St John’s Anglican Church
cnr Barkly & Thompson Streets, Dunolly
B. 1879 George Fincham, renovated 1979 Leighton Turner
2 manuals, 9 speaking stops, 3 couplers, tracker action
St John’s Church was built in 1866-67 to the design of Bendigo architects Vahland & Getzschmann in a Decorated Gothic idiom. The walls are of variegated sandstone and red brick, resting on granite foundations. The building consists of a nave, tower stump to the north and narrow apsidal chancel of Germanic character.
The organ was built in 1879 by George Fincham at a cost of £260 and was opened by Dr G.W. Torrance on 21 November of that year. It was one of the last instruments completed before the execution of the Grand Organ for the 1880 Melbourne Exhibition. The instrument was moved to its present position in October 1907 by Geo. Fincham & Son at which stage it was cleaned, the bellows releathered and the Oboe revoiced. IN 1979, the organ was renovated by Leighton Turner, of Ballarat.
Located on the north-east corner of the nave, it has a simple case with transom rail inlaid with quatrefoils, solid timber panelling at the outer ends carved with trefoils and finely decorated spotted metal façade pipes. The interior of the instrument is a model of compactness. There is no passage board between the Great and the Swell, which is located at a higher level and tuned through flaps in the rear of the swell box. The console retains its original fittings and a very distinctive marquetry nameplate, only one of two known to survive, the other being on the Fincham organ at the former Congregational Church, Kyneton, built in the same year.
This is an outstandingly original Fincham organ of the period notable for its exceptional sound in a fine, resonant acoustic.
Gt Open Dia
Gt Stop Dia
Swl to Gt
Swl. Open Dia
Sw Stop Dia
Gt to Ped
Swl to Ped
[replacement matching label]
[12 pipes only]
Mechanical key & stop action
Trigger swell lever
Spotted metal pipework throughout (cone tuned)
Victorian Churches, edited by Miles Lewis. East Melbourne: National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1991, p.106
E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders. Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969, p.167
Photos: JRM (Dec. 2007)
Photos above: Trevor Bunning (October 2008)