The Organ Society of Western Australia

Home In The Pipeline W A Pipe Organs Links Contact Us

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN PIPE ORGANS
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Perth


Perth St Mary's Cathedral
The Western Mail, 11 June 1910

Perth St Mary's Cathedral

Perth St Mary's Cathedral

Perth St Mary's Cathedral

Perth St Mary's Cathedral

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
The south transept console

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

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
A side view of the previous building

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
The crossing prior to new construction works


Perth St Mary's Cathedral
Building works begin in November 2008

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
Site works on the Cathedral as at November 2008

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
The Grand Organ in the West gallery

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
The Grand Organ at left and the Chancel Organ at right

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
Console of the Grand Organ

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
In the organ loft
Photo: David Nicholson

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
The West Gallery Organ
Photo: Trevor Bunning

Perth St Mary's Cathedral
The Chancel Organ
Photo: Trevor Bunning

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 and 2005-2010
Architect's and builder's names Fr Martin Griver was responsible for the original building with Joseph Ascione, architect and master mason.
Cavanagh & Cavanagh, architects, designed the completed project, which was built by AT Brine and Sons.
Special architectural features The nave of St Mary's Cathedral was commenced under Bishop Serra and Brother Ascione and opened in 1863. Two porches and the spire were added in 1905.

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. Completion of the building works was in 2010.
Special fittings The 1920s work included 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.
Melocco Brothers, Sydney, made the sanctuary mosaics based on designs taken from the ancient Irish Book of Kells.

The building boasts an outstanding acoustical environment for organ music.
Other location information Wesley Church, Hay Street, Perth, 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
Email cathedral@perthcatholic.org.au
Other contact information Church web site
.
Previous organ(s)
Date of previous organ 1910
Detail of previous organ J E Dodd, Adelaide.
Built 1909, installed 1910, as a 2 manual, 27 speaking stop, 5 coupler, tubular pneumatic instrument. The stops were:

GREAT
Lieblich Bourdon 16'
Open Diapason 8'
Melodic Diapason 8'
Claribel 8'
Lieblich Gedact 8'
Salicional 8'
Principal 4'
Flute d'Orchestre 4' Harmonic treble
Super Octave 2'
Tromba 8'
Clarinet 8'
.
SWELL
Lieblich Gedact 16'
Geigen Diapason 8'
Hohl Flute 8'
Viole d'Orchestre 8'
Viole Angelica II 8' T C
Octave 4'
Flauto Traverso 4'
Mixture III
Anglaise Horn 8'
Oboe 8'
Vox Humana 8'
Tremulant
.
PEDAL
Open Diapason 32' Acoustic, derived
Major Bass 16'
Sub Bass 16' From Great
Bourdon 16' From Swell
Principal 8' From Great
Trombone 16' Treble from Great Tromba
.

COUPLERS
Swell to Great
Swell Sub Octave
Swell Super Octave
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal

PISTON MOVEMENTS
Great Organ "pianissimo"
Great Organ "piano"
Great Organ "mezzo-forte"
Great Organ "forte"
Swell Organ "pianissimo"
Swell Organ "piano"
Swell Organ "mezzo-forte"
Swell Organ "forte"

SFORZATO PEDAL MOVEMENTS
Great Organ "fortissimo"
Swell Organ "fortissimo"
Grand Organ "fortissimo"

The organ 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.
Dates when key work has been undertaken Rebuilt and enlarged in 1963 by J.E. Dodd & Sons Gunstar Organ Works to three manuals, with 65 speaking stops derived from 42 ranks of pipes.
The organ had electro-pneumatic key and stop action and had 12 couplers.
The console was detached and the stoptabs were arranged in a horseshoe configuration.

