of December 2006 saw many components of the organ in the chamber
and blower room –chests, pipes and percussion instruments.
The grille in the hall was installed and we appreciated
the voluntary work provided by two local tradesmen – a saving
of thousands of dollars.
the chamber filling up there were the weekly visits from our
‘Fab Four’ – Julien Arnold, John McLennan, Neville Smith
and Neil Hunter - plus other members and non members who worked
from early morning till dark installing, wiring – it was an
education watching Neville and Neil ‘fiddling’ with so many
fine wires. So
much for good eyesight! This
was after hours of work done in their homes.
I was very grateful to be able to be present and take
part in this installation work at Wesley.
was a great day – 2nd January, 2008 – when the
console arrived at Wesley.
There were many hands on deck to assist with eventually
getting it onto the stage.
It really was a ‘wow’ day.
Grand Opening weekend in March 2008 was spectacular with full
houses for concerts and events.
We welcomed visitors from around Australia, England, New
Zealand, and the U.S.A.
A special delight was to have Rus and Jo Ann Evans from
Seattle, being the ones responsible for our Wurlitzer coming to
Australia and following up with components for Wesley.
people contributed to this special weekend for which we are most
grateful. The Baw Baw Shire presented us with the Australia Day
'Event of the Year Award' which we prize.
received award on behalf of WTOS
was well under way and was greatly boosted by the offer of David
Johnston to ride his bike “Huffy” from his home in Mentone
to Warragul in 2005 with sponsorship from many friends and
members from all over Australia – a second ride two years
later – total sponsorship raised over $4,000.
Many Grants were received over the years from Baw Baw
Shire, State Government, The Ross Foundation.
Large donations were gratefully received from TOSA (Vic.)
Division, also the closing funds from the Bendigo Division.
Many others, large and small – all were most
encouraging and helped us to realise our dreams.
are many people I would like to acknowledge but time and space
do not allow me to go into detail.
We have reached our aim to have our Wurlitzer paid for
– it has been the effort of so many over the past seven years.
We acknowledge the support given to the Society by the
Wesley Heritage Preservation Society and look forward to
continuing co-operation for the benefit of both groups.
accept my personal thanks and appreciation for all that has been
achieved. May we
all enjoy the fruits of our labours and keep the Warragul
Wurlitzer alive for many many years to come.
RAISING - SPONSORED BIKE RIDE
epic bike rides by David Johnston to raise money for a new theatre
organ in Warragul
Stenton, David Johnston, Kent Wilson (WTOS President) and Ian
Warragul Theatre Organ Society
Julien Arnold wrote:-
Saturday evening was the main concert celebrating the 30th
birthday (3 October 2009) of the Warragul Theatre Organ Society
— a small group that began with an electronic organ and distant
dreams of owning a theatre pipe organ......some day!
The late Kent Wilson was the main dreamer, and over the years,
accomplished many things, one of which was to save the old Wesley
Church in Warragul, a City one hour East of Melbourne, and oversee
the refurbishment of this landmark building.
During the years it took to refurbish the building, he announced
that "If it is the last thing I do, I will get a Wurlitzer pipe
organ in the Wesley Centre". It was, unfortunately, the last
thing he did, as Kent died of cancer before the organ was opened.
Saturday evening, John Atwell played an inspired program on this
3/10 Wurlitzer, which was recently tonally finished by Stephen
Leslie and Kerry Bunn (of Schantz Organ Company), and the organ
has now arrived among the top theatre organs in Australia with a
unique sound which John fully exploited in a sensational
performance of music from Vienna.
He proceeded to show how a very fine theatre organ can, and should
be played......it WAS a unit orchestra under his hands, and led
Albert Fox, a local piano man and owner of the Darnum Musical
Village to say..."Now I know why it is called the Mighty
During the Tonal work, Stephen said the Style "D"
trumpet was the best he had heard, and the Strings (Salicionals)
were superb....and the Flute.....and the Tibia....and the
VOX....!!!!!! The interesting thing was that the Wurlitzer
Orchestral Oboe (from Hell) had to be discarded, and at Stephen's
suggestion, a Dennison Kinura which was left over from the
assorted pipework inherited with the organ parts was put in it's
place. This rank works a treat, with the Trumpet, and the Tuba and
the Tibia, and certainly gives this organ some 'punch' and colour,
and also a very fine unique sound.
WOW....what an organ......what a performance.
Kent would have been
thrilled, his wife Norma, certainly was.