The Daily Grind

Vol.I No.2  JUNE/JULY, 2004






 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



The New Zealand Association of Organist's annual Congress was held in Hamilton on Queen's Birthday, with over one hundred participants from around the country present.  Highlights included Christopher Hainsworth accompanying Buster Keaton's silent film "The General" on the Wurlitzer organ in the Tauranga's Baycourt Theatre, and the Auckland Association President Michael Cox's lecture on the Organ Reform Movement in New Zealand, a result of his thesis with which he recently graduated M.A. from Waikato University.  My lecture on George Croft and his pipemakers, with a demonstration of metal pipemaking, was received by about thirty people, and the question-and-answers took us well over the allotted hour.  A number expressed interest in attending workshops on the subject at the Manufactory.

The rest of June was spent tuning organs throughout the North Island, and I was pleased with our reception by churches and organists.  I took a prospective apprentice with me, and was pleased with our work together.  Hopefully we will have a positive announcement on this next month.  The cleaning and overhaul at Eltham Anglican took a week and was followed by an informal concert in the church on the Friday evening.  Being June 25th, it was a bit of a mid-winter Christmas celebration with hymns, carols, and mulled wine at half-time.  A number of local musicians contributed items, and the audience came from as far afield as Hawera and New Plymouth.  The work certainly proved the worth of the mobile workshop, making the project efficient and economic.


While tuning in Lower Hutt I met Peter Averi for the first time, who turned up to practice for a funeral that afternoon.  He told me he had been in Oamaru the day before looking for me!  I will be conducting a Praise Be! television broadcast in October.  A request for an organ recital in September was received from Dannevirke Anglican.

The New Zealand Organ Manufactory and Museum are moving!  Just across the road, fortunately, but still a large-scale operation.  The old Lane's Emulsion factory in Harbour Street is available, and has everything we need.  In fact, I have had my eye on it ever since we first came to Oamaru.  A full description with pictures will appear next month.

Plans for the Museum are progressing well, and we have invited the Governor-General to open it in the new premises on the 7th August, coinciding with Her Excellency's visit to Oamaru for the Order of St. John investitures.

The 1864 Telford & Telford organ, the second pipe organ in St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, and now in Hillside Road Methodist, has been purchased by the Cathedral Organist, David Burchell, and his wife Jenny.  We will be moving it into the music room attached to their rebuilt farmhouse at Mount Cargill with a view of a large rock formation known as the Organ Pipes.  I have offered to paint them in gold and colours, but David is not sure the environmentalists would approve.