses, Chest Drawers, Kitchen Utensils, &c. &c. 1 Harmonium (by Alexandre) Sale at 2 o'clock. No reserve. Terms Cash.

Timaru Herald, 5 April 1872, Page 2
Port of Timaru. Arrived April 3 —Beautiful Star, s.s., 128 tons, Hart, from Dunedin. IMPORTS. In the Beautiful Star, Miles and Co agents: (from Dunedin) 1 harmonium, Jacobs.

Timaru Herald, 12 February 1873, Page 2
R. Turnbull has received instructions from Dr. Fisher (consequent on his leaving for England) to sell by Public Auction, on the premises, corner of Church-street and Theodosia-street, on 19th instant.
SALE OF SUPERIOR FURNITURE, PIANOFORTE, ETC., ON MONDAY NEXT, 17th INST., AT ONE O'CLOCK. R. TURNBULL Has received instructions from Mr S. Lee (who is leaving the colony) to sell by Public Auction on the premises, Great North-road, on MONDAY NEXT, the 17th instant, the whole of the FURNITURE AND EFFECTS, at present on the premises, consisting of Handsome Couches covered in Damask, Mahogany Easy Chairs in Roan, Mahogany Loo Table with Carved Pillar and Claws, Chimney Glass, Brilliant Toned Pianoforte by Murphy, in Walnut Case, Music Stool, Harmonium by Alexandre, Sewing Machine (Wheeler and Wilson), ...

Timaru Herald, 4 February 1874, Page 2
I. O. G. T. ALEXANDRA LODGE, No. 44. A GRAND SOIREE will be held at the Volunteer Drill,  on Thursday, February 5, at 6.30 p.m. Public Installation of Officers, During the evening short addresses will be delivered, and selections of vocal and instrumental Music will be given. Mr DUGDALE will preside at the Harmonium, and Mr Bilton at the Piano. Several Ladies and Gentlemen hove kindly consented to sing. A capital Programme will be issued. Tickets, 2s each children half-price can be had from any of the Storekeepers or Members. By order, CHAS. THOS. WILLIAMS, Sec. Committee.

Timaru Herald, 9 December 1874, Page 3 TIMARU PUBLIC SCHOOL.
A meeting of the committee of the above school was held on Monday evening. Present — Messrs Sutter, (chairman) LeCren, Tate, Cain, and Cliff. A letter was read from the Board of Education, stating that the Board sanctioned the payment of £87, architect's fees, being 2½ per cent, on the original contract; that the Board could not sanction the purchase of a harmonium ; that the consideration of philosophical instruments had been postponed.

Timaru Herald, 5 March 1875, Page 2 For Sale
1 very superior Harmonium, powerful, Fined-toned, in walnut case, by Ralph Allison, London
1 large self-acting Music-Box
D. & L. MACLEAN, Auctioneers

Timaru Herald, 23 September 1876, Page 2
For sale (cheap) A TEN - STOP HARMONIUM by Wallace, now in use at the Presbyterian Church, Temuka. Apply, K.F. GRAY, Temuka

Timaru Herald, 16 October 1876, Page 2
The new hall of the Independent Order of Oddfellows' Sophia-street, is OPEN for ENGAGEMENT on Two Evenings in each Week (Monday and Tuesday). The Hall is one of the best in Timaru, has an efficient caretaker always on the Premises, is very comfortably furnished, and contains a splendid new Harmonium, by Cesarina, of Paris. Is admirably suited for Choral Societies, Musical or other parties. For particulars, apply to M. WHITE.

Timaru Herald, 13 January 1877, Page 4 Wanted
A Competent ORGANIST and CHOIR-MASTER (Harmonium) for St. Mary's Church, Timaru. Salary, £80 per annum. Apply, enclosing testimonials, &c. on or before 14th February, to E. H. TATE, Churchwarden, Timaru.

Timaru Herald, 15 January 1877, Page 3
The annual congregational meeting of the above church and parish took place at Temuka on the evening of Thursday, the 11th instant. A considerable number of persons from all ports of the district were present, the Rev. Geo. Barclay, the clergyman of the parish, being in the chair. The minutes of the last congregational meeting having been read and confirmed, Mr K. F. Gray. During the year a new harmonium has been placed in the church at Temuka. at a cost of £45 10s. The thanks of the parish, it is felt, are due to the following persons the Misses Patterson, Dunn, and Mr Culloch, for their services in connection with the harmonium fund to Mr Meddings, of Christchurch, for his selection of the same free of cost; to Mr Angus Macdonald, for his enclosing with live fence the church section at Geraldine to Messrs Stewart, Murray, and Wilson for their duties throughout the parish on the Sabbath day to Mr McDonald, for his efficient and gratuitous services as presenter at Pleasant Point.

Timaru Herald, 7 September 1877, Page 2
Mr. A. J. MERTON, Teacher of Music, will RESUME LESSONS on Tuesday, September 11th Pianoforte and Harmonium. Bank-street.

Timaru Herald, 10 November 1877, Page 2
SALE OF FURNITURE, &c, AT TEMUKA. R. TURNBULL Has received instructions from Mr F. Arenas, in consequence of his departure for England, to Sell by Public Auction, at his residence, Railway Terrace, Temuka, on TUESDAY, 13th INSTANT. The whole of his useful Household Furniture and other effects, comprising Mahogany Suite in hair-cloth, Loo Table, handsome Chimney Glass in gilt frame, Brussels and other Carpets, Oilcloth, Fenders and Irons, Curtains and Poles. Harmonium, by Alexandre, Violin, books... also 1 Quarter acre section at Winchester with four roomed Cottage.

Timaru Herald, 22 December 1877, Page 3 TIMARU HARMONIC SOCIETY.
This Society gave their second concert last light. We must congratulate them on having been able to obtain the use of the Trinity [Presbyterian) Church, which is far more suitable for a concert of this description than my other building in Timaru. The acoustic properties of the building are very good, and he accommodation for the audience leaves nothing to be desired. The Church was comfortably filled. The concert consisted of selections from Handel's sacred oratorio of "The Messiah," and was a complete success, as indeed it deserved to be, for no pains have been spared by the members and conductor (Mr Ziesler) during the rehearsals. It is much to be regretted, however, that the instrumental accompaniments are limited to the harmonium and pianoforte. ..Mr Bilton (piano) and Mr A.J. Merton (harmonium) are also entitled to a very large share of the credit due for the success of last night's concert. We were sorry to notice that some of the performers could not restrain their jokes and laughter during the most solemn air of the oratorio. We hope that at the next performance this will be remedied.

