Pipe Organs of Indonesia
B. Pels en Zoon, Orgelbouwer, Alkmaar, Netherlands
In the central mountains of Java is the city of Bandung. Once a favoured hill station where Europeans could escape the cloying heat of the coastal strip, Bandung has become something of a technological showpiece for Indonesia. Apart from being home to the aircraft production industries of the country, Bandung also is home to some of the largest and most prestigious universities in the republic. Four million people live in Bandung.
Railway stations seem to be synonymous with the centre of town, and in Bandung that is no exception. Just a few streets away from the station is the imposing bulk of the Gereja Taman Cibunut. "SEPERTI SEGALA GUNUNG DI KELILING YERUSALEM - DEMIKIAN JUGA TUHAN MENGELILINGI UMATNYA" reads the church's theme text. "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people", (Ps. 125:2)
This church has a tremendous 7-day a week working program, over 2,000 active members and a staff of 16 people apart from the ministerial appointments. There is schooling from kindergarten to university level and a theological college. The mission of this church creates a very heavy usage program on the building, so, because of time constraints, I was unable to enter and see the pipe organ that I knew resided there.
The church was founded in 1916 and the building consecrated in 1923, but it was not till 1951 that B. Pels en Zoon, Orgelbouwer, Alkmaar, Holland, constructed and installed the organ in this church. The Pels company was, at that time, mainly building electo-pneumatic organs, but this organ is an exception, being mechanical (tracker). Aparently it was so built to accommodate both climatic conditions and also unreliable electricity supplies. It is interesting to note that Bernard Pels, son of the builder, was one of the organist at the dedication service for the new organ. According to his son, Gerard Pels, current proprietor of Pels-D'Hondt Orgelbouw This was the one and only organ concert he played in his life. The Pels company is now located in Belgium.
It appears that either the organ has been relocated within the church or there has been modification of the building at some stage. Early photographs show the organ standing in front of a large window; recent photographs show a blank wall behind the instrument. This is a 17 rank, 11 stop instrument over two manuals and pedal. My thanks to the Archive of the Organ Advisory Board of the Association of Reformed Organists (GOV) for this information.
The organ was repaired in 2000 by Benediktus Martino Hidajat. The following photographs (kindly supplied by Hidajat) show the organ following repairs.
Specification of the organ is:
Specification supplied by
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