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Geoffrey Smith Residence

Geoff Smith, the first President of the S.A. Division of TOSA, installed his initial organ in his residence at 14, Cremorne Street, Fullarton. This was developed from a five-rank church instrument, for which he acquired a two-manual stopkey console from another church. Over the years, this grew into a three-manual concert-style instr-ment of approximately ten ranks of pipes. Most of the ranks were "straight", but the Great Open Diapason was extended to provide a 4ft. Princi-pal, and the Viole Flute was available at four pitches, as well as being playable at 4ft. from the Choir manual. The Swell Suabe Flute was available at four pitches. The Pedal Bourdon provided an 8ft. Flute on the pedals. There were no other extensions or inter-manual borrowings. [Geoffrey Smith, South Australian President Boasts Residence Organ, "The Diaphone", TOSA (NSW), Sydney, Vol. 6, No. 3, July, 1968, p.p. 2-3] Chimes and a Glockenspiel were available on the Great manual, and in 1966, Mr Smith purchased a complete set of Wurlitzer percussions for addition to the instrument.  [South Australian News, "Vox", TOSA (Vic), Melbourne, August, 1966, p. 4]

Mr Smith later moved to Happy Valley, taking his organ with him. Before he set about re-erecting it, he purchased an eight-rank Christie theatre organ, which for some years occupied his energies. The instrument (Opus 2720) was much-travelled, having been first installed in 1928 in the Regent, North Perth, moving soon to the De Luxe Theatre, Melbourne (1929), then to the Plaza Theatre, Sydney (1930) and finally to the Savoy Theatre, Enfield, NSW, in 1938. After the organ was removed from the Savoy, Enfield, in 1959, it was placed into storage in Castle Hill, NSW, by organ enthusiast Frank Baldwin, who sold it to Geoff Smith in 1974. [Geoff Smith Buys Theatre Pipe Organ for S.A. Residence, "Vox", TOSA (Vic), Melbourne, November, 1974, p. 5]

The instrument's eight pipe ranks were: Tuba, Tibia, Diapason, Clarinette [sic], Viole, CÚleste, Flute and Vox Humana. Surprisingly, it had never been altered during its extensive travels, the only change being that the console had been painted white in Sydney. In Geoff's residence, it returned to its original polished wood finish.

Stoplist of Organ

The instrument was installed in a single chamber on the first floor of Geoff's residence, the console being craned into position before the house was completed. The roof was designed so that it could be removed to allow the console to be taken out if necessary. ["SA TOSA News", TOSA (SA), Adelaide, October, 1980, p. 2] Before it could be played, much of the leather-work had to be replaced, and extensive work was necessary to the electrical systems. It was thus some years before Adelaideans were able to hear "live" music from a Christie organ. In the process, Geoff added four ranks of unenclosed classical pipe-work from his earlier organ, and modified the console to accommodate a third manual which was a Yamaha DX27 synthesiser. He also fitted a Roland delay unit to create an effect of reverberation. An interesting addition was a set of flute pipes made by Geoff from perspex. [An Invitation from Mr Geoff Smith, "TOSA News", TOSA (SA), Adelaide, March, 1990, p.p. 5-6]

In 1994, Mr Smith moved home and sold his organ to the Bendigo Theatre Organ Society (now the Central Victorian Division of TOSA) [Geoff Smith Moves House and Sells His Christie Organ, "TOSA News", TOSA (SA), Adelaide, December, 1994, p. 9]., who hope shortly (2000) to enlarge and install it in Castlemaine Town Hall. [Conversation with Mr David Cross, Bendigo, August, 2000]

 

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