Timaru Herald, 4 August 1880, Page 3
PIANOFORTE or HARMONIUM. MR STATHAM, at the request of several residents of Temuka, has decided to TEACH the above in that district. As only a limited number of Pupils can be taken, early application is necessary. For terms, etc. apply to Dr. CUMMINGS, Temuka Or Mr STATHAM, Timaru.

Timaru Herald, 20 June 1889, Page 3 Makikihi
During the heavy and continuous rain last year the harmonium got drenched, through the windows of the schoolhouse being left open it was therefore necessary to have such repairs effected as would thoroughly restore the instrument to its original condition of soundness. It was entrusted to Messrs Begg and Co., and they agreed to make it as good as new for a certain sum, and subsequently I handed them my cheque in settlement of their account. It is due to the firm to say that they carried out their contract most satisfactorily. There was no previous debt on the harmonium; it was voluntarily presented by a member of the congregation, and dedicated as a thank-offering, for use in the services of the church. Although a purely local matter, and of no interest to the general public. I am, &c., L. Carsley Brady, The Parsonage, St. Andrews, June 17th, 1889.

New Zealand Tablet, 13 September 1889, Page 20
High Mass was celebrated in St. Mary's Church, Pleasant Point, on Sunday last, and the full Rosary was recited in St. Joseph's Church, Temuka. In acknowledging the receipt of £25 from Mr. James Sullivan for the purchase of a harmonium for the Pleasant Church, the Rev. Father Fauvel spoke in high terms of praise of the many services rendered by that gentleman to the parish. Truly Mr. Sullivan deserved the compliment, when the assistance he gave during the building of the famous St. Joseph's church is considered. He also gave the section on which the new church at Pleasant Point stands.

Timaru Herald, 18 April 1890, Page 3
The 25th anniversary of the Timaru Wesleyan Church was celebrated last evening by a tea and address meeting, the latter being also taken advantage of us an opportunity to tender a public welcome to the new minister, the Rev. Mr Williams. The tea was laid in the schoolroom and about 200 partook of it in three sittings. It is needless to say anything about the quality or quantity of the viands. The tables were presided over by Mesdames Jackson, Bundeson, Gilbert, Holdgate (2) Webster, and Radcliffe, Misses Clarke, Ellis (2), and Dale (2). The meeting was held in the church and was not so large as usual, the unpromising weather no doubt keeping down the attendances. Mr J. Jackson presided, and there were on the platform the Rev. Mr Williams, and visiting ministers the Revs. C.C. Brown and W. Gillies, while apologies were received from the Revs. Woollass and Dunn, and captain of tin S.A., all three naming La Grippe as execute for their absence. The landing of first minister, the Rev. J. B. Richardson, by surf boat from that once powerful steam coaster Geelong, and the building of the first church (now part of the school room). The present church was built 16 years ago. Only one present member Mr R. Clarke, had been connected with the establishment of the church. chairman in an a few additional remarks on the accounts saying the congregation was now practically free from debt, owing only £40 or £50, on which no interest was payable. Mr Holdgate, senr., was the next speaker, and he announced that it had been determined to got out of the unfortunate position they were in of being out of debt, by undertaking certain improvements, to wit, enlarging the parsonage at a cost of about £400, enlarging the church, cost about £150, and obtaining a now American organ. They proposed to pay for the enlargement of the church and for the American organ at once, and to borrow for the parsonage. Mr Holdgate described the parsonage as the gem cottage in Timaru when it was built 24 or 25 years ago, for a minister newly married.

Timaru Herald, 15 May 1913, Page 5 NEW PIPE ORGAN.
For some time past the Wesley Church congregation has felt, the want of an up-to-date organ; something that would do justice to its very excellent choir, and now, through the liberal patronage extended to- "Poppy Land and 'Fairy Dell," this want, has been supplied, and the public will be given an opportunity of hearing it to-night. The following is a full description of the new instrument:— The organ is built on the latest and most approved system of tubular pneumatics throughout, and is instantaneous in its response....The action work and pipes have been procured from England, and the material used in them is of the very best, the whole of the sound-boards. wind ducts, and linings being made of mahogany. All the remaining portions of the organ have been made and supplied by Pearce and Son, organ builders, Christchurch, and the different portions of the work have gone together well and without any trouble. The specifications were drawn up by Mr A. W. A. Vine, and it is quite fitting that he should have the honour of opening it. The soloists at the opening recital are Miss C. Holdgate, Mrs H.S. Russell. Mr Campbell and Mr George Andrews. Some excellent chorus will be rendered by a large choir. 

Timaru Herald, 13 March 1895, Page 1
MESSRS E. & J. W. WOOD. THEACHERS of PIANOFORTE, ORGAN, SINGING and THEORY. A 2 Manual and Pedal Harmonium for Practice. For Terms apply at the Rooms, Assembly Buildings, or BEGG & CO.

Star 22 January 1896, Page 1 Methodist Church, Temuka.
Anniversary services were held on Sunday in connection with the Primitive Methodist Church, Temuka. On Monday a tea meeting, followed by a congregational gathering, took place. The chair, was occupied by the Rev Mr Harris, the minister in charge of the district, and excellent addresses were given by the Revs Olphert (Ashburton) and Williams (Geraldine). Miss Florence Brogden officiated at the harmonium and led the choir. On the motion of Mr Smith, hearty votes of thanks were accorded the visiting clergy, the ladies and others for assistance in celebrating the anniversary.

Timaru Herald, 26 October 1896, Page 3 TEMUKA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
The annual soiree in connection with the Presbyterian Church, Temuka, was only fairly attended, the weather on Friday being particularly wet and cold. In the Volunteer Hall the ladies of the congregation prepared tables very substantially provided with the good things common to parochial tea meetings, and very nicely decorated with flowers. The attendance at the tea comprised principally the younger generation, but there were a fair number of ladies and some of the more prominent of the church officers. After tea the Rev. Mr Dickson announced that owing to the unfortunate weather which had so affected the attendance, and which had also prevented several of the speakers being present, it had been decided to hold another gathering on Monday night, when it was hoped the gathering would be more representative. The choir, assisted by friends from other denominations, sang m excellent style several anthems, Mr J. G. Proudlock officiating at the harmonium. Miss Taylor also sung a solo. Addresses suitable to the occasion were delivered by the Rev. Mr Finlayson and the Rev. Mr Gillies.

