All Saints' Anglican Church

Corner Blanche & Milne Terraces, Moonta

Built c. 1882-84 by J.J. Broad
2 manuals, 9 speaking stops, 3 couplers, mechanical and tubular-pneumatic action

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: exterior
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (2 October 2013)]

Historical and Technical Documentation by David Shield
© OHTA 2013 (last updated September 2013)

Prior to being erected in All Saints, this organ had a somewhat chequered career. Its exact provenance is ill-defined. Although there is no builder's nameplate to be found on the instrument, it is attributable to John James Broad. For a time Broad was a parishioner of the church and sang in the choir. It is unclear exactly when the organ was constructed or how it was acquired by the church. Built as a speculative venture there is much confusion as to its movements. What is known is that Robert Mackenzie provided some input, it was entered in the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition of 1887, was placed in the Victoria Hall of the YMCA, removed, and eventually found its way to All Saints where it was opened in July 1890. It is significant for being one of only three remaining examples of this builder, the others being at Moonta Mines and Christ Church, Kapunda.

Adelaide: YMCA Victoria Hall c.1889 showing the Broad organ
[from the collection of David Shield]

It is not clear when the organ at All Saints' was constructed. It may be reasonably concluded that it was one of two constructed between October 1881 and April 1883. It is also likely that J.J. Broad employed Robert Mackenzie whose input to both instruments was considerable.1 Neither organ attracted a sale. The organ now at All Saints' remained in Broad's Hanson Street shop, the other went to Moonta with the hope it could be sold to one of the churches in the district.2

The Jubilee Exhibition of June 1887 was the signal for all firms to produce their best work and get official approval for it. In July the previous year, advertisements had appeared in the Press both locally and interstate, for organbuilders to "submit proposals for the erection of an organ at the Exhibition"3. Broad responded, and it was announced in the Press that:

An organ is being erected in Court No. 8 of the western annexe by Messrs. James Broad & Co., organ manufacturers, of Hanson-street. The instrument is a good specimen of purely colonial workmanship. It is a small organ of fourteen stops, and for power therefore cannot compare with, the organ in the main building, but it should be a valuable acquisition to the annexe and the whole Exhibition.4

The Jubilee Exhibition closed in January of 1888. With the Exhibition organ not attracting a buyer, it would appear it returned to the shop where times were hard. Nine months later saw the partnership of James Broad and Co dissolved and clearing sales held. Adam Adamson jun. the trustee of the assigned estate charged with the closure, had difficulty divesting the organ in Adelaide, and it seems the Bank of Adelaide acquired the instrument, as a lien on moneys owed.

The exhibition organ was offered to the YMCA in August of 1889 and accepted. According to Naylor,5 Mr Virgo the secretary of the YMCA called on Fincham & Hobday to see what price they would charge to erect it. Broad apparently wanted £25, but J.E. Dodd, for Fincham & Hobday, is said to have quoted between £12 and £15. Quite why the lower quote was not accepted is unknown but Dodd reported in a letter to Arthur Hobday in Melbourne that Broad had erected the organ in the YMCA and, though it had been passed by a professional piano tuner, Mr Stevens had condemned it as unfit for use.

Nevertheless the Press and the YMCA were initially impressed:

The appearance of the Victoria Hall has been greatly improved by the erection of an organ at the rear of the platform. The instrument, which is the one formerly shown in the western annexe of the Jubilee Exhibition, was manufactured by the firm of Messrs. Broad and Son, of Pulteney-street, and has been lent to the Y.M.C.A. by the Bank of Adelaide for twelve months. The instrument will be formally "opened" in a few weeks at a grand concert, in which many of the leading vocalists of the city will take part.6

The concert was to be under the direction of Mr C.J. Stevens and a cantata with a choir of 200 voices was being prepared for the opening on 27 August.7 Perhaps as presentiment it was also reported that:

although the organ was not yet in tune, the notes gave promise of considerable mellowness sweetness and power. The casework was handsomely gilded and coloured.8

The concert was not reported in the Press and it would seem did not occur. The organ's stay at the YMCA was brief.

In Dodd's opinion there was not one stop in the whole organ that was properly regulated voiced or tuned. Apparently water had been coming in on the organ, and when Mr Virgo, the secretary of the YMCA asked Dodd to maintain it for 12 months, Dodd examined the instrument and suggested that Virgo ask Broad to put it in order first. The suggestion was quite wilful because Dodd knew that the Broads were not able to do this, and both Professor Ives and Mr Chinner, organist of Pirie Street, had advised him not to have anything to do with it. A further letter from Dodd to Hobday said that Broad had not been able to make anything of the YMCA organ and that Mr Virgo had asked him to cart it away.9 While it is not known when it was removed or where it was stored, Edwin Broad offered the organ to Unley Methodist Church for a second time in October. For a second time the offer was declined.10

J.J. Broad's younger brothers Alfred Scott (artist and cyclist) and Frederick Scott (photographer and insurance salesman) lived in Moonta where the firm had established a book and music shop. The falling out with his father probably led J.J. Broad to return to Moonta with the family, bringing the organ with him. Rather than join with the Methodists of his upbringing, he worshipped in the Anglican church of All Saints.11 Of the 16 churches to be found on and around the mining tenements in 1899, there were only two that were not of Methodist persuasion, the Anglican, and St Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Robert Street. A Baptist chapel had opened in 1866 but foundered.12

The current Anglican church replaced a smaller one in Ryan Street. The laying of the foundation stone by Governor Musgrave in 1873 was dampened by a storm but a full description of the proposed church provided by the architect Mr Thomas Jones duly appeared in the Press:

The design is in the early English transition style, and was proposed to consist of nave, transept, chancel, and tower, but it has been decided to omit for the present the two latter. The internal dimensions of the building will be— nave, 72 feet 6 inches by 22 feet 6 inches, and transept, 22 feet 6 inches by 12 feet. The height from the floor to the ridge will be 36 feet. The church will contain sitting room for about 400 persons. The roof will be open, with stained and varnished timbers. There will be three two-light windows on either side of the nave, a triple-light window at each end of the transept, and similar lights at the end of the nave and chancel. The string course connecting the labels over the windows will have mouldings in character with the style of building. The architectural details are simple, plain, and remarkably neat, and in perfect harmony with the general design. The material to be employed is limestone, with freestone quoins up to the base and bricks for the remainder of the quoins and dressings. The structure will be deeply buttressed all round. The contract of Messrs. Maddern & Priestly has been accepted for the stonework, the amount being £680 16s. 8d.; for the carpenters' plumbers', painters', and slaters' work the tender of Messrs. Hague & Lake has been accepted at £645.13

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: organ
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (2 October 2013)]

The organ was installed in June 1890. Broad had it ready for use by 17 July with the opening service set for eight days later. The Revd S.S. Moncrieff officiated at this service with an address entitled "Music and Worship". Mr Frederick Bourne conducted the choir and the organists were Miss M. Lutze and Miss F. Wyatt. The organ when new had been advertised for £450 but was offered to All Saints for £212/14/6.14 The church balance sheet, however, gives the cost of the organ as £130 with carriage costs of £16 and an erection costing of £35.16.15 During the following year "organ festivals" were held to raise money for an hydraulic engine, which was duly attached.16

By 1901 Broad was again living in Adelaide and the organ was giving trouble. Correspondence in 1898 with Dr J.H. Drummond, warden and lay reader at All Saints, by J.E. Dodd speaks of alterations to the organ and help offered with the maintenance of the instrument with the proviso that there was to be no connection with Mr Broad. One further letter in 1900 to Frederick Bourne, the choirmaster, also speaks of improving the Broad organ. When discussing a tuning visit with Dr A.R. Clayton in June 1912, Dodd indicated that as long as the organ's condition had not deteriorated as it had in 1904, when the organ had to be "practically speaking remade", it would be a minimal cost. Unfortunately the details of this correspondence has to be inferred as the original source material is now missing and currently unavailable for research.17

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: console
[Photograph by John Maidment (2 October 2013)]

The organ appears to be little changed from the work undertaken by J.E. Dodd in 1904. Tubular-pneumatic action was provided for the Pedal Bourdon at some stage and the stop labels have been replaced together with the introduction of tuning slides. An electric blower replaced the hydraulic engine in 1940. Maintenance beyond tuning has been undertaken by L.S. Waters in 1964 and George Stephens in 1991.

Open Diapason
Swell to Great


Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal




gvd bass


Compass 56/30
Mechanical manual and stop action; tubular-pneumatic pedal action
Balanced swell pedal (not original)
Attached drawknob console


1 Register Sat 7/11/1885 p.4

2 Yorke Peninsula Advertiser 8/6/1888 2.4

3 Register Thurs 8/7/1886 p.2; F&H Letters, Fincham to Hobday 5/39 28 July1886

4 Register Fri 29/7/1887 p.7. Fincham & Hobday provided the organ in the main building for the use of the Exhibition, then to be placed in Archer Street Methodist Church in North Adelaide.

5 Naylor, B.A., Organ Building in South Australia (unpublished thesis M Mus University of Adelaide 1973) vol. 1 referring to Dodd Letter Book 1888-1898 p.78

6 Advertiser Fri 9/8/1889 p.4; my emphasis.

7 Register Sat 17/7/89 5d; Advertiser Saturday Aug 17 1889 4.5.

8 Christian Colonist 16/8/1889 3c

9 Naylor, B.A., op.cit., vol. 1 pp.287-9 referring to Dodd Letter Book 1881-1898 pp. 91, 93-4.

10 Goldney D.V., Methodism in Unley 1849-1977, p.75; Unley Wesleyan Church Trust Minutes 19/5/1884, 14/10/1889

11 Five names are inscribed on a church membership roll dated April 1890: John J. Broad, E. Broad, Alf Scott Broad, [brother] George P. Broad, and Edwin J. Broad [sons]. No mention is made of F. Scott in the church records. George Percival (1878-1891) died in Moonta and his parents are buried with him. Edwin James (1880-1960) died at Hindmarsh aged 80.

12 Advertiser 25/5/1899 p.6; repeated in Chronicle 3/6/1899 p.19; also Pryor O., Australia's Little Cornwall 1962 p.104

13 Register 13/9/1873 p.6

14 Church pamphlet All Saints' Moonta 1874-1984 p.12; also Stiller, J. All Saints' Anglican Church Moonta S.A., Documentation of Pipe organ Built by J J Broad 1885 Installed 1890 Investigated 9th January 1980 

15 Balance Sheet for All Saints Moonta Year ending 31 March 1891

16 Balance Sheet for All Saints Moonta Year ending 31 March 1892

17 The information comes from an index compiled from the original letter books of J.E. Dodd for the purpose of B.A. Naylor's Masters research, op.cit. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: detail of the pipe decoration
[Photograph by John Maidment (2 October 2013)]

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: left hand stop jamb showing the later stop labels
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (2 October 2013)]

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: right hand stop jamb showing the later stop labels
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (2 October 2013)]

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: Great and Pedal pipework
[Photograph by John Maidment (2 October 2013)]

All Saints' Anglican Church, Moonta: action detail
[Photograph by John Maidment (2 October 2013)]