Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Emu Bank, Belconnen, ACT

John Nebe, Coorparoo, Qld, c.1944
Installed with addition 1945 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church,
Fortitude Valley, Qld, Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane
1 manual, 5 speaking stops, mechanical & tubular pneumatic action
Rebuilt and re-located to rear of church 1972 H.W. Jarrott, Brisbane
1 manual, 5 speaking stops, electro-pneumatic action
Removed 1976 to Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Woden, ACT,
and 1985 to this location
Broken up 2011

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Belconnen
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (April 2006)]


Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2011, 2012 (last updated July 2012)

The organ formerly in this church was built between c.1938 and c.1944 by Mr John Nebe of Brisbane, and was located originally in his residence, cnr Fifth and Sixth Avenues, Coorparoo. This was the second of two instruments he built, installed successively in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Warren Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Mr John Nebe, playing an unidentified organ
[Photograph from: Naomi Aird, A Pictorial History …
of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Warren St. Fortitude Valley
(2004), p. 13]


The organ is reported to have been completed around 1944,1 although it was under construction for several years beforehand: Nebe procured 'organ parts' from Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane in 1938 and a 'Geigen Principal - 46 pipes' in 1939.2 In 1945, the organ was dismantled at Coorparoo by Whitehouse Bros and re-erected in the church at Fortitude Valley. At the same time, a Clarabella stop (presumably the one described later as Stopped Diapason) was added.3

The John Nebe organ at Bethlehem Lutheran Church,
Fortitude Valley, Qld (1949)
[Photograph from: Naomi Aird, A Pictorial History …
of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Warren St. Fortitude Valley
(2004), p. 86]


The instrument was rebuilt with electro-pneumatic action in 1972 by H.W. Jarrott, under the name 'Organ Services, Brisbane.'4 It was re-located at this time to the rear of the church,5 and new casework and a new console were provided. The stop nomenclature appears to have been altered so that the Clarabella 8ft (1945) became 'Stopped Diapason' and the Geigen Principal 8ft (1939) appears to have become 'Violin.' Given that only 46 pipes of the Geigen Principal were supplied, the original manual compass was presumably 58 notes.

Casework (of Australian Silky Oak) by H.W. Jarrott (1972)
lowered to floor level at this location
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (April 2006)]

With the closure of Bethlehem Church in Fortitude Valley church, the congregation was formally re-united with that of St Andrew's Lutheran Church, Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, and the organ became redundant. It was removed in 1976 to Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Woden, ACT, and then in 1985 to this location.6

The console of Australian Silky Oak,
supplied by H.W. Jarrott in 1972
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (April 2006)]

The specification, as recorded after the 1972 rebuild, was as follows:

MANUAL (enclosed)
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason


Great to Pedal
Sub Octave
Super Octave



[1945; partly Clarabella]
[gvd bass]

Electro-pneumatic action (originally tracker & tubular-pneumatic)
Balanced swell pedal
Compass: 61/30 [probably originally 58/30].7

The instrument was broken up early in 2011, and the pipework has been purchased by Trevor Bunning.8

Top end of the Open Diapason 8ft (partly Geigen Principal)
These pipes together with the façade pipes would have comprised 61 notes
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (July 2012)

Violin 8ft (formerly Geigen Principal?)
[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (July 2012)

Metal Flute 4ft (partly harmonic)
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (July 2012)

Stopped Diapason & Clarabella 8ft
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (July 2012)


1 Date noted by Ian Tucker, presumably through personal communications from Whitehouse Bros and/or Bethlehem Lutheran Church, c.1970.

2 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p. 478.

3 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1940-1954), p. 346.

4 Personal communication to G. Cox from H.W. Jarrott, c.1974.

5 Naomi Aird, A Pictorial History & my memories of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Warren St. Fortitude Valley (2004), p. 138.

6 Personal communications to G. Cox from Pastor Noel C. Schultz, January 1976, and from J. R. Maidment, c.1976 and c.1985.

7 Specification noted by G. Cox, September 1974, and Trevor Bunning, c.2006.

8 Personal communication from Trevor Bunning, July 2012.