St Andrew's Presbyterian Church

37 Anderson Street, Chatswood

Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane, 1930
2 manuals, 10 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action
Additions 1933 S.T. Noad, Sydney
Tonal changes 1974 Ian D. Brown, Sydney
2 manuals, 12 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Chatswood
[Photograph by Alan Caradus (Feb 2014)]

Historical and Technical Documentation by Kelvin Hastie and Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 1989, 2014, 2016 (last updated August 2016)1


The corner stone of the Presbyterian church in Anderson Street, Chatswood, was laid in October 1898, services having been held from 1896 in the local public hall. Designed by the architect Thomas Tidswell, the building was opened on Saturday 17 December 1898.2 There have since been modifications to the building, possibly dating from around the time the organ was installed.

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Chatswood, in 1907
[Courtesy of Willoughby City Library Services, no. 002737]

The first of several organs built by Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane for churches in Chatswood, the instrument in this church was built in 1930 at a cost of £995.3 It was inaugurated on Wednesday 4 June 1930 with a recital by Mr C. Livingstone Mote:


The new pipe organ at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Chatswood, was inaugurated last night by Mr. C. Livingstone Mote, who submitted a programme that fully tested the qualities of the instrument. The cost of the organ and of structural alterations was £1070. The Moderator of the General Assembly of New South Wales (the Rev. C. A. White) gave a brief address.4

A church newspaper of 1930 records the following advertisement for Whitehouse organs:

NOW IS A TIME to consider how a pipe organ, with its melody of music, holds and extends a church congregation, AND, in this use organs bearing the nameplate ''Whitehouse Bros'' will be found pre-eminent in tone and lasting quality.

EVERY instrument is built to an ideal - under the personal supervision of Mr Whitehouse, with highest craftsmanship, from best materials ...5


The casework of the organ is very similar to that at St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Armidale (1929) and at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Inverell (1927). Typical of Whitehouse pneumatic-action organs from this time onward, the string stop on the Swell (here 'Dolce' 8ft) was duplexed to the Great under a different name (here 'Dulciana' 8ft).6 In this instance, there is a second stop duplexed between the two manuals: the Swell Flute 8ft is duplexed to the Great as the Flute Amabile 8ft. The Whitehouse firm rarely used two sets of duplexed stops in this fashion, but another instance can be found at the Congregational Church, South Brisbane (1933).

The 1930 Whitehouse Bros organ
at the Presbyterian Church, Chatswood
[Photograph by Peter Jewkes (May 2010)]

In 1933 a Stopped Diapason 8ft was added to the Great and an Echo Gamba 8ft to the Swell, apparently by S.T. Noad of Sydney. Peter Jewkes has observed that the pipework for these two stops appears to have been made by Hill, Norman & Beard (Australia), and this is confirmed by an entry 'S.T. Noad - supply Stopped Diapason & Echo Gamba' dated 1933 in their order books (Order number 350).7

In 1974 Ian D. Brown of Sydney made further tonal changes by removing the Dulciana 8ft from the Great and the Dolce 8ft from the Swell. These were replaced by a Fifteenth 2ft (Tenor C) available on the Great and Swell, using the original duplex action, and new Fincham pipework. The bottom octave of this rank was subsequently completed by Peter D. Jewkes Pty Ltd of Sydney.8

The specification is:

Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Flute Amabile

Violin Diapason
Echo Gamba
Rohr Flute


Swell Super
Swell Sub
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Swell to Great Octave
Swell to Great Sub.9











[1974; formerly Dulciana 8ft]


[1974; formerly Dolce 8ft]


Tubular-pneumatic action
Compass: 61/30
Swell tremulant

Console of the Whitehouse Bros organ
[Photograph by Peter Jewkes (May 2010)]

Bellows and action of the Whitehouse Bros organ
[Photograph by Peter Jewkes (May 2010)]

This organ was advertised for sale in 2008, when there were plans to redevelop the church building as a worship centre.10 It has nevertheless remained in place, and there is now some urgency in finding it a new home.

[Photograph by Peter Jewkes (May 2010)]



1 Part of the documentation that appears here was first published as: Kelvin Hastie, 'Organ Ramble in Chatswood,' The Sydney Organ Journal, vol. 20, no. 1 (February/March 1989), pp. 18-19.

2 The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1896), p. 5; The Sydney Morning Herald (17 October 1898), p. 3; The Sydney Morning Herald (19 December 1898), p. 3.

3 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p. 482.

4 The Sydney Morning Herald (5 June 1930), p. 17.

5 St Andrew's Church, Chatswood, Bulletin (1930).

6 Other early instances of duplexing on Whitehouse organs can be seen at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Wooloongabba (1930) and St John's Presbyterian Church, Annerley (1930).

7 Hill Norman & Beard Australian & New Zealand Orders – checklist, at < documentation. The attribution of the 1933 additions to Whitehouse Bros appears in Graeme Rushworth, Historic Organs of New South Wales (Sydney: Hale & Iremonmger, 1988), p. 207, but there is no reference to these additions in the Whitehouse Bros records.

8 Details noted on the organ by Kelvin Hastie, 1978; personal communication to Kelvin Hastie from Ian Brown, 1978.

9 Specification noted by Kelvin Hastie, 8 August 1978; Additional duplexing details supplied by Peter Jewkes, August 2016.

10 Personal communication to Mark Quarmby from Peter Jewkes, c.2008.