Joint Organ Ramble to Canberra - Queens Birthday Weekend, Sunday and Monday 7th and 8th June 2009

By Geoff Lloyd (OMSS)


This ramble has been devised as a joint venture by the Organ Society of Queensland and the Organ Music Society of Sydney. An invitation is extended for full participation  by, but not limited to, friends and associated societies, including Society of Organists (Victoria), Hunter District Organ Music Society, Adelaide Organ Music Society, Wesley Music Centre (ACT) and RSCM (ACT).

 There are eight venues and nine organs included. Apologies are given for this late promulgation of details (a result of logistical problems and administrative inefficiency) but you are sure to appreciate the diversity of instruments presented. In fact, it was only whilst gleaning for this ramble that the writer realised the wealth of organs in ACT. We are only getting a sample. Might have to ramble again…hmmm…

A great vote of thanks is due to all those who have assisted with planning this ramble, particularly Jim Clinch and Peter Jewkes for their invaluable assistance with arranging the venues.

Travel to and from and accommodation in Canberra will be to own arrangements and cost. However, the suggestion is made that ramblers seek suitable premises in the Kingston area (which abounds in service apartments) or there is a huge range of everything else - from the 5 star Hyatt, through the various smaller new boutique hotels, to suburban 3 star motels (the Forrest Lodge is reputed to be good) down to backpacker places.

Meals, too, will be own arrangements. With the exception of the Sunday night meal when we will select a suitable place for a collective dinner. This will be to own cost. Details will be announced when numbers are known.

Prompt public transport in the ramble area will be problematic. However, we expect that sufficient cars will be available to transport all ramblers between venues. To this end early intimations are being called from prospective ramblers as to their transport needs. If necessary, it will be necessary to hire a suitable conveyance and the associated cost will be included in the ramble fee.

The ramble fee has not yet been determined. Basically, it will be the usual modest amount but may increase with additional costs such as provision of transport.

Writers of the final report on the ramble are required. Our previously tried and tested arrangement whereby volunteers (!) each take a separate venue or two will again be employed. So bring your pencil and paper with you. A sub-editor will be required to collate the efforts of the writers. The combined article is submitted for publication to The Sydney Organ Journal and to Organ Australia.

A ramble booklet has not yet been prepared (pleads, “shortage of staff and the limitations of time”) but, in the meanwhile, readers with internet access may care to peruse the various web sites, including those of the venues involved and for further information. Recognition must also be given to the various websites, from where a great deal of the information in this article has been drawn.

It is expected that there will be a recital/demonstration at each venue, followed by an open console period. Players are asked to limit the length of any piece they may care to play so that other players are not unduly compromised in their own playing opportunity.

Register with Geoff Lloyd as soon as possible <>


The Timetable for the Ramble

For purposes of coordination during the ramble, Geoff Lloyd may be contacted on mobile number 0419 261 218.

SUNDAY 7th June

1.  1400-1600 Llewellyn Hall, Australian National University, School of Music, off Childers St, Acton.

Allen Electronic Q-345-C+Vista. Recital by Marko Sever and talk by Jim Clinch on digital organs and to where they have evolved.

2.  1615-1730 St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, State Circle (between Sydney Ave and
 Canberra Av), Forrest.

An impressive building, good acoustic and an organ by Hill, Norman & Beard (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. in 1933, rebuilt and enlarged 1965 (HN&B) with a 1961 J. W. Walker & Sons console. Renovated 1981 (Peter Jewkes) and new replacement trumpet rank added 2005 (Peter Jewkes). 2m., 35, 9c., & el.mag., 17 rks. with extension/unification.

1745-1830 Own time for checking into accommodation, etc.

3. 1845-1930 St Christopher's Catholic Cathedral, Franklin St, Forrest (Manuka).

Hill, Norman & Beard 1968, installed 1972 and enlarged 1973. 2m., 28 (8 rks. + mixture ext.), 3c., el.mag. The largest church building in Canberra and with an acoustic in which to revel.

