Organ pipes lying in the pews at St. Dunstan's in Charlottetown, waiting to be installed. (Maggie Brown/CBC)
An 89-year-old pipe organ from a decommissioned church in Montreal is being installed at Charlottetown’s St. Dunstan's Basilica.
Robert Hiller works on cleaning the pipes.
Workers are busy cleaning the giant pipes that will soon be put in place in the choir loft at St. Dunstan's Basilica. Thousands of pieces that will become the new-to-P.E.I. organ are lying in the pews. It’s been a bit crowded during services, said Father Floyd Gallant, but he knows it will all be worth it.
“Since April we haven't had access to an organ. We've been using a small Clavinova piano,” said Gallant.
“But that has served us, and we're kind of fasting before the feast.”
The choir loft at St. Dunstan's will soon house the new organ.
Robert Hiller and his crew from Casavant organs will spend the next few weeks piecing the organ together. Hiller said the church in Montreal was very similar to St. Dunstan's, and it fits well into the Charlottetown church.
“Very similar acoustic,” said Hiller.
“Actually I think acoustic is better here which is always good for us. The more reverberation the better the organ will sound.”
The purchase of the organ was made possible by a donation from the late Owen Kelly, the organist at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Summerside.
It will get its public debut at midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Gallant has already chosen the first tune: O Come All Ye Faithful.