Timaru Herald, 27 January 1900, Page 4 ST. PETER'S CHURCH, TEMUKA.
Like almost every church m the colony, St. Peter's, Temuka, staggers under a heavy load of debt, efforts to provide for which tax all the energies of the parishioners. The vicar, officers and congregation owe grateful thanks for assistance. In many directions, not the least being due to Mr H. Wells (late organist of the Cathedral, Christchurch), for his recent recital, assisted as he was by Mrs B. H. Burns and Dr Warren. Many residents have but small idea of what an organ really means, and though that at St. Peter's is only a two-manual instrument, Mr Wells' professional ability enabled those present to appreciate the capabilities of their instrument, as well as the wonderful power over the king of instruments possessed by the performer. Mr Wells' opening number Andante with variations, by Hesse, was a great treat, public favour being perhaps divided between this and a cantilene pastorale by Guilmant, held by many to be the greatest living organist. The well known chorus from Samson "Fixed in his everlasting seat," a test pedal performance was splendidly given, followed by a most beautiful barcarole in G by Spohr, the recital concluding with "Sing unto God" from "Judas Macabeus." The organ is not, from a professional point of view, built for recital purposes lacking as it does effective solo stops, but those present were unanimous in saying that such a musical revelation had never before been heard at Temuka. Of Mrs Burns' singing, it is only needful to say that she was probably never in better voice. She sang Gounod's "Hark my soul" with the best effect and Hear ye Israel" (Elijah) magnificently. The hope was general that Mrs Burns would again be able to favour Temuka with her musical ability, so widely known and appreciated. Dr Warren gave another solo of Gounod's "The King of Love," and it is hoped that this gentleman will be heard more frequently. The number was efficiently given, and much appreciated. During the evening the National Anthem (solo by Mrs Burns) and a few hymns were given, the whole concluding with a few remarks of thanks from the vicar on behalf of himself and the parish. Mr Wells took the morning service at Temuka on the previous Sunday and the evening service at Winchester. The instrument, however, is merely an American organ (i.e. harmonium) and the whole service gave no scope for a professional man of Mr Wells' standing, though the congregation were much pleased to have him.

St. Peter, Temuka - Sandford & Sandford 1888 

St. Peter, Temuka - Sandford & Sandford 1888  

New Zealand Tablet, 20 December 1900, Page 6 CONVENT SCHOOL, TEMUKA.
The annual concert, which winds up the year's work at the Convent School, Temuka (says the Leader), was held on Thursday evening in the Volunteer Hall, which was crowded. The programme began with a duet (four pianos and a harmonium), played by Misses Connelly, Gaffaney, Blyth, Roulston, Earl, Beri, Prattley, Barrett, and Scannell. A number of pupils sang a chorus with spirit, after which a dialogue was given by Misses Carr, Sughrue, Dunn (2), Tozer, Williams, Scannell, Tarrant, and Masters Spillane and Twomey. Masters Bourke, Knight, Rooney, Tangney, O'Loughlin, Wareing, Lawlor, Twomey, Clarke, Flynn, and O'Shea sang an amusing action song. Misses Dwyer (2), Taehan, Daly, Simpson (2), Brosnan, Flynn, Collins, and Perry, little girls, prettily attired and carrying brooms, sang 'Buy a broom' very tunefully. An enjoyable item was a piano trio (four pianos and harmonium) of Scotch airs by Misses Comer, Harrison, Story, O'Donohue (2), Twomey, Beri, Blyth, Prattley, Gaffaney, Earl, and Masters Gapper and Austin. Master G. Twomey scored a decided hit with his song 'Barney O Brien.' In the second part he was equally successful with a comic song. A charming item was a French minuet performed by Misses O'Donohue, Gillespie, Connolly, Harrison, and Twomey (2). Misses Connolly, Coughlan, and Earl contributed a vocal trio, and the two former young ladies sang the duet 'Floating away.' An action song was capitally sung by Misses Cunnard (3), Sughrue (2), Donn (2), Tozer, Williams, Scannell, and Tarrant. Misses Connell, Gaffney, Gillespie, Scannell, O'Donohue and Beri took part in a dialogue. A very pleasing item was the maypole dance by Misses Harrison, Story, Scannell (3), Twomey (2), O'Donohue, Connolly, Beri, Leary, Demuth, Z. Gillespie, Sughrue, Dunn, and Carr. In the second part the first item was 'Mirror Drill,' by Misses Twomey (2), Leary, O'Donohue, Scannell (2), Gillespie, Harrison, and Story. Following this was 'Star Drill,' by Misses Gaffney, Scannell (2), Story, Beri (2), O'Donohue, O'Brien, and Ardagh. Another clever pianoforte trio was given by Misses Beri, Gaffney, Pratley, Gaze, Gillespie, O'Donohue, Harrison, Scannell, Comer, Farnie, Earl, and Masters Austin and Gapper. Masters Twomey and Beri and Misses Gillespie, Demuth, Beri, and Twomey recited 'Little helpers' capitally. A change in the programme was a drama, 'Whittington and his Cat.' In this the characters were taken by Masters Twomey, Bourke, Clarke, Knight, Rooney, Lawlor, and Wareing, and Misses Twomey (2), Connell, Scannell, Beri (2), E. O'Donohue, Leary,. and Gillespie. A piano duet (four pianos and harmonium) was brightly played by Misses Roulston, Gillespie, Connolly, Prattley, Barrett, Earl, Beri, Blyth, and Gaze. An action song by Masters Fitzgerald, Clarke, Geany, Hogan, Rooney, Wareing, Carr, Spillane (2), Sharp, and Twomey was perhaps the best effort the boys made. The programme concluded with, a charming drill, song, and tableau Killarney. The performers were Misses Earl, Ardagh, O'Donohue, Beri, Gaffaney, O'Brien, Gillespie, and Connell. Miss Quinn, as usual, kindly acted as accompanist throughout the evening.

Timaru Herald, 11 October 1912, Page 10
The first organ recital ever given at Waimate took place before a large audience at the Wesleyan Church on Tuesday evening, the organist being Mr. Axel Newton, of Chalmers Church, Timaru. The Rev. G. Stockwell, who presided, in opening, referred to the negotiations leading up to the purchase of the organ. The trustees, after due consideration had placed the order for its construction with Mr Hathaway, of Timaru, who, at a cost of £300 had supplied an instrument which it was believed would prove, to be a most satisfactory investment. The organ is a two-manual, with pneumatic action, and fitted compensation swells and swell box, the bellows being driven by a water motor.  

Burke's Pass - inside St. Patrick's Church. The Needham.
The Needham at St. Patrick's Church, Burke's Pass - restored.


