On Tuesday 16th April 2024, the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood, the Cypriot community’s oldest association, hosted a celebratory Dinner to mark the 90th anniversary since its establishment in 1934.
The Guest of Honour at this vibrant celebration was His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, who was appointed as a Patron of the Brotherhood at the Dinner. The Dinner took place at the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood premises at Britannia Road, N12 9RU.
Addressing a packed room of Parliamentarians and distinguished guests, President Christodoulides praised the contribution of the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood and the diaspora saying, “we applaud and recognize the long history of both your service and instrumental work towards your fellow Cypriots…. Over the course of its history, the Brotherhood demonstrated resilience and remarkable adaptability.”
Referring to his personal experience of serving in London as Consul General, he said, “I feel blessed simply because I had the privilege to personally witness the enduring work and the unselfish dedication of the members of the Brotherhood and our broader diaspora. I saw first-hand the commitment and personal engagement of the members of the Brotherhood in the pursuit of conveying our national struggle’s messages to the UK. I could not but consider myself lucky as I had the opportunity to work and cooperate closely with the Brotherhood and all other organised groups of Cypriots in the UK. I met kind, honest and generous people. I made long-lasting friendships, creating bonds of mutual respect that remain strong up to this day.”
President Christodoulides commented on the Cyprus issue, remarking that “since the first day I assumed office, working towards lasting peace in Cyprus is my absolute priority. I have repeatedly stated that the only effective way to address both the continuing illegal occupation and the massive violations of human rights generated by the absence of a peace path is to pave one.”
The President welcomed the appointment of UNSG’s Personal Envoy, Ms. Maria Ángela Holguin Cuéllar saying, “There is not, and there will never be, any other basis for settlement of the Cyprus question to that described by the UNSC Resolutions. Illegality originating from invasion, use of force and occupation cannot by recognized, cannot be legitimized.”
The President reiterated his commitment to the agreed UN framework saying, “From this platform, I wish to repeat my pledge that I am dedicated to negotiating a viable and comprehensive settlement, always within the agreed UN framework and in line with the principles on which the EU is founded.”
In closing, the President extended his best wishes to Ambassador Constantinidou on her recent appointment as the Head of Diaspora and Repatriates Service. He also reiterated “the profound gratitude of the people and the Government of Cyprus for the work carried out, the achievements accomplished, and all activities undertaken by the Brotherhood.”
Speaking on behalf of the Brotherhood’s President Aris Charalambides, Vice President, Christos Karaolis, welcomed the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Archbishop of Thyateira & Great Britain and the distinguished guests to the event. In his address, Mr Karaolis praised the “proud and historic legacy of the Brotherhood over the last 90 years”, saying that through years it has remained steadfast in its mission “to maintain and preserve our culture, language, heritage and faith and of course to advocate for the end of the now 50-year long Turkish occupation and the reunification of Cyprus.”
Referring to the Cypriot diaspora, he went on to say that “Over the lifetime of the Brotherhood, Cypriots in the UK have been actively contributing to, and shaping, the UK’s success story,” and added that “we are delighted that we are joined by so many of these standard bearers for our diaspora tonight.”
Thanking the many Parliamentarians that attended the Dinner, Mr Karaolis said that “the Brotherhood has always been a unifying force, across the political spectrum for our diaspora.”
He also went on to thank the Patrons, Great Benefactors, the former Presidents and Committees of the Brotherhood for their tireless contribution over the years.
President Christodoulides was presented with a commemorative plaque to mark his appointment as a Patron of the Brotherhood, by the Brotherhood’s President Aris Charalambides, Vice-Presidents Christos Karaolis, Ninos Koumettou and Honorary President Haris Sophoclides, for his dedication and commitment to the Cypriot diaspora and his tireless efforts to find a just, viable and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue.
Thanking the Brotherhood for the appointment, the President said, “I will carry this honour with great sense of commitment and responsibility. Most importantly, I consider this nomination as a great honour towards the high institution I myself represent, that of the President of the Republic of Cyprus. My sincere feelings of pride also represent Cyprus’ appreciation for the significant national, social, cultural and education work you all have fulfilled for almost a century.”
The dinner was attended by, among others, the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Nikitas, the Greek Ambassador to the UK Yannis Tsaousis, the Republic of Cyprus High Commissioner to the UK Kyriacos Kouros, as well as the Cyprus Government Spokesman, Deputy Minister to the President of Cyprus, Director of the President of Cyprus’ Office, Head of Cyprus Diaspora and Repatriates Service as well as Diplomats from the Cyprus High Commission. Parliamentarians in attendance included: Rt Hon Rosie Winterton (Deputy Speaker); Rt Hon Caroline Nokes (Chairman, Cyprus APPG); Mark Jenkinson MP (Assistant Government Whip); Bambos Charalambous MP (Hon Secretary, Cyprus APPG); Fabian Hamilton MP (Vice Chairman, Cyprus APPG); Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP (Vice Chairman, Cyprus APPG), Feryal Clark MP (Shadow Minister for Crime Reduction). Also in attendance were former MP, Sir Alan Meale; Officers of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, NEPOMAK, the Greek Orthodox Communities and Community Associations; Former West Ham Captain, Mark Noble; John Christodoulou; Professor Kypros Nicolaides; Edme Leventis; Andria Zafirakou; Cllr Tony Vouros and Headteacher of St Andrew the Apostle Greek Orthodox Secondary School Philip Hill.
The Brotherhood would like to thank all sponsors and the organising committee.

Photos: Stavri Kay

Leave a Reply