United Church secretary Pat Staal admires the wheezing organ. Van Dusen photo

RUSSELL – The “unique and irreplaceable” organ at Russell United Church has developed a “maladie” and the time has come to intervene, says Barbara Agar.

According to Agar, the condition includes “wheezing when pressure is placed on the foot pedals.” But that’s not all! There’s also an “annoying, rather loud hum that doesn’t necessarily improve the harmony coming from the choir.”

What to do? Church officers have been “cogitating” over the wisdom of spending what will be a considerable amount of money to have the organ repaired. With a valuable instrument such as the one in question, Agar explained, if proper maintenance isn’t provided, deterioration will continue.

While the age of the organ is unclear, a plaque affixed to its side indicated it was dedicated by the congregation in 1992. Five years ago, some work was done and it was suggested at that time, that replacement with an organ of equal quality would be in the order of $50,000 to $60,000, an unaffordable option. The only remedy is repair.

Enter Connie Johnston and her Russell Trivia Services to help raise funds for a little doctoring. A Trivia Night with silent auction will be held Sat., Feb. 22, at the village community centre on behalf of the cranky organ. Don’t bother trying to get a seat because the event is sold out with a waiting list, Johnston has announced.

A sell-out is about 200 people paying $10 each sitting at 31 tables. This is Johnston’s second Trivia Night so far in 2020, with the previous one raising $4,000 for Russell Optimist Club; there are two more scheduled for March.

If you would like to add to the organ repair account, Agar, who is part of the United Church Trivia 2020 Committee, will happily take your donation before or after Trivia Night.

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