The Daily Grind

Vol.III No.5 DECEMBER, 2006/JANUARY, 2007






 New Zealand Organ Manufactory



Press Excerpts

List of Tunings

List of Contracts

Items for sale

Bi-monthly newsletter


Dr Ron Newton

Organa Cantuariensia



New Zealand Organ Museum


Oamaru's Historic Quarter



We were assisted in our December tuning round by Joe Moncur once more, before his removal to Scotland.  We overhauled the two manual and pedal Lee organ in Fitzroy Presbyterian Knox, in New Plymouth, visited another New Plymouth church to undertake a repair to the pneumatic action, modified the console lid for  the improved music desk at Havelock North Anglican St. Luke's, overhauled the two manual and pedal Croft organ in Hillsborough Catholic St. John Vianney, undertook restoration and borer prevention work on the 1863 Bishop, Starr & Richardson organ in Paihia Anglican St. Paul's, a day's overhaul to the two manual and pedal organ in the Zealandia Sculpture Garden at Mahurangi West installed the releathered pneumatic console stop action motors for a Hamilton residence organ, built a new lid for the main wind control valve at Morrinsville Methodist, began a staged overhaul of the electrical and solid state system at Whangarei Presbyterian St. Andrew's, as well as attending to our growing tuning round.

Joe busy on the pedal board at Zealandia Sculpture Garden


After Christmas and New Year in Coromandel with family and friends the year began with a trip to Greymouth in a hired truck and driver to pick up the 1897 Arthur Hobday organ from Greymouth Union (formerly Presbyterian St. John's) church.  We were surprised to find that Joe had returned from Scotland after only a few days there to assist us in this job, as he had heard we were a man down!  This was followed by a three-week installation of this historic organ, the earliest Hobday to have survived, and in substantially original condition, in the church of St. Mary Immaculate, Tauranga, a large modern building.  I could see that the positioning of the organ on a concrete platform to one side under the large sloping plaster ceiling would be acoustically good and, enhanced by the the replacement of surrounding carpet with tiles, the organ would probably sound forth to great advantage.  With careful measurement I could see that the large steel girders would pass through the middle of the organ without touching anything.  The opening recital was presented by Fr Nicholas Dillon, currently of Gore, as part of a service of vespers and blessing and, although the church was packed, the organ could be heard clearly throughout, and accompanied the congregational and choral singing more than adequately.  With its cleaned casework and repainted pipes, its appearance is quite striking.

The Greymouth Presbyterian Hobday as unloaded in Tauranga