Canberra Baptist Church
Currie Crescent, Kingston ACT
First organ, B. unknown. Inst. 1929 from Congregational Church, Killara.
Repaired 1933 Hill, Norman & Beard (o/n N10).
Rem. c.1958, pipework sold to Baptist Churches: Mortdale and East Lindfield.
Present organ, B. 1958 J.P. Eagles, Reb. 1982 A. Welby. 2m., 21 sp.st., 3c., el.mag.
The following information was supplied by Trevor Bunning (April 2006) and compiled by Geoff Wells:
Canberra Baptist church in Currie street Kingston, was built in 1929. Its decor is virtually unchanged from the original, except the pulpit being moved from its central position on the left hand side.
A tracker-action pipe organ occupied the site of the present choir stalls at the right hand side front. In the early 1960's this was sold and divided into two organs which went to the Baptist Churches at Mortdale and East Lindfield . Jim Eagles of Sydney built a pipe organ with detached console and electric action, with pipework mounted above the entrance lobby. This organ was dedicated to the memory of the Reverend A.G. Thackeray, M.C., M.A., (second minister of this church).
(from church's web site)
In 1982, the electrics were replaced with a solid state system by the organ builder Anthony Welby. Some new pipes and rearrangements occurred, with a new silent blower also. This rebuild was in memory of Mr. R.H.D. White, organist at the church for very many years.
Further information on the history of the organ can be found by clicking here on the church's website
From the Sydney Organ Journal (Winter 2011) Bill Fraser writes:
The Organ in Canberra Baptist Church
The present Canberra Baptist Church building was dedicated on 23 February 1929 in the midst of a period of adversity. 1929 heralded the great depression and although Canberra was a Government town, money for development ceased abruptly. The Baptists of Australia had however, collected a significant sum to provide a church in the national capital, and what was intended as a Sunday School hall was erected, together with a complementary manse, with only a small debt remaining. In addition, the church, from the beginning had a pipe organ, only the second in Canberra. This organ of nineteenth century vintage was acquired from the Congregational Church, Killara, and comprised two manuals and ten stops. It was located in the choir stalls area.
Repairs were effected by Hill, Norman and Beard in 1933, and the organ had served for almost thirty years when it was broken up and parts sent to East Chatswood and Mortdale Baptist Churches. On 13 April 1958, a new organ was dedicated as a memorial to Rev. Harold Hackworthy, the second minister of the church from 1948-1952. This organ, located in a rear gallery with a detached console, was built by J.P.Eagles of Sydney assisted by Mr. Ron Howe, one of the church’s members.
On 20 September 1981, a church meeting was informed that the organ was in need of repair or replacement. It was resolved that the instrument be restored and upgraded at an estimated cost of $20,000. The restored organ was re-dedicated on 22 August 1982 in memory of Mr. and Mrs. R.H.D. White, longstanding office bearers of the congregation.
Improvements since then have included modification of the organ chamber, installation of a German electric blower and, in February 2011, restoration by the Jewkes firm of the swell box and a new shutter engine, together with strengthening of the frame to reduce vibration of the diapason and bourdon pipes. The current organists are the author and James Carter. The church has a long history of good music led by a choir and organ in a building with a supportive acoustic.
The specification is:
Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
8 Thumb pistons
3 Toe pistons
Balanced swell pedal
Photos Trevor Bunning, July 2006