St Barnabas' Anglican Church

cnr. William & Macquarie Streets, East Roseville

(also now known as Roseville East and formerly Chatswood and Chatswood East)

Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane, 1931
2 manuals, 7 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action
Rebuilt and enlarged 1962 H. Goris (of B. Pels & Zoon, Alkmaar, Holland)
2 manuals, 16 speaking stops, 8 couplers, tubular-pneumatic action
Electrified with changes 1976 Pitchford & Garside, Sydney
2 manuals, 17 speaking stops, 8 couplers, electro-pneumatic action

 



St Barnabas' Anglican Church, Roseville, in 1972
[Courtesy of Willoughby City Library Services, no. 000209]

 

Historical and Technical Documentation by Kelvin Hastie
© OHTA 2008, 2014 (last updated May 2014)1

 

The Anglican Parish of St Barnabas, East Roseville, was planted from St Paul's, Chatswood, in 1916, and the present church building was opened and dedicated on 30 September 1928.2

The tender for a pipe organ, to be built by Messrs Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane, was accepted on 12 June 1930, and a Violin Diapason stop was added by tender on 18 August 1930. The relevant Whitehouse Bros ledger entry reads as follows:

St Barnabas' Church, Chatswood, N.S.W.

1930

1 New Pipe Organ
as per tender accep
  £675 - -

  12/6/30 £700  
  Less allowance
for front case
£ 25

 
    ____
£675
 
1931
Mar 25



Supplying installing
Violin Diapason
Tenor C to top C
as per tender accep
Aug 18th 1930.3
  £ 52 - -




       

 

The organ was dedicated on 8 April 1931 with a recital by Arnold R. Mote, who had returned to Sydney in 1914 as organist of the Central Methodist Mission:4

The new pipe organ at St Barnabas' Chatswood will be dedicated on Wednesday evening next by Archdeacon Davies. Mr Arnold Mote will give a recital and he will be assisted by Miss Olive Wren and the choir. The organ was built by Messrs Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane.5

Mr C. Sauer was appointed Choirmaster and Musical Director of St Barnabas' in May 1932,6 and an anthem composed by him, "The Lord is My Light" (Psalm 27), was performed at the fourth anniversary of the opening of the church in September that year.7

The Whitehouse organ retains all its original stops, but these have been overshadowed by later additions. Here, an incomplete 'octopod' Romantic instrument (1931), was totally transformed in 1962 by enlargements in a Neo-classical style. The pamphlet provided at the service of dedication describes the process adopted:

The organ at St Barnabas' was built by the well-known Brisbane organbuilders, Whitehouse Bros., about 30 years ago but, due to shortage of funds, was not completed at that time.

It is a two-manual instrument with full pedal board, and the action throughout is tubular-pneumatic.

The specification below indicates the pipework originally installed by Whitehouse Bros. and of this, the metal ranks are of English origin while the wooden ranks were made in the Brisbane workshops of Whitehouse Bros., together with the windchests, ducting, swell box, etc. Fortunately the quality of the original organ was good and left no doubt as to the wisdom of spending quite a substantial sum on the work of renovating and completing the instrument.

The task of renovation and completion was entrusted to Mr H. Goris, who is the Australian representative of Firma B. Pels, of Alkmaar, Holland - a large firm of organbuilders. Mr Goris, in consultation with the church officers, went to great pains to work out a plan of completion which has resulted in a fine instrument well suited for its purpose and for the size of the building.8

The specification of the organ after the Goris rebuild was as follows (note that the original seven Whitehouse stops are marked with an asterisk - all other pipework came from Pels):9

GREAT
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Dulciana
Principal
Koppel Flute
Block Flute
Mixture

SWELL
Violin Diapason
Lieblich Gedact
Echo Gamba
Gemshorn
Nazard
Oboe
Trumpet
Tremulant

PEDAL
Bourdon
Bass Flute

COUPLERS
Swell Suboctave
Swell Superoctave
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell Sub to Great
Swell Super to Great
Great Superoctave

8
8
8
4
4
2
III-IV


8
8
8
4
2-2/3
8
8



16
8











*

*






*
*
*


*




A *
A










 

It is interesting to note that H. Goris, referred to above, was in Australia to erect a three-manual B. Pels & Zoon organ in St John's Presbyterian Church, Wahroonga, installed in 1961. The East Roseville organ was electrified in 1976 by Pitchford & Garside, who made a number of changes to the specification, including the removal of the Great Mixture and its replacement by a second 2-foot stop, installation of a Mixture II in the Swell in place of the Nazard 2-2/3, and the extension of the Pedal stop to 4ft pitch.10

The current specification is:

GREAT
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Dulciana
Principal
Koppel Flute
Block Flute
Fifteenth

SWELL
Violin Diapason
Lieblich Gedact
Echo Gamba
Gemshorn
Mixture
Oboe
Trumpet
Tremulant

PEDAL
Bourdon
Bass Flute
Flute

COUPLERS
Swell Suboctave
Swell Superoctave
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell Sub to Great
Swell Super to Great
Great Superoctave

8
8
8
4
4
2
2


8
8
8
4
II
8
8



16
8
4











*

*



1976


*
*
*

1976
*




A *
A
A 1976










 

______________________________________________________________________________________

1 Much of the material presented here was first published as: Kelvin Hastie, 'Whitehouse in New South Wales: What Survives?' OHTA News, vol. 32, no. 2 (April 2008), pp. 15-22.

2 The Sydney Morning Herald (1 October 1928), p. 5.

3 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p. 574.

4 John Henderson, A Directory of Composers for Organ, 2nd edn (Swindon, Wilts [privately published], 1999), p. 419.

5 The Sydney Morning Herald (4 April 1931), p. 3.

6 The Sydney Morning Herald (26 May 1932), p. 4.

7 The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1932), p. 7.

8 'St Barnabas' Church of England, Roseville East. Service of Dedication of Completed Organ by The Right Rev. M.L. Loane, MA, DD, Bishop Coadjutor of Sydney, Sunday 11 November, 1962 at 3pm.' Copy of service and recital programme provided by Peter Meyer, October 2007.

9 Loc. cit.

10 Information supplied by Stuart Garside, July 1997.