Church celebrates $560,000 donation
A GENEROUS donation of $560,000 from the Jani Haenke Foundation will go a long way to rebuilding the historic 1860 pipe organ at St Paul's Anglican Church.
The church is hosting a celebratory free Twilight Concert this Sunday to thank the foundation trustees and introduce the organ builder who will work on the treasured instrument.
St Paul's director of music Michelle Jaques said the rebuilt organ would be the "envy of Queensland".
"There will not be an organ of this calibre outside the cathedral," she said.
"The organ builder will start work by the end of 2013, then it will be at least a year until it's finished."
The pipe organ in the Ipswich CBD church is Queensland's first organ, built by JW Walker just a year after Queensland was declared a state.
It will be merged with a 1904 Fincham from Sydney in the rebuild, producing what Ms Jaques believes will be the "Rolls Royce" of organs.
Ms Jaques will play the organ at the concert, and confirms that it's showing its age.
"The pipework is 150 years old and it's on its last legs," she said.
"The church still has to put in about $100,000 for the rebuilding. We haven't raised that yet."
St Paul's has been fundraising for the project for three or four years.
"This is an artistic thing, so it appealed to the Jani Haenke Foundation trustees," Ms Jaques said.
"They were happy to see the money kept in Ipswich."
Jani Haenke grew up in Ipswich, at her family's home Rockton, and was a student of Ipswich Girls' Grammar School. She died in September 2009.
Jani's younger sister, Angela Geertsma, is a foundation trustee.
"My sister left a lot to charity," Mrs Geertsma said.
"She was very classically minded with music and always had a lot to do with it."
As a child, Ms Haenke was confirmed at St Paul's and attended the youth group.
Mrs Geertsma said the grant for the organ at St Paul's was the first from the foundation to be given to an Ipswich cause.
"There's another one coming to Ipswich," she said.
The Twilight Concert will begin at 4pm this Sunday at St Paul's Church, D'Arcy Doyle Place.