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Repeat the sounding joy

Baptist church restores historic pipe organ

Parishioner Bette Decoteau plays “Amazing Grace,” on the newly refurbished antique pipe organ at Wales Baptist Church. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
September 08, 2009
WALES — After five years of fundraising, the Wales Baptist Church will once again hear the tones of its antique pipe organ — a piece of the town's history as much as it is the church's.

Bette Decoteau, a parishioner and descendant of a longstanding Wales family (Stebbins), along with her husband Hank and cousin Sandra Beaudry spearheaded the campaign to have the organ circa 1850s, restored into playable condition.

"Our family is so engrained in this church," Decoteau said, explaining that the bell in the tower was dedicated to her grandmother and the alter cloth to her uncle. "That church has just always been a big part of the town and for my family."

Semi-retired, Decoteau moved back to Wales from Martha's Vineyard in 2001, and almost immediately took up the cause of the organ, which has a somewhat mysterious past.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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