Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church

Nicholson Street, Brunswick

Built 1920s Richard de Vries incorporating parts and pipework from an earlier single manual instrument
Removed 1971 W.S. Glasson; parts used elsewhere
2 manuals, 12 speaking stops, 5 couplers, mechanical and electro-pneumatic action

Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Brunswick - exterior
(photograph from Wikimedia Commons)

Historical and Technical Documentation by John Maidment
© OHTA, February 2022

The foundation stone of the church of Our Lady Help of Christians was laid on 10 December 1916 by Co-adjutor Archbishop Daniel Mannix.1 The building was blessed and opened on 18 May 1918; the architect and builder was Robert Harper.2 It was constructed in red brick with stucco dressings in the Romanesque style. The lofty tower to the left of the main façade is crowned by a statue of Our Lady.

Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Brunswick – left-hand organ case
(photograph by W.G.S. Smith [1971])

The organ was built by the church organist Richard de Vries in the 1920s. It incorporated some pipework from an orchestrion formerly installed in a shop at Williamstown and structure from an earlier single manual mechanical action instrument. The organ was divided on either side of the rear gallery, the Swell Organ, with mechanical action, slider windchest and stopkey console located on the left hand side, and the Great Organ, with electro-pneumatic action, and a sliderless windchest, on the right hand side. The Pedal Organ and stop action were tubular-pneumatic and the manual to pedal coupling action mechanical.

Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Harmonic Flute
Manual coupler


wood, with metal feet


Open Diapason
Lieblich Gedackt
Viol d’Orchestre
Super octave


unenclosed, placed in front of shutters
wood, with metal feet
spotted metal with zinc bass
wood, mouths with freins harmonique
spotted metal

Bass Flute
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal


A - on pneumatic action
A - on pneumatic action


Compass: 58/30
Lever swell pedal
Attached stopkey console
2 h.p. Sturtevant blower and generator placed in crypt3

Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Brunswick – console
(photograph by W.G.S. Smith [1971])

The organ was removed in late 1971 by W.S. Glasson and parts used elsewhere. It was replaced with a Baldwin electronic instrument.

1 The Advocate, 16 December 1916, p.24

2 Tribune, 23 May 1918, p.2

3 Details noted by John Maidment 1967 including a meeting with R. de Vries and 1971