The St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation has just concluded the restoration of the Lascaris bell. This ambitious project took over 2 years. The bell cast in 1636 during the term of Grand Master Antoine de Paule and was probably commissioned by Bailiff Jean Paul Lascaris de Castellar, successor of Grand Master De Paule. It was almost surely cast in the Foundry of the Order known as the Ferreria. Four armorial shields are found on the front, obverse and quarter points.
The Lascaris bell was originally installed in the façade arch of the northwest belfry. It is commonly thought that the bell was damaged due to war action, however cracks in its suspending cannons strongly indicate otherwise. It was last rung on the 24th August 1974 on the occasion of the funeral of Bishop Emmanuel Galea.
The actual blessing was carried out from the balcony above the main door of St John’s since the bell was too heavy to be carried into the Church as was the custom. The ceremony was attended by the bell’s donor the Grand Prior, the Chapter of Canons and other Ecclesiastical dignitaries.
The conservation treatment on the bell commenced in October 2006 by Soundweld Bell Restorers of the UK and continued at the John Taylor Bellfoundry of Loughborough also in the UK. The bell was eventually re-patinated in a manner as to be aesthetically presentable.