Everything in its season – and phase


Have you noticed the evenings are closing in earlier than a month ago, that the nights are cooler and the morning sun is rising a bit later? It’s phase 2 of summer, so to speak.

Fall doesn’t officially arrive until the third week of September, but with the changing patterns of day and night, the harvests and the cooler days, it’s starting to feel as if summer is entering its final phase.

And so too is the post-fire work at St. Andrew’s.

Phase 1, the emergency clean-up phase after our Feb. 19 fire, is wrapping up. The final piece in that phase is the organ cleaning and restoration.

Everywhere but the sanctuary, the walls have been removed and the studs have been treated with a special coating used after they were exposed to fire. It reduces odour and provides some type of protection.

Meanwhile, contractors are working on submitting quotes for Phase 2 work to the insurance company. Over the past several weeks, contractors have been measuring and taking in their various specialists and sub-contractors to understand what they’re working with in order to create a quote that would give us specifics about options and the associated costs.

The 1962 Casavant Freres organ has 19 registers, 19 stops, 27 ranks, three divisions and two manuals. What that means is that it can make incredible music. If you’re into the technical specs of the organ, you can find them in the Pipe Organ Database, which can be found at https://pipeorgandatabase.org/organ/53312

There’s a lot of work happening behind this rather quiet scene.

John Struve, of JG Struve and Co. has dismantled the organ’s 1,000 pipes and is cleaning each one. Whether it measures inches or 8 feet, an organ pipe is basically a whistle, he explained, and well, we want each and every pipe to be as clean as a whistle. Some pipes are made of zinc and others of tin.

“We’re taking all the pipes off, opening up the wind chest – that’s the big box that all the pipes sit on and which lets the air in when the organist pushes the keys,” he explained.

Struve’s colleague David Sandall has been cleaning the area in which the pipes are located.

Work also is having to be done to ensure the organ blower located in a closet underneath the Worsley Street side stairs is clean.

The console, in terms of needing to be cleaned,  isn’t too bad, although some dust has settled on its protective hood.