Presbyterian Church

Denman Camp Road, Scarness, Hervey Bay


Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane 1959
1 manual, 3 speaking stops, electric action

Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]


Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2011 (last updated March 2011)


The City of Hervey Bay is located some 34 km north-east of Maryborough on the bay of the same name, which is protected from the ocean by Fraser Island. The area is a major tourist destination, and the bay is noted for its fishing. Originally one of several villages along the foreshore, Scarness is now a suburb of Hervey Bay.

As far back as 1922, Presbyterian worship was conducted in the Scarness Picture Theatre by ministers traveling from St Stephen's Church, Maryborough. A church hall was built in Freshwater Street, near the present church, in 1947, and the church that forms the centre of the present complex was opened in 1960, known for a time as St David's Presbyterian Church. The church was expanded in November 2008 with the addition of a new hall and modern foyer, with the organ still occupying its original position.1

The Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church before 2008
[Photograph by Howard Baker (1990s)]

The 1960 church within the extended church complex of 2008
[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]

The organ was built in 1959 by Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane, and installed in the new church in 1960.2 It was dedicated to the memory of Ethel Cunningham, a member of the congregation who had died in May 1957.3 All of the pipes apart from the front pipes are enclosed in the swell box, and there are no pedals.


[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]

This was one of the smallest instruments built by Whitehouse Bros. The action is direct-electric, rarely used by the firm, and possibly here for the first time. The conservative tonal design reflects the standard practice of the firm over a period of many decades. The configuration of the show-pipes also represents a standard design by the firm, and is remarkably similar to that of the organ for the Fortitude Valley Presbyterian Church, built some 37 years earlier.4

Open Diapason

Octave Coupler



No pedals
Attached stop-key console
Compass: 61 notes
Direct electric action
Balanced swell pedal.5


1 Historical details supplied by Rev John T. Roth (Minister and Moderator, Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church), March 2011.

2 Dates from Whitehouse Bros records, 1974, and builder's nameplate on the console.

3 Plaque on the console, noted by Trevor Bunning, November 2010.

4 This instrument is now located at the Uniting Church, Beaudesert.

5 Specification from Whitehouse Bros records, 1974, and noted by Trevor Bunning, November 2010.


[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (November 2010)]