On a recent piano tuning trip to the Cowichan Valley and Duncan, one of my stops was St John’s Anglican Church in downtown Duncan. The instrument I was called to tune was a modern, shiny black upright piano. No surprises there. But my attention was drawn to the alcove in the sanctuary where a quaint and obviously old pipe organ resided. Some framed letters and documents show that this was one of the first organs and probably the oldest organ in western Canada.
Built in England by J.W. Walker and Sons of London, the organ was originally installed in a church in Victoria BC in 1860 before being moved to Duncan 100 years ago. I hold a fascination for old organs as well as pianos, I even own a 120 year old small church organ in my own collection. I hope to get back to St John’s Anglican Church in downtown Duncan for a service or an organ recital to actually hear their organ being played. When I do, I will try to get a few photographs of the grand old dame.