Great Cypriot Benefactors


Date of issue: 17/10/2016


Georgios Paraskevaides

He was born in Athens in 1916. He studied architecture at the Milan Polytechnic. In 1941, he met Stelios Joannou with whom he founded in partnership the Joannou and Paraskevaides construction company known as J & P and succeeded within a few years in establishing it as an international contractor colossus, promoting Cyprus on a global basis.

In 1959 he married Thelma Leonidou Frangou. They had three children: Efthyvoulos, a civil engineer, Leoni, an architect, and Christina, who studied business administration.

He and his wife set up the Georgios and Thelma Paraskevaides Charitable Foundation and the Paraskevaidion Surgical and Transplant Centre.

The state, the church and numerous organisations have honoured him for his diverse social actions, patriotism, philanthropy and great contribution to his country, the church and to Hellenism. He died in London on the December 5th, 2007, at the age of 91.


Anastasios Leventis

Anastasios Georgios Leventis (1902-1978) from the village of Petra, Solea, created a financial colossus in West Africa thanks to his hard work, farsightedness, innovation, and solidarity in his fellow-man.

He was a brilliant entrepreneur and major philanthropist who helped the Republic of Cyprus in many areas. As a representative of Cyprus to UNESCO, he denounced the destruction of the cultural heritage in the occupied regions and assisted in the repatriation of archaeological treasures.

Three major painting collections formed the core of the A.G. Leventis Gallery in Nicosia. He founded the A.G. Leventis Foundation to promote Cyprus internationally, disseminate Greek Culture, develop new forms of education for the young and protect the natural environment, and was a fervent philanthropist.


Stelios Joannou

Stelios Joannou was born in Lefkara in 1915 and was an internationally-respected businessman, well-known for charitable activities.

His partnership with Georgios Paraskevaides in 1942 developed into ‘J&P’ the largest construction company in Cyprus, which contributed significantly to the presence of the country in the international business world.

Stelios Joannou and his wife Eli Mousoulou, passed on their love for their homeland and fellow man to their children, Dakis, Sylvia and Christos.

Outstanding examples of Stelios Joannou’s philosophy in Cyprus are the ‘Christos Stelios Joannou Foundation’, in memory of their son, Christos, who died at an early age, and the ‘Ayios Christoforos Home’, both for persons with special needs. He received significant honours for his multi-faceted contribution to charitable foundations and associations, including the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The establishment of the Research School of Classical and Byzantine Studies at Oxford University and the model library at the University of Cyprus, both of which bear his name, are thanks to generous donations from his wife.

He died in Nicosia on May 8, 1999 and the government honoured him by covering his coffin with the colours of the Greek flag.


Based on information supplied by the Cyprus Post Office, Philatelic Department, Nicosia, Cyprus.


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