The Pro Cathedral of St Paul in Malta is realising an ambition that has pre-occupied the successive Chancellors for over a decade. The historic organ built for Chester cathedral in 1684 by Father Smith the famous organ builder and shipped to Malta in the 1850's is at last being dismantled for shipping to Ireland where it will be completely restored and extended. It took seven workers to painstakingly remove the 2000 pipes, organ console, wind chests, electrics and associated woodwork.
The rebuilding will cost some 195,000 Euros and the restoration of the historic casework another 10,000. A campaign entitled "pull out the stops" has begun to raise the final 100,000 Euros by asking individuals to sponsor single pipes or ranks from 20 Euros up to 1000 Euros per pipe and between 480 an 6100 Euros per stop depending on the number of pipes involved! Derek Byrne the CEO of Kenneth Jones Pipe Organs of Eire is personally overseeing the work and with his Maltese connections (his mother is Maltese) he has involved the island's leading organ builder in the whole process .
The work will include a new custom designed low terraced 3 manual stop-knob console, a new electric sold state microprocessor key action transmission system, restoration of all the pneumatic parts of the key and stop actions, repairing and making good the wind system, wind trunking conveyances, bellows and a new silent blower motor, the restoration of the 2000 pipes and the addition of 25 new gilded Open Diapason speaking front pipes .
One of the project´s patrons Wayne Marshall ,the noted organist and Artistic director for the Valletta European City of Culture 2018 bid, has said this of the instrument "I firmly believe the restoration of this international icon will make an important contribution to the bid and the work of Derek Byrne will restore it to a high standard".
More information on the project can be found at www.stpaulsorgan.org or contact email@example.com .It is hoped the new organ will be in place for the Christmas Service of 9 lessons and carols in 2013 when an entirely new era in the musical life of the cathedral will begin. The picture of the new console shows the Maltese cross, crozier and keys of the Diocese of Europe carved in to the solid oak case work!