St Andrew's Presbyterian Church

Stratheden Street, Kyogle

Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane, 1952
Addition 1956 Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane
1 manual, 4 speaking stops, 3 couplers, tubular-pneumatic action


St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kyogle
[Photograph by Paul Snoeij (2004),
formerly at]


Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2014, 2018 (last updated March 2018)

Situated close to the Queensland border on the upper reaches of the Richmond River, and with dense rainforests in the surrounding ranges, Kyogle was founded in the 1830s as a lumber camp. Cattle grazing, dairy farming and Forestry are the primary industries. The opening of a butter factory in 1905 and the arrival of the railway from Casino in 1910 spurred on the establishment of the town.

The Presbyterian congregation in Kyogle dates from 1903, when a timber church was opened.1 The foundation stone of the present brick church was laid by the Moderator, the Right Reverend Norman McGhie, on Friday 3 March 1939.2 The church was opened and dedicated on Saturday 2 December 1939.3

The Whitehouse Bros organ
[Photograph of organ for sale, from Gumtree (March 2018),
noted by Dr Thomas Campbell, Murwillumbah]

The pipe organ was built by Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane in 1952. The relevant Ledger entry reads as follows:

Apr 3

Building new
pipe organ for
St Andrew's Pres
Ch Kyogle, as per
spec dated 23/12/1947
F.O.R. Bris

£989 17
Time, transport
& general expen's
installing organ

£1,128 12 6.4

The above entry for St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kyogle, appears on the same page and immediately above that for the Ursuline Convent, Armidale in the Whitehouse Bros Ledger. The two organs were obviously very similar, the main difference initially being that the specification at Kyogle included a Violin Diapason 8ft, whereas the Armidale instrument had a Stop Diapason 8ft. A Pedal Bourdon 16ft and Great to Pedal coupler (and presumably the pedalboard itself) were added at Kyogle in September 1956 at a cost of $84.5

The Kyogle specification was:

Violin Diapason


Sub Octave
Super Octave
Great to Pedal





Tubular-pneumatic action.6

Console of the Whitehouse Bros organ
[Photograph of organ for sale, from Gumtree (March 2018),
noted by Dr Thomas Campbell, Murwillumbah]

Although the Whitehouse firm had been building organs with electro-pneumatic action from the 1930s onwards, they continued to use pneumatic action as late as 1957, when they built a similarly small instrument at St Finbar's Catholic Church, Ashgrove. There is a slightly larger one-manual pneumatic-action Whitehouse Bros organ at St Anne's Anglican Church, Gresford, built in 1954. These instruments of the 1950s were possibly the last in Australia (or anywhere) built with tubular-pneumatic action.

The Kyogle instrument has been listed for sale early in 2018 on Gumtree, presumably surplus to requirements.7


1 The Richmond River Express and Tweed Advertiser (25 December 1903), p. 5.

2 The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1939), p. 7.

3 Microform of illustrated booklet, held in National Library of Australia, Canberra,

4 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1940-1954), p. 234. The final payment appears not to have been made until May 1954.

5 Whitehouse Bros List.

6 Specification supplied to John Maidment by W.H. McKelvie, Wyrallah, NSW, June 1974.

7 Observation by Dr Thomas Campbell of Murwillumbah, March 2018.