St Joseph's College Chapel
(former Brigidine Convent)

Chappell & Co, London?, 1870s
1 manual, 3 speaking stops, no pedals, tracker action.

The Brigidine Order was established in Apsley House, Echuca in 1886 with a convent built in 1889 to the design of T. Payne; this was the first home in Victoria of the Order. The chapel was designed by Augustus Andrew Fritsch and opened in 1898. Fritsch was later to become the most notable designer of Catholic churches in Melbourne, these including the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories, Camberwell and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Middle Park. The intact interior is most elaborate, with an intricately plastered ceiling in Gothic patterns, tesselated tiles on the floor and white marble high altar.

The organ, of three ranks, is of unknown pedigree but closely resembles the English Chappell & Company model organs which were available in Australia in the 1870s and 1880s and is identical in specification to the Chappell organ now at St John's Anglican Church, Alexandra illustrated in their catalogue. It was refurbished and installed in the chapel in 1963 by George Fincham & Sons Pty Ltd who presumably supplied a new swell front and gilt façade pipes, the central pipe mouth having the typical Fincham ogee pattern.

Open Diapason
Stop Diapason



Compass: 56 notes
Mechanical action
No pedals
Pipework all enclosed in swell box
Dummy façade pipes (1963?)

Heritage Victoria citation for Vaucluse College, Darlington Parade, Richmond, H 1927.
Building, Engineering & Mining Journal 11 April 1899, p.4 [tenders for Brigidine Convent Chapel, Echuca]
Organ examined by Kelvin Hastie & John Maidment January 1992

Photos: PdL 2003