Christ Church Anglican Church

Maryborough Street, Bundaberg

M.P. Möller, Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S.A, 1902
2 manuals, 9 speaking stops, mechanical action
Installed in new church 1927 Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane
Enlarged 1963 Charles Dirksen Organ Co., Brisbane
Additions and alterations 1996 W. J. Simon Pierce, Brisbane
2 manuals, 18 speaking stops, mechanical & electric action






Christ Church Anglican Church, Bundaberg
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]


Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2011 (last updated January 2011)



The Bundaberg district was explored by Europeans searching for timber in the 1850s and 1860s, and developed from the 1870s onwards as one of Australia's major sugar-producing areas. The Bunda Aborigines gave the city the first part of its name, while the second part "Berg" (German for 'mountain') points to the preponderance of early German settlers.

The first Anglican Church in Bundaberg was built in Quay Street in 1876. The building was moved to Woongarra Street, near the present site, in 1899. The present brick church, in English gothic style with prominent bell tower and spire, was built in 1926 and dedicated in February 1927.1 Plans for the building had been drawn up in the 1890s by the architect, J. H. Buckeridge (1857-1934), a pupil of J. L. Pearson, who was the Diocesan Architect of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane between 1887 and 1902.2


 



First Christ Church Anglican Church, Bundaberg, ca. 1910
[Photograph: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland]


The organ was built by M.P. Möller of Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S.A. It is one of only three instruments in Australia to have been built by this firm. It was installed in the old church in November 1902, and dedicated in memory of The Rev'd William Morris, the first Rector of the parish from 1878,3 who had died in 1900.4 The organ builder's opus number (No 387) is located inside the casework, and the original specification was as follows:


GREAT
Open Diapason
Dulciana
Melodia
St. Unison Bass
Gemshorn

SWELL
Violin Diapason
Stopped Diapason Treble
Stopped Diapason Bass
Flute d'Amour
Oboe

PEDAL
Bourdon

COUPLERS
Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal

8
8
8
8
4


8
8
8
4
8


16







[Tenor C]
[Tenor C]
[12 notes]



[Tenor C]
[Tenor C]
[12 notes]

[Tenor C]









Swell tremulant
Mechanical action
Compass: 61/30
Drawstop console
Pedalboard: straight
2 composition pedals to Great
Balanced swell pedal (brass shoe)5


The organ builder's nameplate appears on the console, and the name 'Möller' is also cast into the brass Swell shoe. The Pedal Bourdon pipes are fitted with regulating handles in the feet, and the drawstops are distinctively oblique-faced, arranged in terraced jambs. Above the Swell manual there is a wind indicator in the form of a small circular window, and a "Blower Signal" is included amongst the right-hand drawstops.


 



[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]




[Photograph by Howard Baker (1990s)]


The organ was removed in 1927 by Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane from the old church and re-erected in its present position in a loft to the north side of the chancel, with new front speaking pipes.6 The old front pipes by Möller were re-used as non-speaking showpipes in the north aisle.







[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]


In 1963, a secondary electric-action swell division, comprising 4 ranks extended and an independent Mixture, was added in a separate box by the Charles Dirksen Organ Co. of Brisbane. This incorporated the original Swell Violin Diapason 8, which was used as the basis for the Gamba rank in the new division, leaving a spare slide on the original Swell chest.


 



[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]


The organ was repaired and overhauled in 1992 by W. J. Simon Pierce of Brisbane.7 In 1996, Pierce restored the action, and at the same time added two stops (Principal 4 & Fifteenth 2) on the original Great soundboard, using pipework from the 1883 Forster & Andrews organ, formerly at the Great Hall, University of Sydney. The original Great Dulciana 8 was placed in storage in the loft, and the Gemshorn 4 was moved from the Great to the Swell, where it occupies the slide originally intended for the Violin Diapason.8 The re-ordered and enlarged specification is as follows:


GREAT
Open Diapason
Melodia
St[op'd] Uni[son] Bass
Principal
Fifteenth

SWELL
Stop'd Diapason
St[op'd] Uni[son] Bass
Flute d'Amour
Gemshorn
Oboe

SECONDARY SWELL
Open Diapason
Gamba
Principal
Gamba
Gamba
Mixture
Trumpet
Trumpet
Clarion

PEDAL
Bourdon

COUPLERS
Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal

8
8
8
4
2


8
8
4
4
8


8
8
4
4
2
II
16
8
4


16







[Tenor C]
[12 notes]
[1996, from University of Sydney (Forster & Andrews)]
[1996, from University of Sydney (Forster & Andrews)]


[Tenor C]
[12 notes]

[moved 1996 from Great]
[Tenor C]

(added 1963)
A
B [original Swell Violin Diapason]
C
B
B

D [Tenor C]
D
D









Swell tremulant
Compass: 61/30
Mechanical action (original organ)
Electro-pneumatic action (secondary swell)
Draw-stop console
Pedalboard: straight
2 composition pedals to Great
Balanced swell pedal (brass shoe)
Original Dulciana 8 [Tenor C] in storage.9



___________________________________________________________________

1 Glenda Murrell, Anglican Records and Archive Centre Guide to Records (DioceseofBrisbaneWeb, 2001) - accessed January 2004; Bundaberg Heritage Walks http://www.bundabergregion.info – accessed February 2004.

2 Donald Watson & Judith McKay, Queensland Architects of the 19th Century: A Biographical Dictionary (Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1994), pp. 25-26; The Brisbane Courier (12 February 1927), p. 9.

3 Plaque on the organ case.

4 Personal communication to G. Cox from Mrs Jean Dunn (organist), 28 August 1974.

5 Original contract (dated 11 December 1901) supplied to G. Cox by Jack Staley of M.P. Möller, Inc., August 1974.

6 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p. 90.

7 The Organ Voice, vol. 19, no. 6 (June 1992), p. 39.

8 Personal communication to G. Cox from W. J. Simon Pierce, 1997. The 1996 additions and alterations are incompletely described in The Organ Voice, vol. 24, no. 3 (September 1998), p. 12, but corrected in vol. 24, no. 4 (December 1998), p. 28.

9 1963 details from church records supplied to G. Cox by Mrs J. Dunn (organist), August 1974; Specification noted by G. Cox, July 1974, here incorporating the 1996 alterations as noted above.

 




















Above photos: Trevor Bunning (November 2010)