GREAT
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
.
SWELL
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
Tremulant
.
CHOIR
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
Tremulant
.
PEDAL
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
.
Dates of any moves that have taken place 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. The organ was subsumed into a new organ
Variations from original design of organ The instrument was rebuilt and considerably enlarged in 1964 by J.E. Dodd & Sons Gunstar Organ Works, Adelaide. The original case and detached console were destroyed in 1964 and a new electro-pneumatic action was installed in place of the original tubular-pneumatic, and a new stopkey console supplied.
The organ was resited on a new gallery in the south transept behind a new case of Gothic design. There was much borrowing and extension on the Choir and Pedal, but the overall effect of the organ was extremely impressive, with pipework of excellent quality.
Information on previous organ Newspaper cuttings about the dedication of the organ:
Information about comparable instruments to previous organ Its tonal design was almost identical to the Dodd organ in Wesley Church, Perth.
.
Present organ
Type of installation Freestanding
Case description
Placement in room West Gallery Grand Organ
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Chancel Organ
Builder's name Grand: J E Dodd / South Island Organ Company
Chancel: A Hobday / South Island Organ Company
Opus number
Date of completion/installation Original (now subsumed into the Grand Organ): J E Dodd 1910 and 1935
Chancel:A Hobday 1905
Combined new organ South Island Organ Company 2009
Construction materials
Number of manuals Grand Organ: Three
Chancel Organ: Two
Key compasses
Number of keys
Key material
Pedal compass
Number of pedals
Pedalboard type
Pedalboard material
Type of chests Pipework on the West Great and Swell Organs is placed on two 11-rank 58-note Dodd slider chests (with top note extensions) together with unit chests.
Pipework on the West Choir Organ is placed on a four-rank 61-note slider chest together with unit chests.
Pipework on the Chancel Organ uses the original Hobday slider chests.
Type of key action Electro-pneumatic
Type of stop action Electro-pneumatic
Couplers Grand Swell to Great
Grand Choir to Great
Chancel to Grand Great
Grand Swell Super Octave
Grand Swell Sub Octave
Grand Swell Unison Off
Chancel to Grand Swell
Grand Choir Super Octave
Grand Choir Sub Octave
Grand Choir Unison Off
Grand Swell to Grand Choir
Chancel to Grand Choir
Grand Great to Pedal
Grand Swell to Pedal
Grand Choir to Pedal
Chancel to Grand Pedal
Chancel Swell to Great
Chancel Swell Super Octave
Chancel Swell Sub Octave
Chancel Swell Unison Off
Chancel Swell to Pedal
Chancel Great to Pedal
Tremulants Grand Swell
Grand Choir
Chancel Swell
Accessories
Console type New Three manual Jarrah console in West Gallery
New Two manual Jarrah console in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel
Both consoles were French polished and waxed with a mixture of Carnauba and beeswax.
The Jarrah timber was sourced from Western Australia and the lighter panels are NZ Rewarewa, similar to Australian Silky Oak.
Both Grand and Chancel organs playable either singularly or together from either console.
Chancel organ stop keys are duplicated on the West organ console
West organ is playable via Grand Organ General Pistons on Chancel console
Stop label material
Placement
General design Terraced array
Playing aids The Grand Organ is fitted with an ICS4000 capture system with 256 level piston memories.
The Chancel Organ is fitted with an ICS4000 capture system with 128 level piston memories.
Divisions Grand Organ Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal.
Chancel Organ Great, Swell and Pedal.
Wind pressures The Grand Organ blower is the 1964 three-stage "Discus" fan by Watson & Watkins relocated above the lift shaft in the new tower. It draws ambient air through a cooling coil and delivers it to the organ through the ceiling in two ducts (high and low pressure). The organ is humidified through the wind-chest ducting with Watson & Watkins equipment. Blower cooling starts automatically when the choir air-conditioning is switched on. The Cathedral nave is also air-conditioned through the floor cavity to a height of 2.5 metres.

The Ophicleide/Tuba rank is voiced on 300mm wind pressure, with 180mm for the Trombone/Tromba unit and Swell Trumpet 16 8 4 units. The Choir is on 130mm. The rest of the Swell, Great and Pedal is on the original double-rise reservoir at 105mm.

Stop list Grand Organ (West Gallery)

