Pipe Organs of Malaysia
CATHEDRAL OF THE ASSUMPTION
Morton & Moody, Oakham, England.
The pipe organ in the Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption was built in 1914 by the firm of Morton & Moody of Oakham, England, but, probably due to the constraints imposed on shipping by World War I, raging at that time in Europe, the instrument was only erected in this Church in 1916. The organ was the brain child of Father Louis Duvelle, the Parish Priest at that time of the then Church of The Assumption. The design was reportedly made in consultation with the Organist/Choir Master, the legendary Mr. Ben D’Cruz (Bene Merenti).
The original specifications of the instrument was as follows: -
Action: Tracker Action on the Manuals & Pneumatic Action to the Pedals.
No records exist of any professional maintenance being effected to the instrument between the time of installation and 1972, by which time the Organ had deteriorated to a near unplayable state.
In 1976, restoration was effected by the Leeds, U.K., firm of Wood, Wordsworth & Co. Ltd., at that time one of the major Organ Builders in England, with, to their credit, major re-buildings of the Organ(s) in Worcester Cathedral, the giant Leeds Town Hall Organ and the historical Father Willis Organ in The Long Library at Blenheim Palace, the home of the Duke of Marlborough.
Progressive maintenance visits were subsequently made annually by Anthony Welby, an Organ Builder from Sydney, between 1977 and 1985. In August 1979, some unknown party stole 129 pipes from the upper octaves of all the stops of The Great Organ. Replacements were manufactured by Wood, Wordsworth & Co. Ltd. and were installed by Anthony Welby. The opportunity was taken at this time to improve the somewhat “Victorian” original tonal specifications, brightness being added to the Diapason Chorus of The Great Organ by replacing the Small Open Diapason with a Fifteenth - 2ft.
By 1983 the pneumatic action of the Pedal Organ had become somewhat unreliable and was substituted, by Anthony Welby, with a Direct Electronic Action. Subsequent to 1985 the maintenance of the organ has been in the hands of Mr Ian Campbell, Choir Master/Organ Curator, with the help of an enthusiastic band of helpers, coupled with professional help in the form of visits in 1992, 1993, 1994. 1995 & 1996, from the firm of Peter Wood & Son. (The successors to Wood, Wordsworth & Co. Ltd.), of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Included in the work carried out by this firm was the removal of the original double rise bellows and its replacement with a single rise reservoir & “Schwimmer” Controls in 1995.
Specification of the organ (2008) is:
Organ photographs and specification from Mr
Leonard Selva, Organist, Cathedral of the Assumption, Penang.
From New Straits Times 07 December 2013:
The Church of the Assumption choir, accompanied by Leonard Gurunathan on the pipe organ, at practice.
Pic by Marina Emmanuel
PO Box 1155
Northam WA 6401
+61 (0)8 9574 0410