St Paul’s Anglican Church, Ipswich

The J.W.Walker organ was first installed on the floor of the southern (liturgical northern) transept in 1860. It was shifted to a new gallery in the opposite transept in 1974. While the original cone-pallet chests were retained, the action was electrified, the Pedalboard enlarged, and a new Choir Organ added, with the resulting specification:

GREAT                                    CHOIR

16′    Bourdon                            8′     Lieblich Gedackt(orig.Great)
8′     Open Diapason                  8′     Dulciana (orig.Great)
8′     Violin Diapason                 4′     Koppel Flute
8′     Stopped Diapason             2′     Recorder
4′     Principal                            8′     Vox Humana
4′     Chimney Flute                   8′     Oboe Schalmei
2 2/3′ Twelfth                            8′     Tuba(unenclosed)
2′     Fifteenth
II     Mixture (19.22)
8′     Trompette  SWELL           PEDAL
8′     Horn Diapason
8′     Lieblich Gedackt              16′    Open Wood
8′     Salicional                         16′    Bourdon
8′     Voix Celeste                     16′    Echo Bourdon(from Great)
4′     Gemshorn                         8′     Bass Flute
4′     Suabe Flute                      8′     Violin Cello
2′     Piccolo                             4′     Octave Flute
III    Mixture (22.26.29)            4′     Schalmei
8′     Oboe
8′     Cornopean
4′     Clarion

Swell Tremulant
Swell Sub Octave
Swell Super Octave
Swell to Great
Swell to Great Sub
Swell to Great Super
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Choir
Great to Pedal
Choir to Great
Choir to Pedal
Choir Sub Octave
Choir Super Octave
Tremulants to Swell and Choir
Great to Pedal Combinations Coupled

Combination Pistons (preset)

Great: 4 pistons
Swell: 4 pistons
Pedal: 4 pistons
Choir: 3 pistons

GREAT (new slider soundboards)

16′    Bourdon
8′     Open Diapason
8′     Violin Diapason
8′     Stopt Diapason
4′     Principal
4′     Chimney Flute
2 2/3′ Twelfth
2′     Fifteenth
1 3/5′ Seventeenth
III    Mixture
8′     Trumpet


16′ Bourdon 8′ Open Diapason 8′ Violin Diapason 8′ Stopped Diapason 4′ Principal 4′ Chimney Flute 2 2/3′ Twelfth 2′ Fifteenth II Mixture (19.22) 8′ Trompette SWELL 8′ Horn Diapason 8′ Lieblich Gedackt 8′ Salicional 8′ Voix Celeste 4′ Gemshorn 4′ Suabe Flute 2′ Piccolo III Mixture (22.26.29) 8′ Oboe 8′ Cornopean 4′ Clarion CHOIR 8′ Lieblich Gedackt(orig.Great) 8′ Dulciana (orig.Great) 4′ Koppel Flute 2′ Recorder 8′ Vox Humana 8′ Oboe Schalmei 8′ Tuba(unenclosed) PEDAL 16′ Open Wood 16′ Bourdon 16′ Echo Bourdon(from Great) 8′ Bass Flute 8′ Violin Cello 4′ Octave Flute 4′ Schalmei ACCESSORIES Swell Tremulant Swell Sub Octave Swell Super Octave Swell to Great Swell to Great Sub Swell to Great Super Swell to Pedal Swell to Choir Great to Pedal Choir to Great Choir to Pedal Choir Sub Octave Choir Super Octave Tremulants to Swell and Choir Great to Pedal Combinations Coupled

Combination Pistons (preset)

Great: 4 pistons Swell: 4 pistons Pedal: 4 pistons Choir: 3 pistons

Surface Hill Uniting Church, Gympie

This organ was built by George Benson for the home of James Lord, who was organist at Wesley Methodist Church, Brisbane.  At the same time, Benson also built the large 3-manual instument for that church.  After the death of Lord’s wife and only son in the sinking of the S.S. Quetta, the house organ was offered for sale and installed in its present site some time in 1890.

The organ was restored by Simon in 1989. It was in a very tired state. It used to cypher with any change of weather and the the tuning was erratic. It required a simple and careful restoration. The result brought the organ alive again. This is a delightful organ whose small belies the volume and tone that it produces. The specification is versatile and the action responsive.

GREAT                                 PEDAL

8′    Open Diapason               16′    Bourdon
8′    Salicional
4′    Principal                         Swell to Great
4′    Wald Flute                     Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

8′    Open Diapason
8′    Lieblich Gedact
4′    Gemshorn
8′    Oboe


St Luke’s Anglican Church,Toowoomba

Although the Norwich firm of Norman and Beard was founded in 1868, their first Australian order was not delivered until 1894. The installation of the organ in Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, Newcastle, sparked a spate of orders throughout Australasia; nevertheless, only St. Luke’s in Toowoomba, and St. John’s Anglican Cathedral remain as Queensland examples.