GREAT
Bourdon 16' Dodd 1910 H
Contra Gamba 16' Gunstar 1963 A
Open Diapason 8' Dodd 1910 G
Melodic Diapason 8' Dodd 1910 I
Claribel Flute 8' Dodd 1910
Gedact 8' Dodd 1910
Gamba 8' Gunstar 1963 A
Dulciana 8' Gunstar 1963
Principal 4' Dodd 1910
Orchestral Flute 4' Dodd 1910
Gamba 4' Gunstar 1963 A
Twelfth 2 2/3' SIOC 2009
Super Octave 2' Dodd 1910
Tierce 1 3/5' Gunstar 1963 A
Mixture III Dodd 1910, revised SIOC 2009
Trombone 16' Dodd 1910 B
Tromba 8' Dodd 1910, revised Gunstar 1963 and SIOC 2009 B
Clarion 4' Dodd 1910 B
Zimbelstern SIOC 2009
Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Chancel Organ to Great
.
SWELL
Bourdon 16 Dodd 1910, SIOC 2009 C
Geigen Diapason 8' Dodd 1910
Hohl Flute 8' Dodd 1910
Lieblich Gedact 8' Gunstar 1963 C
Viole d'Orchestre 8' Dodd 1910
Vox Celestes II TC 8' Dodd 1910
Octave 4' Dodd 1910
Flauto Traverso 4' Dodd 1910
Lieblich Flute 4' Gunstar 1963 C
Fifteenth 2' Gunstar 1963
Mixture 17.19.22 III Dodd 1910, SIOC 2009
Double Trumpet 16' SIOC 2009 D
Horn 8' Dodd 1910
Trumpet 8' SIOC 2009 D
Oboe 8' Dodd 1910
Vox Humana 8' SIOC 2009
Clarion 4' SIOC 2009 D
Sub Octave
Unison Off
Super Octave
Chancel Organ to Swell
Choir to Swell For Chancel Organ use
.
CHOIR Enclosed exept Tuba
Violin Diapason 8' Gunstar 1963 H
Harmonic Flute 8' SIOC 2009 I
Stopped Diapason 8' Gunstar 1963 J
Salicional 8' Dodd 1910 K
Vox Angelica T C 8' SIOC 2009
Octave 4' Gunstar 1963 H
Salicet 4' Gunstar 1963 K
Nason Flute 4' Gunstar 1963 J
Nazard 2 2/3' SIOC 2009 L
Harmonic Piccolo 2' SIOC 2009 I
Tierce 1 3/5' Gunstar 1963
Larigot 1 1/3' SIOC 2009 L
Sifflute 1' SIOC 2009 I
Clarinet 8' Dodd 1910
English Horn 8' Gunstar 1963
Trompette 8' Gunstar 1963
Tuba 8' SIOC 2009 G
Sub Octave
Unison Off
Super Octave
Swell to Choir
Chancel Organ to Choir
.
PEDAL
Major Bass 16' Dodd 1910 E
Open Diapason 16' Gunstar 1963 F
Subbass 16' Dodd 1910 G
Contra Gamba 16' Gunstar 1963 A
Echo Bourdon 16' Dodd 1910 C
Quint 10 2/3' Gunstar 1963 F
Octave 8' SIOC 2009 E
Principal 8' Gunstar 1963 I
Bass Flute 8' Dodd 1910 F
Fifteenth 4' SIOC 2009
Octave Flute 4' Gunstar 1963 F
Mixture 12.15.19.22 IV Gunstar 1963, revised SIOC 2009
Contra Posaune 32' SIOC 2009 G
Ophicleide 16' SIOC 2009 G
Trombone 16' Dodd 1910 B
Double Trumpet 16' SIOC 2009 E
Tromba 8' Dodd 1910 B
Clarion 4' Dodd 1910 B
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
Chancel Organ to Pedal
.


Chancel Organ (Blessed Sacrament Chapel)

GREAT
Open Diapason 8' Hobday 1905
Claribel Flute 8' Hobday 1905
Dulciana 8' Hobday 1905
Principal 4' Hobday 1905
Flute 4' Hobday 1905
Fifteenth 2' Hobday 1905
Swell to Great
.
SWELL
Open Diapason 8' Hobday 1905
Stopped Diapason 8' Hobday 1905
Gamba 8' SIOC 2009
Voix Celeste T C 8' SIOC 2009
Octave 4' Hobday 1905
Mixture II Hobday 1905, revised SIOC 2009
Oboe 8' Hobday 1905, inscribed H T (Holy Trinity Church) Launceston, 1887
Horn 8' Croft 1964
Sub octave
Super octave
.
PEDAL
Subbass 8' Hobday 1905 Z
Bass Flute 8' Hobday 1905 Z
Flute 4' SIOC 2009 Z
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
.
Total number of speaking stops Gallery: 71
Chancel: 17
Total: 88
Total number of ranks Gallery: 49 ranks
Chancel: 16 ranks
Total: 69 ranks
Total number of pipes
Dates when key work has been undertaken on current organ The original organ was built in 1910 by J. E. Dodd, Adelaide.
Rebuilt and enlarged in 1963 by J.E. Dodd & Sons Gunstar Organ Works.
Dismantled and removed in 2006 by South Island Organ Company, New Zealand.
Rebuilt and extended with the addition of a complete two manual electro-pneumatic 1905 Hobday organ (ex Newtown Trinity Methodist Church, Wellington, New Zealand) by South Island Organ Company, New Zealand, in 2009.
Dates of any moves that have taken place to current organ
Information on current organ
Comparable instruments to current organ
Current status
Assessment of organ
Other organs by this builder There are many existant organs by J E Dodd in Australia
Refer to Organ Historical Trust of Australia documentation.
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
Works and proposed cathedral from the church web site
Photographs of the new organ from Colin van der Lecq and Trevor Bunning
Technical documents Details of the earlier organ from OHTA Conference Book 2004.
Complete specification researched by Patrick Elms
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 31 December 2008.
Addition of new organ specifications from Patrick Elms 21 January 2009.
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.
Updated specification from Patrick Elms 03 January 2011.
Additional photographs from Colin van der Lecq 26 January 2011.
Additional photograph by David Nicholson 28 March 2016.


Top
Home