One of the joys of singing at St Philip’s is to be accompanied by Colin Forbes playing our Hill, Norman and Beard ‘Continuo’ organ. It was manufactured in 1964 and installed in 1967 by the Australian subsidiary of English organ builders Wm. Hill & Son and Norman & Beard Ltd. In operation in Melbourne from 1927 to 1974, when the parent company was wound up, Hill, Norman & Beard (Australia) Ltd fulfilled many orders, including the prestigious new organ for Melbourne Town Hall. Its order books are in the custody of the University of Melbourne Archives. The St. Philip’s organ is recorded as job no. ACT719.
It is a single manual pipe organ of 56 notes and four stops — Stopped Diapason 8 ft., Prestant 4 ft., Doublet 2 ft. and Larigot 1-1/3 ft. It is recorded in the Supplement to historic organs of New South Wales, by Graeme D. Rushworth and on the website of the Organ Historical Trust of New South Wales.
Colin says he loves the organ dearly – it’s very suitable for a small church which has fine acoustics; but it would be better with a pedal bass.