Friday, 31 October 2008

Loving thoughts of Lonia Efthyvoulou - RIP 30th October 2008

We are all saddened to hear of the death of my uncle Lonias Efthyvoulou on 30th October 2008, aged 84 after a year's fight against cancer.

Condolances go out via this posting to his wife Hara, who had nursed him and had supported him through his final days - and of course to his sons Michael and Stephen and their mother Alma, and to his brothers Dimas and Shurick and his sisters Tania and Tina. 

Lonia had been diagnosed in February 2008 as suffering from a malignant cancer of the lungs which the radiation treatment he subsequently received had been able to hold-back, but not eliminate. He had spent a last period in hospital during September, during which doctors determined there was nothing further they could do to help him, and so he was transferred to his home, where Hara was his only support and carer.

His sister Tania with her daughter Zoe and with Tashi had travelled from the US to spend some time in Cyprus with him during March, with some lovely photographs posted on the web from that visit. (see link below).

Lonia's sister Tina had also travelled from her own family base in Athens to spend some time with Lonia, Hara and the Efty family in Cyprus, during March and again later in the year.

Lonia's two sons Michael with wife Lee and Stephen with wife Maureen had been able to travel from their homes in the US to visit Cyprus during this last summer and to spend time with their father. 

Lonias had last visited the US for the wedding of Stephen and Maureen's daughter Nicole in New Jersey during the summer of 2003, and had also been able to visit with his elder son Michael and wife Lee with their family in Florida for a few days.

In addition to the suffering during this last year due to his illness, Lonias and his wife Hara had some very difficult emotions to cope with following the tragic death of Louisa Vouteri Efthyvoulou who had been a stewardess aboard the Helios jet crash in Greece during 2005. She had been cruelly taken from them a matter of days before she was due to be married, which saw them all attending a funeral instead of a joyous wedding.

Both my father Dimas and Lonia are World War 2 veterans of the Cyprus Regiment and have always been respected members of the community in Cyprus. Their father Mihalakis had been a veteran volunteer with the British army during World War I before then also serving with the British Army during the Second World War.

In his later years in Cyprus Lonias contributed articles as a journalist for the Cyprus Weekly newspaper, which his brother Alex Efty had helped found as an activity over and above his own lifetime's work as a correspondent for the Associated Press. Lonia had provided regular reports on proceedings in the Cyprus Parliament, and contributed frequent 'feature' articles on a wide range of subjects over many years.

Lonia had served as a journalist with the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, and had worked with the Foreign Broadcast Information Service during the 50s and 60s and again during the later 70's and 80's.

Above all however, we remember Lonias as I am sure he would wish to be remembered -- for his very friendly and witty character, his enjoyment of good food and the occasional drink and of course for his prolific output as an artist painter. He chose to immortalise real locations such as village scenes and houses in his own unique style. He would also often repeat his theme of olive trees and of nature studies in sketch form as well as in his own impressionist painting style.

Lonias also leaves behind a vast archive of photographs.

He had very much wanted to have a last exhibition of paintings during this last year, but his failing health and mobility made that impossible. It would be a fitting tribute to him for that to happen at some point in the near future.

His funeral is at 11am on Saturday 1st November in Nicosia.

See also:

"Rest in Peace Lonia Efthyvoulou", by Zoe Krylova (30th October 2008)

"My Three Uncles" - Photo Album of Zoe Krylova's trip to Cyprus in March 2008Efty Family Gathering - Tatiana Cyprus Visit 2007, by Tatiana BendaLonia Efthyvoulou Gallery at the Aspects website, by David Efthyvoulou, 2003

"Fragments: Kyrenia Views - From our lives there in the 1950s"
Photos contributed by Alma Efthyvoulou, photos taken by Lonia Efthyvoulou

"Unsettling visit to Karmi" (in the part of northern Cyprus still occupied by Turkey's army)
By Lonias Efthyvoulou, Cyprus Weekly, May 9-16, 2003

History of Cyprus / Cleanthis P. Georgiades ; translation from the Greek, Lonias Efthyvoulou ; [colour photographs by Jack Iacovides].

"History shadows ancient Nicosia villages", A brief history of Pera Orinis Village, by Lonia Efthyvoulou

Pera Orinis - by Lonia Efthyvoulou, 2002

Some video/music, for Lonia, and for us ...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Finding a Solution by Cypriots for Cyprus - Seminar video

A video of the first major event by Cypriots for Cyprus at the London School of Economics on Tuesday night 14th October is now available on the web. Other media is likely to also be made available, with details to be notified via the Cypriots for Cyprus website.

Coinciding with the ongoing peace process in Cyprus, the discussion panel event held on 14th October 2008 at the London School of Economics (LSE) centred around the theme 'Developments in the peace negotiations in Cyprus: Finding a solution by Cypriots for Cypriots'.

The panel of speakers included former President of the Republic of Cyprus George Vassiliou, President of the Cyprus EU Association Ali Erel, Co-director of Cyprus Interpeace Project Spyros Christou and renowned Cypriot poet Alev Adil.

See more details from the Cypriots for Cyprus website


Join the group's Facebook profile at:

ACGTA - Security Dimensions of a Cyprus Settlement - Video of Seminar

As a long standing member of the 'Association for Cypriot Greek and Turkish Affairs', a UK group of academics and others interested in considering issues which might contribute to a greater understanding of the issues involved in relations between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, I am pleased to announce the release of a video available through the internet of the entirety of the latest seminar by the Association.


