A comprehensive history of early Colonial Organs and Organ Builders was compiled by E.N. Matthews and published in 1969.

Among the many instruments listed in this publication are several from Caulfield which were installed in private homes and Churches. Extracts from these histories are re-printed in this Newsletter with acknowledgement to the author:-

St Mary’s Anglican Church, Caulfield

  • 1861    Harmonium was the first organ in use in this Church.
  • 1867    Second-hand Organ purchased with six stops from Les and Kaye, re-built by George Fincham and later sold to Christ Church, St. Arnaud in 1877.
  • 1875    A new Organ, built by George Fincham was purchased, having two manuals, sixteen stops and three couplers.
  • 1889    George Fincham replaced mixture by clarinet, at the request of the organist. This Organ was subsequently installed in Wesley College Chapel in 1936.
  • 1933    A new Organ was purchased and re-built with electro-pneumatic action in 1951.


  • 1864    Mrs Hugh Taylor, Miss Stephen, Mr Hart and S. Kaye
  • 1876    Miss Dixon
  • 1888    J.J. Hardeman
  • 1889    Charles Dumergue
  • 1897    J.D. Wright
  • 1898    Miss F. Dixon

Baptist Church, Elsternwick

Organ installed 28th April 1938, which was purchased from the Baptist Church, Kew, for eighty pounds and opened by L. Warner. Expenses for erection and repairs by C.W. Andrewartha, were thirty-seven pounds. A total cost of one hundred and seventeen pounds.
This Organ was a one-manual six stops, built during 1860 by John Courcelle of London for William Philpotts of Toorak, who sold it during 1869 and it was installed in the Presbyterian Church, Williamstown, during 1873.
It was subsequently erected by George Fincham in the residence of the Hon. W.J. Winter Irvine at Murchison in 1882, and after his death, was sold to the Elsternwick Baptist Church in the 1900s.

Methodist Church, Elsternwick

This Organ was originally built by Merklin-Schutze of Brussels, and was erected in St John’s Church, Toorak during 1873. It was rebuilt and installed at the Methodist Church by Fincham and Son in 1926. The history of the Organ between 1914 and 1926 is unknown.

Methodist Church, Murrumbeena

Two-manual Organ from All Saints’ Church, Preston built by William Hill of London. Open diapason, Lieblich gedeckt, pierced gamba, suabe flute, pedal bourdon, two couplers. The date and early history of this Organ is unknown. It was second-hand when installed in All Saints’, Preston in 1897.

C.H.F. Webb Croton Hurst, Caulfield

This Organ was in Croton Hurst before 1882, when trouble was experienced with hydraulic engine. Details not known. George Fincham tuned it until 1900.

The Hon. Sir Frederick T. Sargood, KCMG Rippon Lea, Elsternwick

Three-manual Organ believed to be of English manufacture. It was built before 1873, when R. Mackenzie made alterations to it. The Organ was moved and installed in the ballroom of Rippon Lea when the house was completed. In 1903 the pipes were removed and stored, and the remainder of the Organ covered during the re-decoration of the ballroom When the re-decoration was completed, the pipes were replaced and the Organ regulated and tuned. It was offered for sale in May 1903, after the death of Sir Frederick Sargood, when it was valued at three hundred and fifty pounds.
Upper section of the Organ – height 14ft 6in, width 18ft 6in, depth 8ft.
Lower section in the Organ chamber under the floor:- height 6ft 3in, width 16ft 3in and depth 8ft 3in.

Caulfield Historical Society Newsletter No 32, October 1988