Timaru Herald, 31 July 1882, Page 3
Messrs C. L. Cutler, the well-known pianoforts and harmonium manufacturers, of Christchurch, seem determined to beat down the prejudices against colonial made instruments. On Saturday we paid a visit to Mr J. Beckingham's furnishing warehouse, for the purpose of inspecting a harmonium made in its entirety (with the exception of keys) in this town, and can safely assert that for workmanship and quality of tone, it equals, and in many instances excels, any imported article. The tone is rich and round, and the power of the instrument, is placed under the control of the performer by a graduating knee swell of Mr Cutter's own invention, causing the effect in diminuendo and crescendo to be extremely rich. The case is made of rosewood, the internal parts being beautifully veneered with birds-eye maple. The stops (of which there are nine) are very effective, notably the flute and bassoon, and in a larger instrument, the effect of the graduating knee swell must be extremely grand. The prices quoted are far below the imported article. The firm intends supplying a working man harmonium with five really effective stops for £12 10s, the price for an imported instrument of the same class being £22 10s. On their next visit to Timaru we shall have an opportunity of judging of the merits of a colonial made piano as against the imported ones, as the firm intend exhibiting their instruments in every town in the colony. The harmonium we have referred to is now on view at Mr J. Beckingham's, and is worth paying a visit to if only to see the self-reliance our local industries are assuming.

Timaru Herald, 15 July 1890, Page 2
There is now on view at Messrs Begg and Co. a music saloon, a pipe organ which has been made by Mr A. H. Hathaway, tuner to the firm named. As a specimen of "local industry " it is well worthy of inspection, one striking novelty about it being that the "pipes" are made of paper. The organ has a fine full tone, and is plainly but completely finished.

Timaru Herald, 1 June 1893, Page 1
Owners of Musical Instruments are invited to inspect a NEW MODEL HARMONIUM, made out of the Wreck of the Elginshire by H. A. BURDON, Pianoforte and Harmonium maker, Organ Builder, &c. P. W. HUTTON & CO., Agents.

Timaru Herald 11 August 2005
The 1904 two-manual and peddle organ is being rebuilt for the first time in decades to form part of the South Canterbury Museum's latest exhibition Making Music; Musical Instruments from around the World, which opens on Friday. Organ company director John Hargraves and members Neil Stocker and Christopher Templeton will be spending the next few days resurrecting the old organ to its former glory -- a job made more difficult because it spent the latter part of its life incorporated as part of a bigger organ. Mr Hargraves said the original pipes were all there, but they had been moved around to different places. The organ was made by Timaru organ builder and piano tuner Alfred Hathaway in 1904 for the Congregation Church in North Street. When the church moved location, to a site with a ceiling height too small for the old organ, the congregation decided to dismantle it. Unfortunately, the man who volunteered to do the job with loving care died while on task, resulting in a mad rush to literally pull the organ apart in order to beat the bulldozers who were due two days later. Sometime later the organ went to Christchurch. Then 10 years ago, Timaru's South Island Organ Company, the only company of its kind in New Zealand, brought the organ back its Washdyke factory where it has been stored since. The organ will not be restored to playing condition for the exhibition. However, Mr Hargraves said this was the company's long-term plan.

Hathaway organ in storage in Christchurch

2012. St Thomas Church has not been used for over a year now and the folks are worshipping at St Barnabas. The Organ was taken out after the first earthquake for repairs and now the church is red stickered it is away in storage until they find out what is to happen re: the church and buildings at St Barnabas. They really don’t know but at this stage it is unlikely to be sold.

2009  At St. Thomas Anglican Church in 17 Strowan Rd, CHCH there was an Alfred Hathaway pipe organ, the second he built in Timaru in 1904. It was first in the Convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Missions in Timaru and then the Sisters of Mercy in 1936. When the convent was closed in 1981 the organ’s existence was discovered; it was restored by Trevor Lord of Papanui and given a new home in the Convent Chapel of the Sisters of Mercy in Colombo Street, Christchurch in 1985. When part of this Convent was closed in 1993 a new chapter in the life of Alfred Hathaway’s masterpiece was about to begin. The organ was auctioned along with the furnishings of the convent. Ron Newton Junior, a member of the Fendalton Parish, was determined to save this organ and made a successful bid of $6000. He then offered it to St Thomas, an offer quickly accepted by the Committee. Later in 1999 the congregation of St Thomas raised $12,000 to restore the organ. A leaflet “A Big Day for St Thomas” by Simon Williams is available from the Parish Office for those wishing to know the technical details of this fine instrument.

Arthur Hathaway organ at St.Thomas, Fendalton, CHCH, in 2009. The church is now closed due to the earthquakes.
Arthur Hathaway organ at St. Thomas, Fendalton, CHCH, in 2009

BEGG & Company

Charles Begg (1825–1874) born at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and after serving as an apprentice in the piano manufacturing industry, established a piano factory in Aberdeen. In 1861 Charles and Jessie Begg nee Milne and their two children reached Dunedin on 8 October on the Robert Henderson and almost immediately he opened a shop in Princes Street. The vessel departed London on 11 July 1861. As well as selling and repairing pianos, the business sold a wide range of sheet music and musical instruments. He encouraged musical activity in Dunedin by allowing the use of his premises for practice. After his death, his widow Jesse (d. 1914 in Dunedin) became manager of the company Charles Begg & Co Ltd, and she established branches in Timaru, Wellington and Invercargill. Two of their sons, Alexander and Charles were also active in the business. A branch office was opened in London in 1903. Charles Begg & Co Ltd ceased to exist in 1970, when all the shops were sold off to individual purchasers. Several of the shops kept the Begg name, which was well known in New Zealand. Walter J. Sinton managed the Timaru store from 1940 -1944.  Stu Croft ran Begg's Music in Timaru between 1969 and 1976.  In 2013 he is still tuning pianos.

Music's the key to keeping young so they say, we should listen to more.

Timaru Herald, 26 March 1885, Page 2
CHARLES BEGG & CO.s TUNER Will be in Timaru on Wednesday, the 25th inst. Orders left with Mr W.J. Huggins, Theatre Buildings, will meet with prompt attention. We beg to certify that Herr Teschner is capable of TUNING PIANOS, HARMONIUMS and AMERICAN ORGANS; therefore respectfully solicit a continuation of public support. CHARLES BEGG & CO., Music Sellers, Dunedin. [Established 24 years.]

