Larner Organ - St. Cecilia's Church

                                                                                Church Organ

 

The organ at St. Cecilia's has an interesting history and for your information some details of it's origin and recent refurbishment are appended below.

By way of background to the saint who the parish is named after, St. Cecilia lived in the second and third centuries.  She was a Roman patrician [a member of the senatorial aristocracy in ancient Rome], a virgin, martyr and is the patron saint of musicians.

Fr. Peter McCudden was appointed the inaugural parish priest when the parish was created on 20th March 1960 and continued in this role until September 1990.   He had a deep love of music and was at one time the Choir Master at St. Mary's Cathedral in Perth.   Fr. McCudden had a long held dream to acquire a pipe organ at St. Cecilia's.  He set about raising the financial resources for this project and he asked Annette Goerke [St. Mary's Cathedral organist in 1986] to be a consultant on the project.   During the course of 1986, specifications were drawn up for the purchase and construction of a pipe organ.

John Larner  was chosen to build the organ.  Together with his two assistants, Malcolm Adams and Lachlan Partington, the work started in February 1987 and continued for 18 months.   The feast day of St. Cecilia on 22nd November 1988 marked the blessing of the organ by Bishop Healy and the inaugural recital  by organist John Beaverstock, accompanied by a 17 piece chamber orchestra.

In 2012, St. Cecilia's church celebrated its 50th anniversary.    The organ was in need of refurbishment.  Back in 1987/88, the funding available did not allow the completion of the organ to its full tonal disposition/specification.  To mark the 50th anniversary, it was decided to commission the necessary work.  A parishioner made a private bequest to go towards the cost of the project.  A contract was signed with Pipe Organs WA in October 2012 and work was completed in mid July 2013.

Graham Devenish at Pipe Organs WA and his staff Tomasz Nowak [who was primarily involved in the work], Justina Davis, Virgile Bardin and Neil Cox are commended for their technical expertise, painstaking attention to detail and overall skills in the complex tasks associated with the project.

For those interested in the technical aspects of the organ and sourcing of some of the specialist components of the organ, please click here.

Special thanks to fellow parishioner Julie Doyle, the co-ordinator of our parish Music Ministry, for her significant contribution on behalf of the parish to the successful completion of the project .