Saving part of Auckland’s cultural history: 

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Also see an article on Stuff from the Timaru Herald:- South Canterbury company to restore 118-year-old piece of Auckland heritage

Removal and restoration of our 118-year-old George Croft organ

Our church houses one of the few surviving unaltered George Croft organs in New Zealand. The organ was installed in 1904 and opened on Easter Saturday (2 April). While the organ has had some repair work done over the years, starting on Monday 4 April 2022, it will be removed for restoration for the first time in 118 years. It will be dismantled, packed up and transported to Timaru for a full restoration to be carried out by The South Island Organ Company, who have been expertly and lovingly restoring organs in New Zealand and Australia since 1968.

The restoration of the pipe organ — which has 888 pipes (72 of them on display, decorated in gold and colours) — will take one year and we anticipate that it will be re-installed in the church before Easter 2023. This organ was the first pipe organ in New Zealand to be made applying a tubular pneumatic mechanism to a divided instrument, with the detached console (keyboards) centrally located between the two pipe cases. 

Built by George Croft, one of the leading organ builders of the time, the organ was donated by Joseph and Mary Macky, who were eager to bring a concert-level organ to the Auckland community, not only to allow for music at church services but also to be able to have a concert-level organ available to Auckland for recitals and concerts.  At that time there was no other concert-level organ in Auckland (the Auckland Town Hall organ was not commissioned until 1910).

Clearly leaders in Auckland’s community at the time, Joseph Macky and his brother were the founders of the Cambridge Clothing Company.  Joseph also served as the Mayor of Devonport from 1896–1901 and was the founding chairperson of our church’s management committee. Sadly, Mr & Mrs Macky were lost at sea with the sinking of the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland in 1915, Mrs Macky giving up her place in a lifeboat to a younger woman, so she could stay with her husband.

All Photos: Peter Jennings