Timaru Herald, 16 April 1889, Page 3
Begg and Company's Music Saloon. We accepted the invitation of Mr W.J. Huggins, manager at Timaru for Messrs C. Begg and Company. to call and inspect the improvements which lately have been carried out in their music saloon. It is situated in the Theatre Royal Buildings, Main Road. In speaking of the work done to their shop proper, we noticed that the window was exceptionally well dressed, the instruments and other articles in it being tastefully and carefully arranged. Inside the shop a complete set of new shelving has been put up, so built in, that room is found for thousands of pieces of bound and unbound music. About the floor are grouped many pianos, organs, and other musical instruments. To the right of the entrance door springs a very neat staircase made of red pine handsomely polished, with close panels, in which has been cut a pretty design in fretwork. This staircase leads to the new pianoforte and organ showroom, where are exhibited pianofortes by the most celebrated English and Continental makers, American organs and harmoniums. This new show-room is 20 feet wide and 35 feet long, thus extending the whole length of the Theatre Royal frontage. In the room visitors, in addition to inspecting the instrument will have the opportunity of trying over pieces of music, and it is to be placed at the disposal of teachers of any of the instruments named. It will also come in very useful for orchestral or band practice, being central and convenient. At present there are 20 instruments m the room, and on the premises, in addition to pianos and organs, are complete outfits for either a brass, reed, or string (double B upwards) band, also violins, and host of other musical instruments. In fact the stock is a first-class one throughout, and is well worthy of everyone's inspection. We may add that Messrs Begg and Co. have a workshop for repairs, which are superintended by their resident tuner, Mr Hathaway, a gentleman who holds an excellent diploma from the famous firm of John Brinsmead and Sons, and who is therefore qualified in every way for special work.  

Dominion, 18 October 1911, Page 4 THE JUBILEE OF THE FIRM.
The jubilee of the foundation of the firm of Charles Begg and Co., Ltd., the well-known dealers in musical instruments and music, was celebrated last week. In March, 1849, a pianoforte manufactory was opened at 152 Union Street, Aberdeen, Scotland, by Mr. Charles Begg, who succeeded in making instruments of so reliable and desirable a character that ere long his output reached several hundreds a year. Begg's pianos were to be found all over the north of Scotland. In 1861 Begg made up his mind to cast in his future with New Zealand, and with his family set sail from Glasgow in the Robert Henderson, arriving at Dunedin in October of the same year. Commencing with a stock of four pianos, Mr. Begg speedily turned his attention to the manufacturing side of the business, and as a preliminary step had specimens of the principal New Zealand timber prepared and dried. In the absence of veneer-cutting machinery, Mr. Begg had to construct all his pianos with solid timber in the ends and sides, but finding this unsuitable and not to his liking, he decided to relinquish manufacturing and devote himself to the importation and sale of pianos and musical instruments generally. Shortly after his arrival in the Dominion Mr. Begg unfortunately severely strained his back while lifting the end of a heavy piano. He never fully recovered from the injuries then received, and they finally led to his death in 1874. Mr. Begg did much to further the interests of music in Dunedin in an unobtrusive way, and as opportunity presented itself. The first brass band and also the first orchestra in Dunedin were formed through his personal influence, both being granted the use of his promises for practising in. The disastrous conflagration which occurred on April 2, 1867, destroyed the buildings on both sides of Princes Street, extending from Moray Place to the Octagon, and Begg's Music Warehouse was among the number levelled to the ground, the calamity involving the owner in a very severe loss. For some years after the death of Mr. Chas. Begg, the business was carried on by his trustees, who found it necessary in 1877 to erect the present substantial piano and music building in Princes Street. The new premises provided ample room for the extension of every department, and from that time onward the development of the business proceeded apace. Some ten years later the two sons of the founder, Messrs. Alexander and Charles Begg, became identified with the concern, subsequently assuming the entire management. Mr. Alex. Begg is now the managing director, while Mr. Charles Begg is in charge of the Dunedin warehouse, and also fills the position of a director in the company. Branch houses have been established in Wellington, Timaru, Invercargill, Oamaru, and Nelson, while agencies are maintained at Gore, Milton, Ashburton, Blenheim, Gisborne, Palmerston North, Masterton, Hawera, Napier, and other places. For the past nine years Chas. Begg and Co. (Limited) have maintained their own branch office in London, under the direction of a very experienced gentleman, who occupies the responsible position of Home buyer. The advantage of direct representation in the world's metropolis has aided greatly in developing the wholesale side of the firm's business, and has at the same time enabled them to place before the public of the Dominion the latest and very best products of the Old World and America with the utmost celerity and dispatch. The entire staff of though firm's employees numbers 85, 42 of whom are connected with the head office, and it is worthy of mention that out of the total number 10 have been with the firm for over 20 years, and one for more than 33 years.

Colonist, 30 November 1910, Page 5 CHAS. BEGG & CO., LTD.
This old established firm of pianoforte importers, which has now a branch in Nelson, has a fine display or pianos, organs and phonographs. The pianos shown on their stand are by Brinsmead, Newman, Kuhla and Tietza, and at the prices and exceptionally easy terms offered, should readily find purchasers. The American Estey organs, which are eminently suited for the home, are also on view. The firm also stock Edison phonographs, records and also the newest music. The stand is in charge of the local manager Mr. A. E. Desgranges. 

Press, 3 July 1916, Page 4
In St. Joseph's Church. Temuka, a new pipe-organ has just been erected by Mr Jenkins, of Christchurch. The instrument has a splendid tone. The case is of Gothic design, with two towers and centre flat, enclosing the front ornament pipes, which are coated with aluminum and symmetrically arranged. The organ is a single manual instrument, and has seven stops with independent pedal and full compass. All the pipes are of full church scale, and with one exception are enclosed in a swellbox and furnished with pedals, etc.. to provide the crescendo and diminuendo at the will of the player. At present the organ is blown by manual power, but provision has been made for attaching an hydraulic engine.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts] 1905 pg 224
Clare Gleeson published a book called 'Meet me at Beggs', a history of this company. Oct. 2012. Hb. 240pgs.
Piano in the Parlour by John MacGibbon, 2007, 127 pgs.

