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Wesley Uniting Church, Fremantle


Fremantle Wesley

Fremantle Wesley

Fremantle Wesley

Name of institution Wesley Uniting Church
Type of institution Church
Street Address
City Fremantle
State WA
Name of building Wesley Uniting Church
Name of room Sanctuary
Dates of the building 1880
Architect’s and builder’s names Melbourne architects Terry & Oakden, the work being supervised by local architect H S Trigg
Special architectural features
Special fittings
Other location information
Name of contact
Mailing Address
Other contact information It replaced an older church of 1840.
Previous organ(s)
Date of previous organ None
Detail of previous organ George Shenton (later Sir George) presented the first church with an organ but it is though this must have been a harmonium, since the arrival of the first pipe organ in the state is well documented as Wesley Church Perth in 1875.
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
Case description Jarrah case was made by the Fremantle Locke Furniture Co.
Placement in room Front central platform
Builder's name Joseph Freeman, Ballarat, Victoria
Opus number
Date of completion/installation 1860
Construction materials
Number of manuals Two (2)
Key compasses
Number of keys 61 (manual chests remain at 56 notes)
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 Swell to Great
Swell to Great Sub
Swell to Great Super
Swell Sub
Swell Super
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Tremulants Swell
Console type Detached stopkey
Stop label material
General design
Playing aids Three thumb piston to Swell.
Three thumb pistons to Great
Divisions    Great, Swell, Pedal
Wind pressures
Stop list
Open Diapason 8'
Claribel 8'
Gedact 8' A
Dulciana 8'
Principal 4'
Fifteenth 2'
Violin Diapason 8'
Gedact 8' A
Viol d’Orchestre 8'
Octave 4'
Flute 4' A
2-2/3' A
Flautina 2' A
Oboe 8'
Bourdon 16'
Flute 8' B
Octave Flute 4' B
Total number of stops 17
Total number of ranks 11
Total number of pipes
Dates when key work has been undertaken on current organ The organ was commenced in 1859/60 by Joseph Freeman for himself at Ballarat, Victoria. He made all wooden parts and pipes himself, metal pipes ordered from England.
The organ was shown at the Ballarat Industrial Exhibition in 1896 and won a Gold medal for craftsmanship.
The organ was manually pumped. It was used for some time at the Rubicon Street Methodist Church, Ballarat, and the Primitive Methodist Church, Clunes, Victoria.

In April 1902 Fincham & Son remade the Great soundboard and shipped the organ to the Rev. W Burridge at Fremantle. Joseph Freeman installed the organ at Fremantle. The organ was presented to the church by Joseph Freeman's son Hayden Freeman.

Rebuild circa 1915.
J.E. Dodd rebuilt the organ with minor additions (including a new Viole d'Orchestre) and tubular pneumatic action in 1931. A new jarrah case was made by the Fremantle Locke Furniture Co. whose principals were prominent members of the church.
The action was electrified in 1966 by J E Dodd & Sons Gunstar Organ Works, with unit extensions for the Gedact. The original Freeman chests are still in use.
Dates of any moves that have taken place to current organ The organ was built in Ballarat, moved to Western Australia in 1902 and installed in an elevated position behind the choir.  Some years later the area was remodelled and the organ console brought forward to its current position.
Information on current organ
Comparable instruments to current organ
Current status
Assessment of organ
Other organs by this builder
Photographs Photograph of the organ and console by Jennifer Clee
Photograph of the organ case by Bruce Duncan
Technical documents  Information from OHTA Conference Book 2004.
General documents
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 03 January 2009.
New photograph of the organ and console by Jennifer Clee 02 May 2009.
Additional detail from In The Pipeline July/August 1998.