St Joseph’s Catholic Church
Fitzgerald Street, South Yarra
B 1894 William Anderson; restored 1985 Geo. Fincham & Sons.
2 manuals, 12 speaking stops, 3 couplers, tracker action
Gt: 8.8 divided.126.96.36.199. Sw: 188.8.131.52.8. Ped: 16.
The foundation stone of St Joseph’s Church was laid on 18 March 1888 and the building opened on 28 October 1888. Designed by architects Tappin, Gilbert & Dennehy, this is a large cruciform brick building in the Gothic style with stucco dressings, tower and spire. Further additions were completed in August 1892.
The pipe organ, built by William Anderson, was opened in July 1894 when The Advocate of 14 July reported that on Sunday last the organ that was recently erected in the church was opened.
It is likely that the metal pipework for the instrument was supplied to William Anderson by Fincham & Hobday, whose metal shop order book records:
Rank Pipes 30 May 1893 No 3
19 June 1893
Some of the other material may have been second-hand.
This is a small example of Anderson’s work, the casework being of a similar pattern to a number of other instruments he built, with the uprights capped with turned colonettes and the transom and impost rails carved with quatrefoils. The console is inset within the casework rather than projecting with a roll top cover. The façade pipes have ornamental cartouches containing the sacred emblems IHS and MR.
Restoration work was carried out by George Fincham & Sons Pty Ltd in 1985. Some of the stop labels are replacements and do not match the originals.
Gt. Open Dia
Gt. Stopt Dia Bass
Gt . Clarabella
Swell to Great
Sw. Horn Dia
Great to Pedals
Swell to Pedals
3 composition pedals to Great
Trigger swell lever
Mechanical key & stop action
Some of the Fruits of Fifty Years: Ecclesiastical Annals… Melbourne: A.H. Massina, 1897, p.38-39
The Advocate 14 July 1894, p.15
George Fincham & Sons Pty Ltd metal shop books (State Library of Victoria)
E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders. Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969, pp 154-155
Specification noted John Maidment 1966 and 2007
Images by John Maidment & Simon Colvin (those taken in the gallery) - August 2007.