Presented a seminar on
Dr James Ker-Lindsay, IAA Defence Analysis, Institute Senior Research Fellow, Hellenic Observatory, EuropeanInstitute, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr Zenon Stavrinides in the chair

Abstract: As direct high-level talks continue between the Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, there is one aspect of the settlement process that necessarily requires the active participation of external actors: security. This talk examined a range of security questions and issues that need to be tackled, such as demilitarisation, the presence of foreign troops, the Treaty of Guarantee, peacekeeping and ensuring the post-solution defence of Cyprus. The talk was followed by a discussion with participants at the seminar.

Held at:
London School of Economics, European Institute, Cowdray House.

The video of this seminar is available at:

(Source: at google video)

Details of past events by the Association, of future events, and how to join the organisation and to be included on it's mailing list, are available on the website and by sending an email to its founder, and General Secretary, Dr. Zenon Stavrinides

About the Association for Cypriot, Greek and Turkish Affairs:

The Association for Cypriot, Greek and Turkish Affairs (ACGTA) was established in London in 1992 as an independent and non-partisan forum for debate and discussion on contemporary developments in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Since then, it has become the leading international association specifically dedicated to the study of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Dr Zenon Stavrinides
General Secretary, ACGTA
8 Ganners Mount
Leeds LS13 2PE
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 113 256 8907

Monday, 6 October 2008

Video of Cyprus Debate at Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

I was particularly honoured to read the comment by repulsewarrior, given his long-standing commitment to peace and reconciliation on Cyprus, on one of the last entries on my blog and I thank him for choosing to also provide those writings with the air of publicity on this forum at Talk Cyprus. Thanks also to stavrizatz for having taken the time to look at my pages, and for his comments at the Talk Cyprus thread.

Having been a member of this forum, as well as of the cyprusforum for some years, I must admit to have looked-in at both locations on a very occasional basis, but to have chosen to remain a read-only observer of the many topics and discussions contained within both fora.

I did not unfortunately have a camera on the occasion when Lord Hannay addressed a specially convened meeting of the Association for Cypriot Greek and Turkish Affairs at the London School of Economics (I think it was way back in 2002, at the start of the then-new interest by him as UK Special Representative for Cyprus) where he urged increased activism on the part of Turkish Cypriots in favour of rapprochement efforts, and during which I suggested the creation of internet-borne channels of communication in efforts to produce improved communication between the two communities.

By way of introduction I should therefore say that I am a Kyrenian whose family left during the invasion in 1974 (though I was in England studying at that time, rather than in Cyprus)... whose family has always been involved in 'the media' ... I found myself by the mid-80's, after the immediate disruption to family life from the invasion had been somewhat 'sorted out' ... becoming angry at the lack of any progress towards a solution ... and thus became a voluntary 'community activist' via London's Cypriot Community Centre at Theatro Technis as one of few apparent avenues of 'doing something about it'.

My own methodology and 'tool of analysis' has been the use of 'video recordings' of events associated with London-based efforts to engender rapprochement (at a time when that was impossible in Cyprus) ... on the premise that what every speaker at various events had to say was important and should be recorded out of respect for the views of people who were being bold enough to speak in favour of rapprochement, and in order to enable such views to 'not be lost'.

I therefore have a considerable archive of such recordings, made over quite a few years, which coincided with the advent of the "Women Walk Home" movement, and I have the only recording of President Vasiliou's "Love offensive" speech in London ... and of many meetings in the few years immediately following... some of which are in process of being released onto Video On Demand facilities on the web.

All this is mentioned in order to say that although I have not written much on this (or other fora), I am a person who has carefully listened, and re-listened to very many views being expressed, verbally (in a culture that better expresses itself verbally, than in writing) and in writings from the entire spectrum of the politics of Cyprus ... from academics, politicians, journalists and laymen ... and somewhat like repulsewarrior has done with the many posts he has made within this thread, I have spent hours and hours collecting and archiving many of the newspaper articles, but also much of what I could record of the output by CyBC from about 2002 onwards ... with lapses during periods when things just went quiet. or when I just missed things.

My reasoning in doing so was my own effort to learn about something which is a major part of my identity as a Cypriot, but also to try to understand what has been going on, from as many perspectives as possible.

A supplementary reason was my own perception of a need to look at the totality in order to then try to step aside objectively, as any good social scientist should be able to do, to look at that totality of information in order to TRY to see what is missing ... in order to see what that 'something' is, which if introduced into the situation, could perhaps be a key factor, and which if properly handled by all involved (much though that is a tall order) might make a difference and help contribute to a breakthrough, and contribute that certain something which the French would call 'je ne se qua' ... that is what motivates me.

It is perhaps therefore an appropriate time for me now to make a first contribution to this forum by stating that in the recording I made (and placed on the web at Google video) of the debate about Cyprus at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on October 1st .... (and which video to my knowledge is not publicly available elsewhere) ... are contained some pivotal arguments which I believe Cyprus has needed for some time to be expressed by informed 'outsiders'.

Lets see how the 'how it is handled' from here progresses into the future.

There is also the video of the speech by Cyprus Presient Cristofias:

Translation into English of the main speech spoken in Greek:

And the resolution adopted by the Council of Europe:

Verbatim text of proceeidngs on 30th September, with the section including the section of Presient Christofias' session, at the very end of the morning session:

Verbatim text of the proceedings on 1st October (in English) . Speech by Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, of the Report by the Rapporteur on Cyprus, and comments by the legal committee, and all other speeches: