St Paul's Anglican Church

Cnr Corundum & High Streets, Stanthorpe

Walter Emerson, Toowoomba, c.1955-64 for his residence in Holberton Street, Toowoomba
Installed in present location 1964 Walter Emerson, Toowoomba
2 manuals, 11 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action
Electrified with pedal additions 1984 Walter Emerson, Toowoomba
Restored 2002 Ian D. Brown & Associates, Ballina
2 manuals, 13 speaking stops, electro-pneumatic action


St Paul's Anglican Church, Stanthorpe
[Photograph by Howard Baker (1990s)]


Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2011, 2013 (last updated June 2013)

The Anglican parish of St Paul's in Stanthorpe dates from the early 1870s. A bark hut served as a temporary church in 1872, and a timber church building was erected in 1873. The present brick church dates from 1959.1


St Paul's Church of England, Stanthorpe, c.1873
[Photograph: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland]

The organ in this church was built by Walter Emerson, an organist and amateur organbuilder of Toowoomba. It was the first of several organs that Emerson built in the Toowoomba region between the mid 1950s and his death in 1986, and was intended originally as a practice organ for his residence in Holberton Street, Toowoomba. Because of the different contruction methods of the Swell and Great windchests, Ian Brown has commented that it possibly began life as a single-manual organ,2 but it may also have incorporated a second-hand windchest. The construction of the instrument commenced around 1955-56, but it reportedly proved too loud for the newly added room at his residence, and was sold to St Paul's Church in 1964.3

Walter Emerson at the organ in his Toowoomba residence,
13 October 1964, before the organ was moved to Stanthorpe
[Photograph supplied by Phillip Gearing]

The organ originally employed tubular-pneumatic action. Three of the ranks (Dulciana 8ft, Principal 4ft & Oboe 8ft) came from the mid nineteenth-century English instrument that Emerson and Jarrott had dismantled and removed from St Paul's Anglican Church, East Brisbane, in the mid 1950s.4


Case and pipework of the Emerson organ, 13 October 1964
[Photographs supplied by Phillip Gearing]

The action of the organ was electrified by Emerson in 1984,5 and it was presumably at this time that two additional pedal stops were added, extended from the existing Bass Flute 8ft. The mechanism to the front pipes, however, remained tubular-pneumatic. It was not until 2002 that the windchest was converted fully to electric action by Ian D. Brown & Associates of Ballina, who simultaneously undertook general restoration and revoicing.6


The organ in St Paul's Anglican Church, Stanthorpe
[Photographs by Howard Baker (1990s)]


Open Diapason
Dulciana [gvd bass]

Violin Diapason
Oboe [Ten.C]

Bass Flute
Octave Flute

Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell Super to Great
Swell Sub to Great
Swell Super





[1850, from St Paul's, East Brisbane]
[1850, from St Paul's, East Brisbane]

[1850, from St Paul's, East Brisbane]


Tremulant (general)
Detached stop-key console
Balanced swell pedal
Electro-pneumatic action (formerly tubular pneumatic)
Compass: 61/30.7


The console at St Paul's, Stanthorpe
[Photograph by Howard Baker (1990s)]


1 Glenda Murrell, Anglican Records and Archive Centre Guide to Records (DioceseofBrisbaneWeb, 2001) - accessed January 2004.

2 The Sydney Organ Journal, vol. 39, no. 2 (Autumn 2008), p. 33.

3 Personal communication to G. Cox from Leslie W. Rub, May 2003.

4 Personal communications to G. Cox from H.W. Jarrott, January 1973, and Walter Emerson, February 1974.

5 Personal communication to G. Cox from Leslie W. Rub, March 1987.

6 The Sydney Organ Journal, vol. 33, no. 4 (Spring 2002), p. 46; The Organ Voice, vol. 27, no. 3 (September 2001), p. 25.

7 Specification noted by Phillip Gearing, 1994, incorporating details from original specification supplied to G. Cox by Walter Emerson, 1974. The Swell Flautina was originally named 'Piccolo' and the Swell Gedact originally 'Lieblich Gedact.' The specification published in The Organ Voice, vol. 30, no. 2 (June 2003), p. 20 was based on details supplied to G. Cox from memory by Walter Emerson in 1974, and is not correct.