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St. John's Anglican Church, Fremantle

Fremantle St John

The 1961 P F Hufner case facing into the chancel

The 1961 P F Hufner case facing into the nave

The 1961 P F Hufner console

Fremantle St John
The 1990 Belsham Pipe Organs case facing into the chancel

Left and Right stop jambs

Name of institution St. John's Anglican Church
Type of institution Church
Street Address St. John's Square
City Fremantle
State Western Australia
Country Australia
Name of building St. John's Anglican Church
Name of room Church
Dates of the building 1879-82, replacing the earlier 1830’s church in Kings Square.
Architect’s and builder’s names Designed in London by William Smith
Special architectural features This spacious stone building, in the Decorated Gothic style, consists of a lofty and well-proportioned nave, with a superbly constructed jarrah roof, transepts, chancel and side chapels.
Special fittings A lofty wrought iron screen, made by W Priestner of Subiaco, spans the chancel arch and another iron screen surrounds the baptistery.
There are some fine fittings including the stone pulpit and font, brass lectern, carved jarrah high altar and stone reredos incorporating three opus sectile mosaic panels. The stained glass windows are of outstanding quality, including the work of Franz Mayer & Co, Munich (east window) and A L Moore & Co, London (seven lancet windows at the west end depicting the seven acts of mercy)
Other location information
Name of contact
Mailing Address
Other contact information
Previous organ(s)
Date of previous organ 1875-79
Detail of previous organ Robert Cecil Clifton organ of 2 manuals, 9 stops (spare slide), 2 couplers, tracker action.

Stop list:

Open Diapason 8'
Stopped Diapason 8'
Principal 4'
Octave 2'
Hohl Flute 8' 8' 39 pipes
8' 39 pipes
8' 12 pipes
Wald Flute 4'
Sub Bass 16'
Dates when key work has been undertaken
Dates of any moves that have taken place Removed and installed 1884 St Matthew's Anglican Church, Guildford.
Removed, overhauled and installed at St Aidan's Church, Claremont, 1910-1912 by J.E. Dodd, Adelaide.
Variations from original design of organ
Information on previous organ This instrument has the distinction of being the first organ built in Western Australia by a Western Australian builder.
Robert Cecil Clifton was then a clerk in the Lands Department of the Western Australian Public Service.
Information about comparable instruments to previous organ
Present organ
Type of installation Free standing
Case description The original installation had spotted metal pipework from Hill & Son, London and a fine carved Gothic case.
A new case was designed in 1991, loosely based on the original.
Placement in room Left chancel
Builder's name Robert Cecil Clifton
Opus number 3
Date of completion/installation 1884
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-magnetic
Type of stop action Electro-magnetic
Couplers Six (6)
Accessories Solid state combination action with four memories
Console type Integrated drawstop console
Stop label material
General design
Playing aids Choir & Swell expression Pedals
Divisions Great, Swell, Choir, Pedal
Wind pressures

Stop list
Bourdon 16'
Open Diapason 8'
Claribel 8'
Dulciana 8'
Principal 4'
Flute 4'
Twelfth 2-2/3'
Fifteenth 2'
Posaune 16' E
Geigen Diapason 8'
Leiblich Gedackt 8'
Gamba 8'
Viole Celeste 8'
Geigen Principal 4'
Wald Flute 4'
Gemshorn 2'
Mixture III-IV
Fagotto 16' A
Cornopean 8' B
Hautboy 8' A
Clarion 4' B


Gedackt 8' C
Octave 4' D
Rohr Flute 4' C
Nazard 2-2/3' C
Piccolo 2' C
Tierce 1-3/5' C
Quintlein 1-1/3' D
Solo Trumpet 8'
Open Wood 16'
Bourdon 16' F
Principal 8' G
Bass Flute 8' F
Fifteenth 4' G
Fagotto 16' A
Posaune 8' E
Total number of stops


Total number of ranks 27
Total number of pipes
Dates when key work has been undertaken on current organ Renovated 1912 by J E Dodd. Electric blower installed and entire organ overhauled.

Rebuilt and enlarged in 1961 by Paul F. Hufner retaining original pipework. Direct electric action installed. Blower, windchests, trunking, building frame, swell box and a new console were part of this rebuild. New Trumpet rank and new pipes for all other ranks to take the compass to 61 notes were added. Some extension work provided to give new stops. Octave and superoctave couplers to Swell and octave coupler for Great installed. Great flutes were enclosed in Swell box.

Enlarged in 1970's by F.J. Larner & Co. Swell octave to pedal and Swell Bourdon 16. Now 2 manual, 35 stops, 9 couplers, electro-pneumatic and electro-magnetic action with some extension.

Rebuilt and enlarged in 1990 by Bellsham Pipe Organs (Australia). Clifton Great and Pedal pipework was reinstated and returned the original chests. The Swell chest had been destroyed in an arson attack on the Hufner workshop and his electric chest was retained for this division. The Great organ was reinstated on the original Clifton chest as it was in 1884. The Hill pipework was retained on the Swell with some of the Hufner work to make a comprehensive Swell Organ. The Pedal stops were also reused with the addition of some duplexing from the manuals. The Choir Organ was added to the organ during this rebuild using extension to a large degree. A new case, loosely based on the original and a new console were provided.

Unfortunately the Bellsham company was unable to complete the work and it was taken over and finished by Pipe Organ Builders and Services in 1996 to 3 manuals, 36 stops, 11 couplers, electro-magnetic action to slider chests.
Ch (3rks ext).:8.4.2-2/

Choir Posuane replaced with Solo Trumpet in 2004.
Dates of any moves that have taken place to current organ
Information on current organ Original contract signed 31st October 1882.
Originally built as a 2 manual, 17 stop, 3 couplers, tracker action organ. Water operated winding system. Original cost £600.
CC to gg 56 note manual, CCC to E 29 note pedal.
Lieblich Gedeckt 16' 56 pipes
Open Diapason 8' 56 pipes
Stopt Diapason / Melodia 8' 56 pipes
Dulciana 8' 44 pipes
Principal 4' 56 pipes
Flute 4' 56 pipes
Twelfth 2-2/3' 56 pipes
Fifteenth 2' 56 pipes
Geigen Principal 8' 56 pipes
Leiblich Gedackt 8' 56 pipes
Gamba 8' 44 pipes
Wald Flute 4' 56 pipes
Gemshorn 2' 56 pipes
Hautboy 8' 56 pipes A


Open Diapason 16' 29 pipes
Bourdon 16' 29 pipes
Posaune 8' 29 pipes

From The West Australian (Perth, WA) Tuesday 13 May 1884:
The West Australian
Comparable instruments to current organ
Current status
Assessment of organ
Other organs by this builder Robert Cecil Clifton built five organs, all in Western Australia.
Photographs Photograph of organ by Bruce Duncan.
Photograph of the church from the internet
Newspaper cutting from The West Australian
Technical documents Details of the organ and building from OHTA Conference Book 2004.
General documents Refer to Gathered Fragments, Leon D. Cohen, 1979, for biographical and other detail of Robert Cecil Clifton.
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 05 January 2009.
Additional detail from In The Pipeline August/September 2003
Newspaper cutting sourced by Andrew Gardner 01 January 2015.
Photos from the 1961 P F Hufner rebuild from the Bob Elms collection 16 June 2019