The Organ Society of Western Australia
Home  About us  Members  Executive  Constitution  Events  In The Pipeline  Pipe Organs in WA  Links  Contact


Perth St Mary
Perth St Mary
Perth St Mary

Perth St Mary

Perth St Mary

Perth St Mary

Perth St Mary

Perth St Mary
Up to 2006 the proposed extension works (iron bars, etc) were still visible

Perth St Marys

Perth St Mary
The crossing prior to new construction works

Name of institution The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Type of institution Church
Street Address Victoria Square
City Perth
State Western Australia
Postcode 6000
Country Australia
Name of building St. Mary's Cathedral
Name of room Church
Dates of the building 1863-1865
Architect’s and builder’s names
Special architectural features The nave of St Mary's Cathedral was commenced under Bishop Serra and Brother Ascione and opened in 1863.
The transepts and sanctuary, in a spacious Perpendicular Gothic idiom, were built in sandstone in 1925-26 to the design of Cavanagh & Cavanagh.  Michael Cavanagh had been born in Victoria in 1860, studied at the Adelaide School of Art and was studying in England 1887-88, starting his practice in Adelaide in 1891 and moving to Perth by 1898 (the year when he was elected FRIBA) where he was in partnership with his brother James Francis. 
The Cathedral was built in Gothic style, but due to Great Depression, World War II and the aftermath, no funds were available to finish it, resulting in the iron bars for grafting in the new parts of the nave were still visible until site works commenced on reconstruction in 2006.
In 1973, the central altar and lectern were added to the sanctuary and the redesigned sanctuary was consecrated on August 12.
In the early 2000's conditions of the cathedral required decisions for repair and completion of the original concept.  At the end of 2005, construction works to extend the cathedral started.
Special fittings The 1920s work includes large multi-light windows filled with colourful glass designed and executed by John Hardman and Company of Birmingham.  The sanctuary and transepts have  elaborate plaster vaulting in a Gothic idiom.  The building boasts an outstanding acoustical environment for organ music.
Other location information Wesley Church is the oldest Perth City church in its original form still being used as a place of worship, although the nave at St Mary’s Cathedral (demolished 2006/7 in readiness for new construction) would have predated it by four years.
Name of contact
Mailing Address Cathedral Presbytery: 17 Victoria Square, Perth WA 6000
Telephone 08 9223 1350
Other contact information
Date of previous organs None
Detail of previous organs
Dates when key work has been undertaken
Dates of any moves that have taken place
Variations from original design of organ
Information on previous organs
Information about comparable instruments to previous organs
Present organ
Type of installation
Case description
Placement in room
Builder's name J E Dodd
Opus number
Date of completion/installation 1910
Construction materials
Number of manuals Three (3)
Key compasses
Number of keys 61
Key material
Pedal compass
Number of pedals 30
Pedalboard type
Pedalboard material
Type of chests
Type of key action Electro-pneumatic
Type of stop action Electro-pneumatic
Couplers 12 couplers
Tremulants Swell, Choir
Console type Detached stopkey (horseshoe) console
Stop label material
General design
Playing aids
Divisions    Great, Swell, Choir, Positive, Pedal
Wind pressures
Stop list
Violone 16' A
Open Diapason 8' Dodd 1910
Melodic Diapason   8' Dodd 1910
Clarabel 8' Dodd 1910
Gamba 8' A
Gedact 8' Dodd 1910
Dulciana 8' Dodd 1910
Principal 4' Dodd 1910
Gamba 4' A
Harmonic Flute 4' Dodd 1910
Twelfth 2-2/3' A
Super Octave 2' Dodd 1910
Gamba 2' A
Gamba 1-3/5' A
Mixture   15.19.22 III
Trumpet 8' Dodd 1910 B
Tuba 8' H
Closed Horn 8' G
Clarion 4' Dodd 1910 B
Geigen Diapason 8' Dodd 1910
Hohl Flute 8' Dodd 1910
Viole d'Orchestre 8' Dodd 1910
Vox Angelica   II 8' Dodd 1910
Octave 4' Dodd 1910
Flauto Traverso 4' Dodd 1910
Super Octave 2'
Mixture   15.19.22 III Dodd 1910
Double Trumpet 16' C
Trumpet 8' C
Oboe 8'
Clarion 4' C

Lieblich Gedact 16' Dodd 1910 from Swell D
Violin Diapason 8' E
Stopped Diapason 8'
Gedact 8' Dodd 1910 from Swell D
Salicional 8' F
Octave 4' E
Flute 4' D
Salicet 4' F
Nazard 2-2/3' D
Piccolo 2' D
Tierce 1-3/5'
Closed Horn 8' G
Clarinet 8'
Trumpet 8' B
Tuba 8' H
Tuba Clarion 4' H
Major Bass 16' Dodd 1910 I
Open Diapason 16'
Violone 16' A
Subbass 16' Dodd 1910 J
Bourdon 16' Dodd 1910 D
Quint 10-2/3' J
Principal 8' Dodd 1910 I
Bass Flute 8' J
String 8' A
Salicional 8' F
Octave Quint 5-1/3' J
Super Octave 4' I
Octave Flute 4' J
Mixture IV
Ophicleide 16' Dodd 1910 H
Double Trumpet 16' C
Trumpet 8' C
Clarion 4' C

Total number of stops 65 stops
Total number of ranks 42 ranks
Total number of pipes
Dates when key work has been undertaken on current organ Built in 1910 by J. E. Dodd, Adelaide, as a 2 manual, 27 speaking stop, 5 ccoupler, tubular pneumatic instrument.  The stops were:
Gt: Sw: II.4.4.III.8.8.8. Ped:
Rebuilt and enlarged 1963 by J.E. Dodd & Sons Gunstar Organ Works, to 3 manual, 65 speaking stops.
Organ dismantled and removed from the Cathedral for rebuilding as part of the overal reconstruction of the new Cathedral in 2006 by South Island Organ Company, New Zealand.
Dates of any moves that have taken place to current organ Removed 2006
Information on current organ The organ, originally of two manuals, was built in 1910 by J.E. Dodd and was rated by former organist and noted composer Dr C. Edgar Ford as "the finest small organ in Australia", its effect complemented by the astounding acoustic.   The instrument was rebuilt and considerably enlarged in 1964 by J.E. Dodd & Sons Gunstar Organ Works, Adelaide.  New electro-pneumatic action was installed in place of the original tubular-pneumatic, a new stopkey console supplied, and the organ resited on a new gallery in the south transept behind a new case of Gothic design.  There is much borrowing and extension on the Choir and Pedal, but the overall effect of the organ is extremely impressive, with pipework of excellent quality.
Comparable instruments to current organ Its tonal design was almost identical to the organ in Wesley Church, Perth
Current status Dismantled for rebuilding in the new cathedral.
Assessment of organ
Other organs by this builder
Photographs Photograph of church prior to 2006 from Wickipedia
Photographs of organ by Pastór de Lasala, Mark Quarmby, and Bruce Duncan
Archive photographs from the Western Mail newspaper
Technical documents  Details of the organ from OHTA Conference Book 2004.
Complete specification researched by Patrick Elms
General documents Newspaper cuttings about the dedication of the organ:
Supporting information
Document control Original entries J R Elms, OAM, Gazetteer of Western Australian Pipe Organs, 1971, 1999,2003 and 2004.
This entry D B Duncan 31 December 2008.
Photograph of original organ and newspaper cuttings about the dedication of the organ from State Library of WA made available via Andrew Gardner 08 December 2010.

DGI Web Design