More than a Pipe Dream launched 7 Feb. 2020 by the South Island Organ Company (SIOC) and tells the tale of its first 50 years, beginning in a draughty cold shed in Timaru to a company with a reputation for excellence and a list of projects that include some of the largest, most historic and valuable pipe organs both in New Zealand and Australia. The book is written by Jill Worrall.
    The project result is a 300-plus-page, beautifully produced, extensively illustrated, full colour book that covers not only the company’s history, but the art of organ restoration and most importantly the immensely skilled people who carry out the work. Many instruments feature in the book and there’s a special section dedicated to the SIOC personnel who lost their lives on February 22, 2011. Employees Neil Stocker and Scott Lucy died when Christchurch’s Durham St Methodist Church in which they were working collapsed after the disastrous earthquake struck. A Christchurch assistant worker Paul Dunlop also died, while three other company employees survived. SIOC is still dealing with earthquake-related work and this was likely to carry on for several more years. The Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and Christchurch’s Anglican Cathedral still have their organs trapped in the ruins of the two buildings and Mr Hargraves said they were working with the Christchurch Cathedral to retrieve their organ. “It’s a joint venture with the Government.”

Beggs 86 and 89 Stafford Street, Timaru

Burke's Pass - inside St. Patrick's Church. The one with the blue cushion on the chair is the Estey. It is similar to the one in The church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo.
The Estey at St. Patrick's Church, Burke's Pass - restored. Compare a similar organ up the road at Tekapo. Note this organ is missing the two round wooden shelves for possibility holding a lamp.

St. Patrick's Church, Burke's Pass.

It is rather unusual for such a small church building to house three organs but they all have a story. In 2005 the Burkes Pass Heritage Trust had the two organs most closely associated with the church restored by the South Island Organ Company from Timaru. The oldest one was given to the Trust and apparently the original organ for the church. It is made by the Needham Organ and Piano Company and was supplied by Chas. Begg & Co., Dunedin. It has one set of reeds and has a case made of American walnut. It was replaced by a slightly later and better quality instrument from the Estey Organ Company also supplied by Chas. Begg & Co. and has three sets of reeds with an oak case and was told that this came from the Fairlie Presbyterian Church Sunday school possibly in the 1970s. The Needham organ was then placed at the back of the church and eventually given away to a Fairlie resident who later donated it back to us when the Trust purchased the church in 2001. The third organ is from the Imperial Organ Company of Canada, supplied by the NZ agent, the Bristol Piano Co., of Dunedin. It was donated to the Trust by a couple from Temuka who were and keen to find a good home for it. It is also in working order and we accepted it as it was in good condition and one day when we have completed restoration of one of two cob cottages in progress it could be re-housed if we needed the space, however it is a nice piece of furniture and people who visit the church often play it.

What's in a name?" David Edward Theomin, chairman of the directors of Dresden Piano Co. had the name of the company changed in 1914 to The Bristol Piano Co. His father, born in Franstaadt, Prussian Polish sought out refuge in Bristol, England, where he became known as Rev. Joseph Benjamin Theomin and became a naturalised British subject. David married Marie d/o Moritz Machaelis in Melbourne in 1879 and they settled in Dunedin, on Royal Terrace. David became a financial magnate of some tonnage in the Dominion.


Timaru Herald, 6 August 1875, Page 2
Mr. H. A. BURDON, Teacher of Music, Pianoforte and Harmonium Tuner and Regulator. TEMUKA.

Timaru Herald, 23 May 1884, Page 1
FOR SALE CHEAP — Leaving the Colony.
1 New German PIANO
1 Second-hand Ditto (Collard and Collard)
Viola, Violin, Music, &c.
H. A. BURDON, King Street

Timaru Herald, 31 July 1886, Page 1 Business Notices.
H.A. BURDON, ORGAN BUILDER, Barnard Street. Small Chamber Organs, of 8 Stops, built to order, £75. "The Cathedral Vestry, Bombay. " I certify that Mr Burdon was employed by the Government of India, at a cost of Re500, equal to £50, to take down, repair, and re-build the organ, of 60 stops, costing £5000, in the cathedral of St. Thomas, Bombay and that he was thereafter employed at a monthly salary of Rs 30 (equal to £3), to keep the said organ in tune, and that in both capacities he gave us complete satisfaction. C. T. WILSON, 7 Senior Presidency Chaplain."


Mr. SIDNEY WOLF, R.A.M., Professor of Singing, Voice Production, Pianoforte, Organ, Orchestral and Choral Conductor. Assembly Buildings, Timaru. 

Timaru Herald, 14 August 1879, Page 2 Bad Music.
Considerable amusement was created in the Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday by some questions put by the plaintiff to a witness in the case of Burdon v. Spedding. The claim was for supplying music to a dancing class called the Zealandia Quadrille Assembly, and .the defence to the action was that the music was so bad that no, one could dance to it. A witness who described the music as something horrible," was asked by the plaintiff was he a good judge of music, and he answered' in the affirmative. "Why then," asked the plaintiff, "did you remain dancing half an hour longer than you agreed with me to play for you The witness answered that they merely remained to amuse themselves, hut the next question was not answered so quickly. The plaintiff asked if the dancers were such good judges of music how it was that they danced
"The Lancers" while he played "The Palermo Quadrilles." The answer to this question, if there was any, was lost in the roar of laughter which it caused, and the general impression was that the music was not of the most select character, and that the dancers were not very good musical critics.

Timaru Herald 5 April 1894Alfred Henry Hathaway - piano maker, tuner, organ maker (four)

Alfred Hathaway b. in London 28 Dec. 1859, was the s/o a piano maker who worked for John Brinsmead, a cabinet maker /piano maker and he was apprenticed to Brinsmead. Alfred came out to Canterbury as a steerage passenger, on the Waitangi in landing in April 1884, colonial nominated by George. R. West, a Dunedin music importer. He soon travelled to Dunedin. Alfred was a piano technician and tuner who taught himself how to make organs. He made an organ in 1904 that was in the Mercy Convent Chapel in Timaru.

Otago Daily Times 27 November 1882, Page 2
A service of song, entitled "John Knox," was given on Friday evening in the Presbyterian Church, Green Island, in aid of the Sabbath-school Library Fund. The choir was composed of Sabbath-school children, aided by a few friends of maturer years, under the able leadership of Mr John Graham. Miss Runcilman worthily presided at the organ (her own property, which she had kindly lent for the occasion), Mr Hathaway, who is a new arrival, favoured the meeting with a few happily-executed marches.

The Press Wednesday 4 September 1889 Marriage
HATHAWAY - MEERS - On August 7th at St. Luke's, Christchurch, by the Ven. Archdeacon Lingard, Alfred Henry, eldest son of Alfred Hathaway, Esq. of Carlton Road, Haverstock Hill, London to Rosina youngest daughter of William Denne Mears Esq. Christchurch. 

