First "real" Pipe Organ

The congregation acquired is first "real" pipe organ in 1930.  The purchase price was $1500.00, and was installed for $1760.00 by Mr. Walter Vey, which included freight. It had been built by the Conacher firm in England in 1896 for Gower Street United Church in St. John's. 

The Conacher case is probably the oldest and finest piece of craftsmanship in our area. The wood work in the towers is all beautifully hand-carved. The decision of the church officials to retain it was a wise one, for in so doing, not only were dollars saved but, more importantly, a fine piece of history in a public place has been preserved. (The exterior casing of the Conacher organ is apparent in any photos showing the front of the church.

By 1953 the Conacher had outlived its usefulness after being in service for 56 years. A Casavant organ from the firm of that name in Quebec was purchased at a cost of $14,200 (the replacement value of this organ today is in excess of $300,000). It was installed and dedicated on November 11, 1953, as a memorial to those of our congregation who had paid the supreme sacrifice in World War II. The Casavant organ was moved to its present location for the  dedication of the new church on November 11, 1990 by Mr. Lester Goulding, assisted by Ray Rendell and Ralph Sweetapple. It is interesting to note the front exterior of the Conacher was moved and used as well. While the beautiful pipes are not functional, they do bring a sense of history with them, and have spared the church the need of an erecting an alternative exterior.

There are 22 Casavant organs in Newfoundland, the earliest (Opus 931) having been purchased by Holy Trinity Anglican Church, in Grand Falls-Windsor. Our organ is Opus 2182. It is a two-manual organ with pedals, making it a three-division organ. There are 994 pipes distributed as follows -- The Great Division, 401 pipes; the Swell Division, 537 pipes; the Pedal Division, 56 pipes.

The exterior casing of the Conacher organ as it appeared in the former church building. Below shows the Conacher facade in the present church.

Organist for 50 Years

Mrs. Hazel Giles was church organist for 50 years, retired from that position in 1976. A seat bearing her name was placed in the Music Hall of Memorial University as a tribute to her years of service at Memorial United.  

Present music program and organist click here