The first ever meeting of the Global Association of English School Alumni took place at the Hellenic Centre London on Friday 20th September 2019.
Around 150, mainly London-based alumni and friends including Sir Michael Bear, former Lord Mayor of the City of London, met in the Great hall of the Centre and reminisced on their old English School days spanning seven decades. The presence of so many academics, financiers, journalists, doctors and scientists among the gathered alumni was itself a testimony of the strong academic ethos of the school and its unrivalled rigour.
The themes of the evening were introduced by the organiser Stella Protopapa and the key speakers were Mr Harry Sophoclides and Professor Kypros Nicolaides.
Mr Sophoclides, who led so effectively the Cyprus diaspora for many years, gave a riveting account of the life of the School in the turbulent early fifties, the challenges of admitting girls to the school and his role in inserting “G” in ESOBGA (English School Old Boys and Girls Association).
Professor Nicolaides’ vivid portrayal of his life as a boarder in the School in the rebellious 60s was highly entertaining and his time at the School, prescient of his subsequent ground-breaking career and rise to what the BBC called the “Miracle Doctor”.
Mr Kyriakos Demetriades presented his book on the first 60 years of the life of the School, between 1900 and 1960, chronicling its foundation, development and establishment as a flourishing and independent centre of educational excellence in Cyprus. His excellent presentation was accompanied by many anecdotal photographs from the School’s archives from its early years to the present.
Other contributors included Mr Emilios Solomou and Professor Patick Pietroni. Mr Solomou spoke about his half a century experiences at the School as a pupil and teacher, and Professor Pietroni highlighted the inclusivity of the English School in the multicultural Nicosia of the late fifties.
The evening was concluded with a wine reception, sharing of indelible memories and the rekindling of old acquaintances.
Pictured: Emilios Solomou, Kypros Nicolaides, Kyriakos Demetriades, Stella Protopapa and Harry Sophoclides
Photo: Doros Partasides