Alfred and Rosina Hathaway nee Meers married in 1889. Children:
1890 Irene Gertrude
1891 Alfred Denny b. 31 July
1893 Elvira Doris
1895 Elsie Bertha
1897 Philip Henry

Timaru Herald, 29 July 1890, Page 2
We have received from Mr Fred. Hathaway, of this town, a copy of a piece of music composed by him for the pianoforte, a " gavotte," an air for one of the old time dances now extinct, but whose measure is a favourite one for chamber pieces, or "selections," as compositions of the kind are often called. The melody has a pleasing theme, and as the harmonies are simple and easily learned, the " Galatea" gavotte must become popular. It has been printed in the best style by Hammond and Co., of London, with plain title page, and is dedicated to John Brinsmead. We are pleased to notice such production by one of our townsman.

Otago Daily Times 30 July 1890, Page 4
Messrs C. Begg and Co. have sent us the "Galatea Gavotte" for the pianoforte, composed by Mr Fred Hathaway, of Timaru, but printed in London. The harmonies are simple and the melody is pleasing, so that the gavotte should attain some popularity. [He published the piece under the name Fred. Hathaway]

Press, 19 June 1896, Page 4
Mr A. H. Hathaway, piano maker of Timaru, is an applicant for a New Zealand patent for a device for aiding persons to play accompaniments on piano or organ.

Timaru Herald, 20 June 1896, Page 2
Among recent applications for New Zealand patents are two patents from Timaru. Alfred Henry Hathaway, piano maker, in conjunction with William Frederick Meers, Sydenham. Christchurch, applies to patent an "improved raising music stool." Mark Higgins, wheelwright, and James Storrier, iron founder, both of Timaru, apply to patent an invention entitled, the "X.L wheel and axle, for use on ploughs and other similar instruments."

Timaru Herald, 16 November 1901, Page 3
The congregations at the Timaru Wesleyan Church to-morrow will have the pleasure of hearing for the first time a new pipe organ which has just been erected in the church by Mr A. H. Hathaway, by whom it was built in his well equipped workshop, North street. The instrument possesses novel features, in that, it is probably the first pneumatic organ built in the colony, and differs from the ordinary pipe organ in several important particulars. In the latter the key operates one valve which admits wind to one or more sets of pipes. This causes a weakness of tone, because only a definite quantity of wind is available for large as well as for a small number of pipes. The pneumatic device applied to this organ by Mr Hathaway eliminates this defect, as each set of pipes has its own chest of wind, and each pipe has its own valve. ...The instrument has been decorated by Mr B. Griffiths, in a manner which does credit to his skill and artistic taste.

Star 24 May 1902, Page 5 Death
Meers — May 21, at the residence of her son-in-law, A. H. Hathaway, North Street, Timaru, Ann, the dearly-beloved wife of W. Denne Meers, of Christchurch aged sixty eight years. All who knew her loved her.
[Ann was buried at the Timaru Cemetery and W.D. Meers was buried beside her 23 Oct. 1909, age 73. No headstone. Block H. Plot 189] [Their daughter Rosina Hathaway was buried on Tuesday 26 Aug. 1947, age 83 at Timaru and later in the same plot Alfred Henry Hathaway on 14 Sept. 1946 aged 86. Headstone. Block C2 Plot 170.]

Press, 22 October 1909, Page 8 OBITUARY. MR W. MEERS.
Mr William Denne Meers who died yesterday at the advanced age of 83 years, was one of the more prominent business men in Christchurch in the early days. He arrived here in the year 1868, and became the proprietor of a drapery establishment known as Waterloo House, situated at the corner of Cashel and Colombo streets, where a large drapery store now stands. He remained in that business for a number of years, and then sold cut to Messrs Hobday and Jobbins, preparatory to paying a visit to England. He returned to New Zealand again in 1880, and for some time carried on the business of a clothing manufacturer, retiring about ten years ago. The late Mr Meers was well known to early Christchurch people, by whom he was much respected. He took a very active interest in all matters effecting the young city, and was intimately associated with many philanthropic enterprises. His death removes another of the few remaining living links with the past.


Arthur Hobday, 61 years of age, died 9th Oct. 1912 in Wellington. The 2 manual 25 rank 1912 organ at Sacred Heart Basilica, Timaru was his last work. It was restored by the SIOC in 1986 and again in 2029-20 focusing on renewal of the leathers of its pneumatic action. Hobday was at one a member of the firm of Fincham and Hobday, organ builders, Melbourne. He established a factory in Sydney-street soon after arriving in Wellington, and he and one of his sons carried it on. Mr. Hobday was a skilful man in his business, and organs which he built in Wellington are to be found in many places of worship in New Zealand. The instruments in the Basilica, Hill-street, St. Thomas's Church, Wellington South and St. Joseph's Church, Buckle-street were amongst his many creations. He was survived by a grown-up family, including the wife of the Rev. J. M'Nickle, of Dannevirke, at one time Anglican minister at Kilbirnie. The pipe organ at St. Patrick's Church in Waimate was the last organ built by Arthur A. Hobday & Son in 1916-20. He had a son named Sydney.

William J. Huggins - he played the violin

NZ Truth 10 February 1923, Page 1
" Truth" has had occasion the past to refer to the romances of family history in New Zealand. Another very interesting case is that of William Huggins, manager for Begg and Co. in Timaru and Ashburton. And it is peculiar, by the way, how the strain of ancestry comes out down through the ages. In the reign of Louis the Clockmaker the French King: who was "nuts" on watch and clock making, and went clean off his balance because he could not find two clocks that ticked exactly alike there was a very clever clockmaker in Paris to whom Louis took so strong a fancy that he saved him from the debacle when the fatal flat went forth: "Death to the Huguenots!" That clockmaker eventually had to bolt from France. He escaped into Switzerland, and thence to England, where he founded the Huggins family, of (which the old identity of Timaru is a direct descendant. The late Sir William Huggins, Astronomer- Royal of Britain, was another descendant. In fact, Sir William and William's father were first cousins. Here is another remarkable aspect of our subject: On the list of the Royal Astronomical Association of Britain, of which Sir William was President, will be found to-day the names of three Hugginses: to wit, Sir William, Lady Huggins, his wife (both life members) and W. J. Huggins, of Timaru. The latter is also an exceedingly gifted musician. His son Frank, in charge of Begg's factory in Wellington, has inherited these talents. The Timaruvian has achieved great things in other directions. He is a Doctor of Optics (and does not practice), he has three first class certificates as an engineer (marine and stationary) his youngest son, by the way, holds a high post as an engineer in Wellington's electrical power house. William Huggins, yet again, la skilled Jeweller, he has done much study in geology, and he is probably the most skilled amateur in wireless in the Dominion. An absolute Admirable Crichton, in deed and in fact. And yet not even his next door neighbour is aware that, such a gifted citizen is so close to everyday life in the busy port of South Canterbury.

