Members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain enjoyed a day trip to Brighton on a very sunny and hot day. The group gathered and boarded their coach near the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green. On arrival in Brighton the group attended the service at the Greek Orthodox Church of Ayia Triadas where they were met by Church Committee Treasurer, Zacharias Koullas, whose family roots are from Rizokarpasso; at the end of the service they had refreshments in the sunshine outside the church. Lunchtime the group enjoyed the traditional seaside lunch Fish & Chips at The Regency Restaurant. The service for our large group of 50 was quick and the food was delicious.
After lunch everyone enjoyed the sunshine and fresh sea air either relaxing or walking along the seafront. The coach journeys were made more enjoyable with members singing many well known Greek songs such as “Yerakina”, “Bera Stou Bera Kambou”, “O Mikros O Kinigos”, “ Loulla Mou Maroulla Mou”, “To Yelekaki”, “Yialo, Yialo”, “Samiotissa”. The singing was led by Keti, Kyriakou, Anna and Andreas and everyone joined in. As always the traditional Shinnopittes prepared by 92 year old Katina, for the outing, were enthusiastically received by all as were the sweets, nuts etc that various members had brought to share. Anastasis, who at 96 is our oldest Association member has a wealth of knowledge about our unforgettable Rizokarpasso and its families. Members were delighted to see 86 year old Michalis Lidas on the trip. Michalis had served continuously on the Rizokarpasso Association Committee since it was formed in 1975, retiring last year due to poor health.
Members took the opportunity to exchange family information, recount memories of Rizokarpasso and express their desire to return to their homes and properties in Rizokarpasso. They remembered the sacrifice of the remaining 228 enclaved Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso, whose numbers have declined over the years from over 3,000 Rizokarpassides prior to 1974. All said they wanted to send the NFC letter to their Members of Parliament to remind them of the 44 years of Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus and to ask for their MPs support for justice for Cyprus. Many will attend the NFC annual Parliament event on Tuesday 10th July.
The Association’s next opportunity for family and friends to meet will be at the Association’s Dinner and Dance at the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood on Saturday 24th November.