AN INSTRUMENT crafted with care has been moved thousands of kilometres, but will stay part of its family’s history.
St Mary’s Catholic Church, Jindera, on Sunday welcomed a new pipe organ donated by South Australian couple Paul and Gina Voskulen, who have three daughters living in the town.
Father Peter Murphy blessed the instrument ahead of a recital by Albury organist James Flores that included several pieces by Bach and Handel.
Mr Voskulen created the organ over 10 years, finishing his work in 1999.
It has two manuals of 56 notes and five ranks of pipes, some that date back to 1882.
The organ sat in the Voskulens’ home for a few years before it was moved into the church at Tarlee.
Michael Green, the Voskulens’ son-in-law, said special family occasions prompted the instrument’s first move.
“There’s three family weddings that I can think of where the organ was utilised,” Mr Green said.
With Tarlee not now having an organist, Mr and Mrs Voskulen decided about 18 months ago to donate the organ to the Jindera church and another shift was planned.
“It was a bit of an effort, with a few of the son-in-laws orchestrating the move,” Mr Green said.
“It was moved in a substantial-sized trailer; almost 2000 kilometres in 22 hours of driving. The beauty about the organ is the way it was built, it could pull down into several pieces.”
Jindera church member Pieter Slee oversaw the construction of a purpose-built loft to house the organ and also choirs during services.
Mr Flores said it was better for such organs to be elevated.
“Both helping to protect it and also allowing the full potential of the instrument to be recognised,” he said.
The recital program was specifically chosen for the tool available.
“It is quite a small organ, so I tried my hardest to pick a repertoire that would show off each of those voices, so to speak, and the permutations of the stop combinations to suit,” Mr Flores said.
He found performing on the organ very rewarding.
“It has a mechanical action, you feel like you’re physically attached to the machine whereas something like an electronic organ, it’s not the same,” Mr Flores said.
Mr Green said the blessing and recital had gone well and praised the organist’s “extraordinary performance”.
“He also included a congregational hymn in there, which everybody stood up for and sang with great gusto,” Mr Green said.
As Mr Flores explained, “I put that in there so we could see how the organ would fare against a full and lively congregation”.
“And it went well,” he said.