In 1907, the organ was delivered to local builders Whitehouse Bros. for installation in the unfinished St. Luke’s church within the first bay of the Nave pillars, where it remained until the extension of the Sanctuary and Transepts.  It was then sited on a platform above the Choir, at which time (in 1960) the action was electrified and opportunity taken to provide extra pedal stops by extension (Acoustic Bass and Quint.)

The rebuild by WJ Simon Pierce in 1995 included replacement of all worn parts, resealing of all windchests and ducting, as well as the relocation of the errant Pedal pipes which had been placed behind the Sanctuary arch.

The Trumpet stop was given by the late Dora Jackson, a longtime resident of Toowoomba.

GREAT                                         PEDAL

8′    Open Diapason No.1              32′    Acoustic Bass
8′    Open Diapason No.2              16′    Open Wood
8′    Clarabella                              16′    Bourdon
8′    Dulciana                                   8′    Principal
4′    Principal                                   8′    Bass Flute
4′    Harmonic Flute
8′    Trumpet                               Tremulant
8′    Clarinet

16′    Bourdon                            Great to Pedal
8′    Geigen Diapason                 Swell to Great
8′    Lieblich Gedact                   Swell Sub
8′    Salicional                            Swell Unison Off
8′    Voix Celeste                       Swell Super
4′    Gemshorn                           Swell Super to Great
III   Mixture                               Swell Sub to Great
8′    Cornopean                         Great Super
8′    Oboe
3 thumb pistons for each manual, as well as a General Cancel and a Full Organ (this latter also available from a toe piston).
Reversible toe pistons for Great to Pedal, Swell to Pedal and Swell to Great couplers.

St Mary’s Catholic Church, Maryborough

This excellent example of tracker action organ building was built and installed by B.B.Whitehouse & Co. in 1910.  In 1936 the church was extended southwards by turning the nave around 180 degrees and adding a large Romanesque crossing with north and south transepts, the altar being relocated to the southern wall of the building.  The organ was installed in the south transept but spoke towards the altar and hence away from the congregation. The rebuild by Simon Pierce in 1991 included turning the whole instrument to speak across the nave, thus supporting congregational singing more directly.  At this time, a Trumpet stop was installed in the prepared slide on the Great. The scaling of the Trumpet was taken from the 1915 B. B. Whitehouse organ in St Mary’s, Ipswich.

During 2000, the building was treated for a termite infestation, after which cleaning of the instrument became necessary and was undertaken by the firm in October.


 8'    Open Diapason  	
 8'    Dulciana 	
 8'    Clarabella 
 4'    Principal 	 
 4'    Flute 		 
 2'    Fifteenth 	 
 8'    Trumpet 	 


16'    Bourdon 	
 8'    Open Diapason 	
 8'    Stopped Diapason
 8'    Salicional 	
 8'    Vox Celeste 	
 4'    Gemshorn 	
 2'    Piccolo 	
 8'    Cornopean 	
 8'    Oboe 		

Swell Octave
Swell Sub

St. George’s Anglican Church, Mount Tamborine

This organ was built as a memorial to Christopher Fulcher by his family.  It was originally designed for the small wooden church which is now the hall and was built in stages over 6 years. The present delightful church was built in between times and the organ was installed just after the church’s completion.

It is a complete single-manual organ, employing simplicity to encourage its use by reluctant organists. The organ’s concept is based on English 1850’s scaling and soundboard design – that of William Hill. The suspended action and modern pallets give a light, responsive touch despite the very sudden climatic changes that can occur on the mountain.  This alteration to ethos does not detract from the overall concept.  The idea of building the organ in stages enabled the family to contemplate the project without financial strain, but is only possible when the total project is conceived as a whole.

This is the underside of one of the soundboards showing the palletbox. The soundboard has been built in the traditional English manner with “tosh” or calico covering the rear of the bars. There are two soundboards, one for the C-side and another for the C#-side, a typical setout for early large Hill soundboards.

This picture shows the standframe of the organ and the large rollerboard. The solid ebony stop knobs can be seen and the trackers that will lead to the soundboards are bunched together on the rollerboard. The suspended action makes the large rollerboard necessary.

The soundboards are now fitted to the standframe with the stop action and key action connected. The front case is now being fitted around the action. This type of design is different from modern European practice where the case is also the standframe of the organ. As the concept of this organ is based on English 1850’s style, so too is the design. The double-rise bellows are yet to be fitted. The casework is made from Tasmanian oak and is french polished.

Here the organ is starting to take shape. The pipes have been installed on the soundboard and it is playable. The pedalboard has been fitted. This pedalboard came secondhand (!) from the organ in St John’s Cathedral where Christopher Fulcher sang as a chorister. The possums on the casework are visible. There is a large window above the organ through which the unique rainforest of this area can be clearly seen, hence the possums look as if they have just come down from the canopy to have a listen.

A budding organist plays the new instrument. The builder’s son, Lachlan, gives helpful advice on key depth and touch whilst the consultant looks on…

This organ has now been completed to its original specification, the Mixture pipes being added through late 2000.  A recital by Michael Fulcher on December 23, 2000, provided a stirring conclusion to a long and drawn-out but very interesting process of building by gradual accretion!