St Paul's Presbyterian Church
Faulkner Street, Armidale

Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane, 1929
2 manuals, 11 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action

St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Armidale
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (September 2007)]

Historical and Technical Documentation by Kelvin Hastie and Pastór de Lasala
© OHTA 1998, 2013, 2014 (last updated December 2014)

The first minister who settled in the northern district was The Revd John Morrison who apparently went to Armidale about the year 1850. On 30 April 1882 a handsome church, still an ornament to the town, was dedicated in Armidale. The devotion and loyalty of the people is well illustrated by the large number of memorial gifts which beautify the church and add to its amenities. The church is particularly rich in this respect with no fewer than 25 of them listed. Outstanding are the pulpit in memory of Mr Kenneth Finlayson, and the pipe organ in memory of Mr Alexander Richardson. Other memorials include stained glass windows and various articles of furniture.1

The organ was installed by Whitehouse Bros in 1929.2 In the stoplist that follows, there was provision at the console for five extra stops for which there is neither any internal preparation nor space.3

The 1929 Whitehouse Bros organ
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (September 2007)]

Leaving aside the five stops 'prepared for' at the console, the specification is identical with that at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Inverell, two years earlier. The casework is also very similar, although the central flat is wider here than at Inverell.4

During a cleaning and overhaul of the organ in March 2014 by Peter D.G. Jewkes Pty Ltd of Sydney, the metal pipework, all made originally by Alfred Palmer & Sons of London, was found to be in excellent condition. The bottom six notes of the Oboe 8ft, which had suffered badly over the years due to poor staying and lack of support, were sent for repair to Tim Gilley in Melbourne. The console coupler diaphragms, individually made from gut-skin, were replaced using components supplied by Aug. Laukhuff of Germany, who had supplied them originally.5

Pipework of the Swell Organ
[Photograph by Rodney Ford (March 2014)]

Open Diapason Nr I
[Open Diapason Nr II]
Stop Diapason
Lieblich Flute

Violin Diapason
Lieblich Gedact
[Voix Celeste]

[Open Diapason]
Bass Flute

Swell Sub Octave to Great
Swell to Great
Swell Octave to Great
Swell Octave
Swell Sub Octave
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal









Swell Tremulant
Tubular-pneumatic action
Compass: 61/30
2 thumb pistons and cancel to Great
2 thumb pistons and cancel to Swell
Balanced swell pedal.6

* = ranks prepared for at the console, but no internal space available for them.

[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (September 2007)]

1 C.A. White, The Challenge of the Years: A History of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in the State of New South Wales (Angus and Robertson, 1951), pp. 368-369.

2 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p. 444, cited by Geoffrey Cox, February 2013.

3 Personal communication to Pastór de Lasala from Peter D.G. Jewkes, June 1998.

4 Observation by Geoffrey Cox, February 2013.

5 Personal communication to Geoffrey Cox and John Maidment from Rodney Ford, March 2014. See also: The Sydney Organ Journal, vol. 45, no. 4 (Spring 2014), pp. 48-49 & Organ Australia (Summer 2014-2015), p. 35.

6 Specification supplied by Robert Wallace to John Maidment, 29 January 1971, corrected against photographs by Trevor Bunning, September 2007.