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Saturday August 13, 2011

Antique organ going out of kilter

In need of repairs: (Left) The Church of Assumption requires funds to repaint and repair parts which are decaying.

THE Church of the Assumption in the heart of George Town, which turns 225 this year, needs more than RM235,000 to restore its deteriorating 97-year-old pipe organ.

The church has been told that it would not be able to use the organ at all unless repairs are carried out within the year.

City Parish priest Rev Fr Dominic Santhiyagu said for now, the organ could still be played but the music has been affected and does not sound “as rich” as before.

“The organ, built by Morton & Moody in England in 1914, is now in a bad shape. We carried out minor repairs five years ago but it needs to be restored,” he said.

He said the initial quotation was made by pipe organ builders and restorers Peter Wood & Son from England.

It is believed that there are only five pipe organs in useable condition in Malaysia — four are in churches and the only concert organ is in the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.

Those who wish to donate to the cause can call the City Parish at 04-2261502 or 04-2293431.

Besides the pipe organ, the Assumption Church also needs funds to restore its building from next year.

Fr Dominic said the exterior of the church was repainted in recent years but the building now needs to be re-painted and certain parts of the building are decaying.

“Restoration is expected to cost millions of ringgit,” he said, adding that the church would be carrying out various fund-raising activities starting later this year.

The church is celebrating its feast day on Assumption Day, which falls on Aug 15 every year, and this also marks its year-long 225th anniversary celebrations.

The celebrations start tomorrow with rosary at 6pm followed by Mass celebrated by Penang Catholic Bishop Antony Selvanayagam at 6.30pm. On Monday, there will be rosary at 7pm followed by Mass at 7.30pm.

Fr Dominic said 200 copies of a CD featuring recordings of the pipe organ would be sold at the church on the two days.

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