St Mary's Catholic Church
Cecil Street, Williamstown

B unknown, installed 1905: possibly William Anderson, using components from earlier organs
Ren and moved to side chapel 1980 Geo Fincham & Sons
1 manual, 6 speaking stops, 1 couplers, tracker action
(provision made in organ for addition of second manual)
Man: 8.8 divided.4.4.2. Ped: 16.

St Mary's Church, built entirely in bluestone, is an attractive example of the work of William Wardell (1823-1899), best known for the Catholic cathedrals in Melbourne and Sydney, St Ignatius' Catholic Church, Richmond, St Mary's Catholic Church, East St Kilda, St John's Anglican Church, Toorak and the Gothic Bank in Collins Street. Four bays of the present nave and aisles were built in 1859 to Wardell's design (just after his arrival in Australia). The spire, transepts, sanctuary, side chapels and sacristy were built in 1933 to the design of W.P. Connolly. At this time the plate tracery of the aisle windows in the nave (two-light with circular opening above) was removed. A major re-ordering was conducted around 1980 under architect Peter Staughton. The nave includes aisles and a clerestory and has one of Wardell's 'signature' wooden roofs. The sanctuary is vaulted in plaster.

The organ, almost certainly built and supplied by William Anderson from an earlier unidentified location, was placed in a rear gallery in February 1905 and moved in 1980 by George Fincham & Sons to the south chapel, at which time the action was restored. The date of construction and installation is unknown. The instrument clearly contains components from an earlier instrument, so parts could date from the mid-19th century. The lower case panels and parts of the console are of mahogany, which was rarely used in indigenous organbuilding. The fa├žade pipes are elaborately decorated with ornamental cartouches, after Pugin, embellished with MR and IHS.

Open Diap
Stop Diapason (bass)
Stop Diap TF
Flute 4

Great to Pedals
Swell to Pedals



(now labelled Sw Gedact 8)

(Fincham, formerly Salcional on this slide)


Mechanical action

3 composition pedals

Space for swell organ at console and inside organ

Notes for a Society of Organists (Victoria) visit 6 November 2007 compiled by John Maidment

The black & white shot dates from the 1970s and shows the organ in its western gallery.

Photos: JRM (Nov. 2007)

St Mary's Catholic Church, Williamstown showing the original design of the aisle windows and before the building was completed
[photograph from State Library of Victoria (before 1900)]