A Reed Organ made in Canada dating back to 1897 was separated from the St Martin's Chapel at Makotuku when the chapel was relocated to the Linton Military Camp by the parishioners in 1974.

The Makotuku parish folded in 1960, and in 1972 the chapel was gifted to the Engineer Corps Memorial Association.

The chapel was dismantled at Makotuku and transported in parts to Linton.

Each part was marked so that re-erection would cause as few challenges as possible.

In 2002, Rob and Gail Leach found the organ in a second-hand shop in Dannevirke.


The couple then engaged a South Island organ company to restore it to pristine condition.

It remained in the Leach family for 18 years, and Friday last week the organ was
dedicated at a special ceremony in the Reed Organ's spiritual home.

Friday last week, the Royal NZ Engineers welcomed the Linton community and school to the special dedication of the organ to its home, and the installation of two rolls of honour, of the local young men who went to World War I and II.

Rob shared with the gathering that filled the chapel, how the organ came into the Leachs' possession.

When he and wife Gail bought the organ, they discussed restoring it.

Rob found a South Island organ company and in the first conversation, he said the quote for repairs was "eyewatering".

However, coincidences came about.

Rob previously travelled for business and a colleague remembered him.


That person was connected to the South Island organ company that came back to Rob with a second discounted offer to restore the organ.

Mark Craw from the Linton community spoke of the two rolls of honour that were once in the Linton Community Hall.

Mark said there had been a fire in the hall and it had fallen into disrepair.

There are 98 men in the two rolls of honour and Mark said they were on loan for safekeeping in the chapel.