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St. George's Cathedral, Perth

Perth St George
St George's Cathedral in Perth, from corner Irwin and Murray Streets, circa 1890

St George's Cathedral
The Hill organ circa 1920

Perth St George
The Hill organ circa 1940

Perth St George
The 1958/59 J W Walker rebuild

Perth St George

Name of institution St. George's Cathedral
Type of institution Church
Street Address St. George's Terrace
City Perth
State Western Australia
Postcode 6000
Country Australia
Name of building St. George's Cathedral
Name of room Church
Dates of the building 1887
Architect’s and builder’s names Sydney architect Edmund Blacket.
Special architectural features St George's Cathedral is a neo-Gothic brick building.  Instead of the spire originally planned, the church has a crenellated clock tower built in 1902 in memory of Queen Victoria, who had died in the previous year. At the corner of Pier Street and St George's Terrace is the Deanery (1859).
Special fittings There is a plaque in memory of twelve former choristers who died in the Great War.  It records that the Lieblick Gedacht stop on the Great organ was given in memory of these twelve, and that it was dedicated on Anzac Day 1931.  An informative article about these choristers was written by Andrew Gardner.
Other location information St George's Cathedral is the principal Anglican church in the city of Perth, Western Australia and the mother-church of the Anglican Diocese of Perth. It is located in St George's Terrace in the centre of the city.
Built in 1888 the cathedral replaced an earlier building immediately to the north-east of the present one. The cathedral is described as Gothic Revival and is made from local handmade clay bricks from Queen's Gardens and Victorian blue stone pillars on footings of Fremantle limestone. It was designed by Sydney architect Edmund Blacket. The site is near to the location of the "Rush Church" - the first church built in Perth, by Frederick Irwin, in December 1829 a few months after the city was founded.

Its castellated bell tower was damaged in the 1968 Meckering earthquake. In 2005-2008 the cathedral was extensively restored with the tile roof replaced by slates as originally built. Earthquake protection was added to two walls to provide bracing and much other work was undertaken. Plans are currently underway to restore and develop other buildings in the complex, including the Burt Hall and the 1859 Deanery building, which adjoins the cathedral, on the corner of Pier Street.
Name of contact
Mailing Address
Other contact information
Previous organ(s)
Date of previous organ None
Detail of previous organ
Dates when key work has been undertaken
Dates of any moves that have taken place
Variations from original design of organ
Information on previous organ
Information about comparable instruments to previous organ
Present organ
Type of installation Platform
Case description Pitch pine diapered case
Placement in room Right transept
Builder's name Hill and Son, London
Opus number 1854 (ordered through J. McDonald & Co.)
Packing & delivery £500   5% [commission?] (nett cash)
order dated 29.1.75 – payable at completion at works
Date of completion/installation 1874-75

Original specification:
Open Diapason 8'
Stopped Diapason 8'
Dulciana 8'
Principal 4'
Wald Flute 4'
Twelfth  2-2/3'
Fifteenth    2'
Mixture II
Open Diapason 8' grooved bass
Hohl Flute  8'
Principal  4'
Fifteenth  2'
Oboe 8'
Open Diapason 16'
Bourdon 16'
3 couplers
3 composition pedals
Construction materials Hardwood inside
Number of manuals Three (3)
Key compasses C-G
Number of keys
Key material
Pedal compass C-E
Number of pedals
Pedalboard type
Pedalboard material
Type of chests
Type of key action Electro-pneumatic
Type of stop action Electro-pneumatic
Couplers Fifteen
Console type
Stop label material
General design
Playing aids
Divisions    Great, Swell, Choir, Pedal
Wind pressures
Stop list
Violone 16' A
Open Diapason I 8'
Open Diapason II 8'
Violin Diapason 8' A
Claribel 8'
Principal I 4'
Principal II 4' A
Flute 4'
Twelfth 2-2/3'
Fifteenth 2'
Mixture 17.19.22 III
Tromba 8' B

Lieblich Bourdon 16' C
Open Diapason 8'
Rohr Flute 8'
Viola da Gamba 8'
Voix Celeste 8'
Principal 4'
Flauto Traverso 4'
Fifteenth 2'
Mixture 19.22.26 III
Contra Oboe 16' D
Trumpet 8'
Oboe 8' D
Clarion 4'
Double Dulciana 16' E
Open Diapason 8'
Lieblich Gedeckt 8' F
Dulciana 8' E
Gemshorn 4'
Lieblich Flute 4' F
Dulcet 4' E
Nazard 2-2/3' F
Flautino 2' F
Tierce 1-3/5'
Larigot 1-1/3'
Dulciana Mixture II E
Clarinet 8'
Tromba 8' B
Tuba 8' K
Subbass 32' H
Open Wood 16' I
Open Diapason 16' J
Violone 16' A
Bourdon 16' H
Lieblich Bourdon 16' C
Dulciana 16' E
Octave 8' I
Principal 8' J
Bass Flute 8' H
Fifteenth 4' J
Octave Flute 4' H
Ophicleide 16'
Contra Oboe 16' D
Tuba 8' K
Tromba 8' B
Octave Tromba 4' B

Total number of stops 57 stops
Total number of ranks 37 ranks
Total number of pipes
Dates when key work has been undertaken on current organ Original installation in old cathedral 1875.
Installed in new cathedral 1888 Robert Cecil Clifton. 2 manual and pedal, 15 speaking stops, 3 couplers, tracker action.
Rebuilt and enlarged to three manuals in 1903 by J.E. Dodd.  Action changed to tubular-pneumatic.
Rebuilt in 1928 J.E.Dodd (console moved and some ranks completed).
Rebuilt and enlarged 1958/59 by J.W. Walker & Sons, Ruislip, Middlesex. 3 manual, 57stops, electro-pneumatic action.  Majority of the instrument was sited on a platform in the south transept, with the console and choir organ placed in a gallery under the tower.
Organ dismantled 1994 F.J. Larner & Co.
New pipe organs were installed in St Georges Cathedral by Knud Smenge Pty. Ltd. between 1988 and 1994.
Dates of any moves that have taken place to current organ Removed 1994 by F.J. Larner & Co.  The surviving Hill chests and pipework were used in an organ for St Hilda's Anglican Girls' School chapel, Mosman Park, while the Tuba went to St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, and the console to St Paul's Cathedral, Bendigo.  The Lieblich Gedeckt rank (Choir) is now part of the organ in the residence of Mr J Maring, Redmond.  The Great Open Diapason I  later became incorporated into the Yarloop Steamshed organ as an Open Diapason and Octave rank.
Information on current organ This was the first organ work carried out by Dodd in WA and the planning of it resulted in the setting up of the WA branch of the firm in 1902, managed by his son Ebenezer Dodd.
Comparable instruments to current organ
Current status
Assessment of organ
Other organs by this builder
Photographs Photograph of church circa 1890 from Wickipedia
Photograph of the organ circa 1940 from State Library of WA
Photograph of organ (B&W) by Dudley Bastian
Technical documents  Details of the organ from OHTA Conference Book 1993.
Original specification from Bob Elms.
General documents In The Pipeline article
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 09 January 2009.
Additional information from Bob Elms 11 February 2009.
Article by Andrew Gardner appended 16 February 2009.
Photograph of organ c1940 from Andrew Gardner 19 February 2009.
Additional information about the Open Diapason noted by Bruce Duncan in conversation with John Larner, 9 May 2009.
Photograph of the organ c1920 from Andrew Gardner 24 August 2009.