Joint Ramble Dinner  - at own cost (venue to be advised).

MONDAY 8th June

4. (a) 0830-0930 St Peter's Lutheran Memorial Church, Boolee and Ballumbir Sts, Reid.

E.P. Walcker & Cie., Ludwigsburg, Germany, installed 1961. 2m., 11, 3c., tr. Restoration and tonal adjustments 2009 (Gerhard Walcker-Mayer of Ludwigsberg Germany).


4. (b) 0930-0950 Coffee in St Peter's hall.

5. 1000-1100 St John the Baptist Anglican Church, Constitution Ave and Anzac Park,  Reid.

The oldest church in Canberra. Replacement organ 1980 Ronald Sharp. 2m., 16 sp. st., 3c., tr.

6. 1115-1215 Wesley Uniting Church, National Circuit, Forrest.

The pipe organ in Wesley Uniting Church built1955) is the largest and most versatile liturgical and recital instrument in the Australian Capital Territory. The original organ,   by George Fincham and Sons of Melbourne, was an extension organ of two manuals with five ranks on the swell organ and four ranks on the great organ,, from which some 30 stops were derived. Both divisions were separately enclosed. Since then, enlargement and rebuilding over time, by volunteers and such names as Welby, Stephens and Brown have resulted in today’s instrument (slightly hybrid!?) of three manuals, 61 speaking stops and 11 couplers,

7. 1230-1330 St Paul's Anglican Church, Captain Cook Drv and Canberra Ave, (Griffith) Manuka.

Hybrid organ of three manuals and pedals, 57 stops and nine couplers. Recently enlarged to four manuals on a new, terraced console.


Lunch 1330-1430 - (own cost) suggest al fresco, picnic on the lakeside, in the grounds of Duntroon (lovely lawns and the famous Changi Chapel are  right outside the Chapels of the next venue).

8. 1445-1600 St Paul’s Memorial Anzac Chapel, Royal Military College, Robert Campbell Rd, Duntroon.

Two organs, both by Hill, Norman & Beard of 1966.  Roman Catholic section - 2m. 19 (3 rks. + mixture), ext., el.mag. Anglican/Protestant section - 2m. 21 (6 rks. + mixture) ext. el.mag.

Close of ramble

What you now NEED TO DO WITHOUT DELAY if you wish to attend the ramble is advise your local contact person (ADVISE ONLY ONE CONTACT), whose details appear below, of the following information.








That contact person will forward the information on to the coordinator’s office.


Contact persons are:


AOMS, Lyndall Timmis -


HDOMS, David Evans –


OMSS Geoff Lloyd (Coordinator) – preferably email to Private phone is (02) 9476 1530 but there may be periods when this is not answered. Mobile is 0419 261 218 but this is not reliable under some circumstances. In the absence of satisfactory service from the coordinator, contact may be made with:

Godelieve Ghavalas –, telephone (02) 9871 0825.


OSQ, Denis Wayper -


RSCM (ACT), Bill Fraser –, telephone (02) 6288 8188, mobile 0417 661 353.


SOV, Kieran Crichton -, telephone 0407 816 321.


Wesley Music Centre (ACT), Garth Mansfield –, telephone (02) 6248 6230.


Further information has come to hand which may be of some help to you in planning your visit.

You are invited to contact Australian Capital Tourism <> where there is a plethora of information on accommodation, attractions etc. Bookings can be made via the website or the staff at Visitor Information Centre would be pleased to assist if people prefer speaking to someone !

There is a great general brochure on Canberra, 2009 Holiday Planner, considered their "bible". People can request a copy via website or visitor information centre (suggest if people have spare time, staying over, a visit to Visitor Information Centre on Northbourne Avenue is also a good investment in time).

Bill Nehmy is their Campaign Manager: telephone 02 6205 0663, fax 02 6205 0629.



See you there!