Foxton boasts a unique pipe organ among its many treasures.

Built by English firm Nicholson and Lord, it is part of the 1876 All Saints Church on the Main Street in the town.

Though more than 100 years old, the pipe organ is still in excellent condition. That it has remained largely unchanged during that time, possibly due to lack of money, makes it unique enough for the New Zealand Organ Preservation Society Trust to list the organ under category one in its register.

A certificate will be handed to the church on Saturday during a concert to be held in the church.

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Foxton's All Saints Church's 1907 pipe organ, built by Nicholson and Lord in 1907 has received a NZ Organ Preservation Trust Historic Organ Certificate.
Foxton's All Saints Church's 1907 pipe organ, built by Nicholson and Lord in 1907 has received a NZ Organ Preservation Trust Historic Organ Certificate.

Only 14 organs are listed as category one in New Zealand. The oldest is in Lyttelton and was built in 1864. Four others are category two, while there is one category three organ.

Preservation Trust secretary and Palmerston North organist Roy Tankersley, who will play the organ during the concert, said although the organ has only one keyboard, and very few stops, there is a provision for another keyboard on the Foxton organ.

The pipes above the organ are bespeckled at the bottom, proof of the quality of the workmanship, he said.

The organ arrived in Foxton on a ship, The Queen of the South, from Wellington. It had been shipped from England on the Gothic and Christchurch organ builder NT Pearce was given the task to install it.

CF England was the first organist to play the instrument in early February 1907, but its regular organist would be Miss Amy Jenks.

The organ has a hand pump to provide air to the instrument and in the first few decades of its existence it provided many a young parishioner with pocket money for doing the pumping.

Soprano Soo Young Park and organist Roy Tankersley will bring music to All Saints Church on Saturday.
Soprano Soo Young Park and organist Roy Tankersley will bring music to All Saints Church on Saturday.

An electric pump was finally installed in 1948, but the hand pump still works and was there if needed.

The organ is serviced every year and is valued at $180,000. It is believed to be only one of three Nicholson and Lord organs installed still left in operation in the country.

Meanwhile, Roy Tankersley and Soprano Soo Young Park will play music from Bach, Faure, Gounod, Pierne, Zipoli and Pachelbel at the concert on Saturday.

The duo regularly perform in churches with old pipe organs as a way to keep them in use and allow the wider public to enjoy the instruments.

All Saints organist Ian Bannister said the Foxton organ is used in every service.

The concert starts tomorrow at 2pm. Admission is by donation.