Feilding Star, 10 May 1915, Page 2
Word comes from London of the death of Lady Huggins, widow of Sir William Huggins, the famous astronomer, who was first cousin to the late Mr Wm. Huggins, of Timaru, father of Mrs T. L. Mills, of Feilding.

Burke's Pass - inside St. Patrick's Church. The Imperial.
The Imperial at St. Patrick's Church, Burke's Pass - restored.

Life on a Five Pound Note - Evelyn Eliza Vincent Hosken - 1964 - snippet
My Dad was a very hard working man, and the greatest relaxation he enjoyed was music. Before he married he was organist in the Methodist Church, which was situated just below Trinity Church in Barnard Street, Timaru. When Trinity Church purchased a new pipe organ, Dad bought their harmonium, a big oak instrument, and it is still in in our family after 85 years. Great was Dad's joy when this harmonium was safely landed in our home at Adair, and scarcely was it in position before Dad, all smiles, was playing we children standing round looking on. This old harmonium, of which Dad was now the proud owner, became a great attraction to a neighbour, Jim Williams, who played the clarinet well. On most Sunday mornings, he would bring his clarinet to our home and he and Dad would spend happy hours enjoying their music together. The old Sankey Hymn Books would be put to use in earnest, and we children would stand round learning to sing the many hymns, all of which they could play at sight. 

Press, 28 August 1894, Page 4 UNEXPECTED LIBERALITY.
The Timaru Herald publishes the following paragraph: — Three farmers who live not a hundred miles from Timaru went in company to canvass their district for subscriptions to provide an harmonium for their little church. They bailed up a young farmer, and had to use all their persuasive power to get him to subscribe. And last he said, Well, look here, will you give the same amount if I give something The three promptly agreed. They had of course put down their names already for something, but they could stand another half guinea, or even a guinea, to get as much out of their victim. Oh yes, they would each give the same amount. 'All right, here's my cheque for £5.' The trodden worm had turned."

Timaru Herald, 2 August 1913, Page 11 AN HISTORIC ORGAN.
BROUGHT OUT BY ARCHDEACON HARPER. In the very interesting reminiscences of St. John's Church, Latimer Square, which Mr W. H. Harrgreaves recently gave a representative of "The Press," reference was made to the organ installed in the church. Some interesting facts connected with the organ installed in St. John's Church, Christchurch, were supplied recently to a reporter of The "Press"' by Mr Clarence Turner, who, several years ago, had a conversation with Archdeacon Harper, of Timaru, on the subject. Archdeacon Harper's account, as recorded by Mr Turner, is as follows: "In the year 1864 I was in London, when I received letters from the colony informing me that I had been nominated its first incumbent of St. John's Church, then in course of construction. I also received a letter from the churchwardens requesting me to purchase an organ. I collected from my friends in England £460 for the purpose, and then called on my friend Mr G. M. Holdich, who, at that time, had the reputation of being one of the best builders in England. Mr Holdich was the son of a clergyman and a man of independent means, who built organs because he loved to do so, and could afford to build only instruments of the best quality. Mr Holdich built (for St. John's Church) a fine organ of seven stops with Great Four stops on the swell and one on the pedal. He selected the wood carefully himself for the construction of the sound boards and wood pipes, and the organ had a clear, beautiful tone. When the organ was completed I informed Mr Holdich that I was afraid that there would be a difficulty in getting anyone in the colony who could erect and tune the organ. He said that he could suggest a way of getting over the difficulty and his plan was carried out. Mr Holdich said :— Now, Mr Harper, you have a little time to spare in London, so will you come every day to the workshops and learn how to do it yourself." I accordingly went every day for some weeks and worked from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
When the organ was quite finished, Mr Holdich gave me the task of taking it all to pieces again; and having done this, I was instructed how to put it together again, and how to tune the various stops. Mr Holdich expressed himself satisfied with my work, and told me how to put the organ in its proper position on its arrival at St. John's Church.
"I came out to New Zealand via Australia, and reached Christchurch long before the ship with the organ on board, and found on my arrival that I was called to other work on the West Coast, and was not to be the first incumbent of St. John's after all. However, I told the churchwardens that I would be returning in a short time to Christchurch and that I would erect the organ, and on my return I found that the organ was at St. John's waiting for me to unpack and place in position. I engaged a carpenter to help me and in three weeks I had erected and tuned the organ, and was very proud of my work. I have still in my possession the tuning cones which Mr Holdich gave me to use, and treasure them as a memento of this little work I was able to do so long ago for St. John's Church.
Mr Turner also supplied the following additional information regarding the instrument:— Specification of the organ Great organ—open diapason, stopt diapason bass, claribel, gamba, flute, principal, fifteenth, twelfth, mixture, clarinet, trumpet, bourdon. Swell organ—open diapason, stopt diapason, dulciana, vex celeste, principal, suabe flute, fifteenth, bourdon, oboe, horn clarion, tremulant. Pedal organ —bourdon, open diapason, couplers, swell to great, great to pedal, swell to pedal.

The organ, Mr Turner said, soon gained for itself a reputation for its beautiful tone. It stood for about eleven years in the south transept, and in 1876 it was rebuilt and considerably added to by Mr E. H. Jenkins, and the present organ chamber was built for the enlarged instrument. An entirely new swell organ was added, and the powerful pedal open diapason was put on. A year or two later three more stops were added to the swell, and some to the great organ at the expense of the first organist, Mr Landergan. The organ, for many years was the largest in New Zealand, and was noted for its tone quality. Since 1907-8 the congregation of St. John's contributed through special offertories a sum of over £125 for the purpose of repairing the organ, and the work was carried out by Mr H. Brett in a satisfactory manner. The organ is now in very good order and although old and with mechanism out of date, it compares very favourably in tone with the line new organs in most of the city churches. In the earlier days a high standard of church music was maintained at St. John's, and amongst the organists were the following well-known musicians:—Messrs Robert Parker, R. Trist Searell, Neville. G. Barnet, A. Landergan and Arthur Towsey."

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project
Page last updated Jan. 2018

NZ Pianos on display

Man at door. "Come to toon the pianer, Mum."
"But I don't want the piano tuned, my good man."
"Please, no mum, but the neighbours does."