The Organ at Killara Uniting Church

By: Kelvin Hastie, Organist: John Jackson

The original organ at Killara was built in 1900 by J.E.Dodd for St Mary’s Presbyterian Church at Lithgow. It was sold to the Killara Congregational Church in 1929 for £500. That organ had 2 manuals, 13 speaking stops and 5 couplers.

In the late 1950 it was decided to purchase a new organ, which would retain the Dodd case and a few of the original ranks.

Ronald Sharp was contracted to build the new organ. It was one of the first “Neo-classical” instruments to be designed and built in Australia, and as one of Sharp’s first instruments holds a special place in Australian organ building. The organ was opened in 1961 and had 20 stops {with extended Oboe 8” and Bourdon 16’ from the previous organ}, six couplers and an electro-magnetic action.

By 1999 an overhaul of the 40-years-old instrument became necessary, and as Kelvin Hastie wrote in the Sydney Organ Journal {Autumn 2001}, “..the church was aware of the significance of the instrument.. and any work should honour the style and integrity of Sharp..”

In 2000 a contract was issued to Peter D.G Jewkes Pty. Ltd to clean and overhaul the existing organ and to install a Prinzipal 8’ rank {with an Octav 4’ extension} and a Trompette 8’. These were imported from Germany and use an independent wind supply, chests and actions completely separate from the Sharp organ, to boost fundamental tone and power.

The large metal façade pipes, dating from 1909, had been mute since 1961. Peter Jewkes utilised these for the bass octave in the new Prinzipal rank.

The façade pipes were painted cream with gold bands, as they were originally.

To showcase the refurbished organ a Recital was given by Robert Ampt, City of Sydney organist, on 16 September 2001. Over 200 people attended.

Visitors are welcome and enquiries may be directed to the organist.


The specification of the organ is:



Sub-bass 16 {CC-C}

{From Pedal}

Prinzipal 8A

Rohrflote 8

Octav 4 A

Prinzipal 4

Nazat 2-2/3

Flachflote 2

Mixtur IV

Trompete 8 A

Oboe 8C



Gedackt 8

Spitzflote 4

Prinzipal 2

Sifflote 1-1/3

Cymbel 11

Oboe 8 C




Sub Bass 16 D

Prinzipal 8E

Gedackt 8 D

Octav 4 E

Oboe 16 C

Oboe 8 C

Oboe 4 C



Positiv to Great

Great to Pedal

Positiv to Pedal

Positiv to Positiv 16

Positiv to Positiv 4

Unison Off {Positiv}

Compass 61/32

Electro-pneumatic action

Detached stopkey console