St David's Presbyterian Church

Mary Street, Mount Lofty

John Hamer-Howorth, Toowoomba, 1977
1 manual, 6 speaking stops, mechanical & tubular-pneumatic action
Removed 2005

[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (November 2011)]

Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2012 (last updated June 2012)

The organ that was formerly in this church was built in 1977 by John Hamer-Howorth, who had retired in Toowoomba.1 It was the last of three single-manual tracker-action instruments built by Hamer-Howorth in Queensland, the earlier ones being at St Andrew's Anglican Church, Caloundra (1967-73) and St Alban's Anglican Church, Auchenflower (1971-72).

John Hamer-Howorth (1913-1988) was an Anglican priest, and formerly a stained-glass artist in England for twenty years. He had worked for a year as a draftsman at Henry Willis & Sons, London.2 His final organ was at St John's College, Morpeth, NSW, in 1983.3

Typical of Hamer-Howorth's work, the instrument was built using second-hand pipework, with some use of divided stops (bass & treble) on the single manual. All of the manual pipework other than the Open Diapason was enclosed. Tubular-pneumatic action was used for the Open Diapason.

Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason Bass
Stopped Diapason Treble
Fifteenth Treble
Fifteenth Bass


Manual to Pedal
Super Octave
Sub Octave





} compass divided at middle c/c#


Tracker action (& tubular-pneumatic)
Compass: 61/30.4


The instrument was removed and discarded in 2005. The speaker box of the present electronic organ is believed to have been made from remnants of the pipe organ.5


Interior of St David's Presbyterian Church
[Photographs by David Vann (June 2012)]


1 Undated newspaper clipping from The Toowoomba Chronicle (c.1977), and privately printed pamphlet on 'The Organ' and 'The Craftsman - Rev. John Hamer-Howorth,' supplied by Phillip Gearing, 2003.

2 Personal communication to G. Cox from John Hamer-Howorth, December 1972.

3 The Sydney Organ Journal, vol. 14, no. 4 (August-September 1983), pp. 24-27; Obituary in Organ Society of Queensland Newsletter, vol. 16, no. 4 (February 1989), p. 29.

4 Specification noted by G. Cox, February 1987; Compass details supplied by Phillip Gearing, May 2003.

5 Personal communication to David Vann from Rev. Andrew Clarke, June 2012.