The Cathedral's Organ

The pipe organ was installed in 1890 and is considered one of the finest pipe organs in Australia. Manufactured by William Hill and Son of London and is the “little sister” to the Hill and Son organ in the Sydney Town Hall. Both organs were shipped to Australia and installed concurrently. The organ has 28 stops in comparison with the 127 of the Sydney Town Hall organ but the general tonal effect is of a high standard. The organ is installed in a special loft above the northern transept. The organ was the gift of Mrs. Dalglish. The total cost at the time was £1,350 ($2,700).

On completion of its installation a notable organist, Mr. T.W. Best, of Liverpool, England, gave a recital on the 23rd September, 1890. Mr. Best was brought out especially for the opening of the Sydney Town Hall organ. The organ was originally powered by hand operated bellows which can still be seen. At some stage a water-powered hydraulic ram was installed to operate the bellows, and later, an electric motor was installed.

In 1979 a modern silent electric blower was installed next to the organ in the loft. In 1970-80 the organ was completely restored by John S. Parker of Melbourne and Peter D.G. Jewkes of Sydney. He wrote “At the time of writing, the work remaining involves many adjustments of the organ’s action and re-installing the pipes. Sounds have already been heard from the gallery. Once the organ is completed a settling in period of up to twelve months is expected, after which the organ will again rank as one of the finest in Australia, and undoubtedly the best example of a large Romantic Pipe Organ still in original condition, and ideally suited to leading the worship of God in this Parish.”

Renowned organists of the Cathedral have included George McConnell, Henry F. Caspers, William F. Caspers, Edward Aubrey, Miss de Lauret,
Madam Lenebach, Frank Cowburn, Marjorie Hasler and Sister Bernadette (RSM).

Source: “The Centenary of Sts. Peter & Paul’s Cathedral, Goulburn N.S.W. 1887-1987”. Produced and edited by the late Stephen J. Tazewell and published by The Centenary Committee of Sts. Peter and Paul’s Parish, 15th May, 1987.

Listen to Pastor de Lasala play the organ.

A project of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and the Sts Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral Restoration Appeal.

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