Nominations for the tenth Hearts of Gold Cyprus Awards
By Bejay Browne
The nomination process for the tenth annual Hearts of Gold
Cyprus awards are now open, and this year will allow
proposals from all over the island, according to organisers.
The annual awards recognise both children and adults
who are extra special in some way and members of the public
can nominate people each year, that they feel are deserving.
The winners are chosen by a panel of judges, including this
year’s guest judge, British High Commissioner, Matthew Kidd.
“We are celebrating our tenth
anniversary in 2017 and wanted to open up the awards to
adults and children living all over the island in
recognition of that fact. These awards are a celebration of
our culture, humanity and philanthropy and an important way
to thank the many wonderful people that make our island such
a special place to live,” awards patron Marios Joannou Elia
told the Paphos Post.
Members of the public are now
able to put forward their nominees by filling in a
nomination form, available on request, and sending it by
either email or post.
There are four awards in the
2017 programme, as well as a number of Honourable Mentions,
and they are all philanthropic, community-based awards which
aim to recognise those who have shown tremendous courage,
strength and determination, worked tirelessly within the
community or for charities, overcome tragedies with a smile
or have simply been a great help and support to neighbours
“We are delighted that Aphrodite
Jewellers will once again be creating special solid gold ten
year commemorative pins for the Junior and adult winner this
year,” said Joannou Elia.
The adult Heart of Gold
Award is open to adults over the age of 18 and the Junior
Heart of Gold Award is open to children and young people
In addition, renowned Paphos based
artist, Yiota Ioannidou, is creating a magnificent award for
the Lifetime Achievement winner, which is given for
outstanding dedication to the community; this award may also
be given posthumously.
She will also create smaller
versions for the Junior, Adult and Jasmitha Awards, which
are all supported by Blevins Franks Cyprus, tax and wealth
The Jasmitha Award for Courage
2017 is supported by Kivotos Gallery in Paphos, and is open
to children who have shown determination, resilience and
strength when faced with difficulties
Chocolatier will present special festive hampers to the four
winners which will include an array of hand crafted
chocolates and the adult winner will also be gifted a
weekend break with dinner and spa treatment at the luxury
All accepted nominees receive a
certificate and a flower and a buffet lunch reception will
also be provided.
The invitation only event will be
held at SEK building in central Paphos on Saturday December
16, 2017, and will include an appearance by Father Christmas
with gifts for the children, a spectacular dance performance
by Romiosini folk ensemble, a performance by local choir the
Zingers, who raise money for Cyprus charities, as well as
other musical offerings.
Nominations should be no
more than 100 words and are open to individuals, of any
nationality, living anywhere in Cyprus. (Businesses are not
eligible for the awards). The closing date is Saturday
December 2, 2017.
The awards are supported by Paphos
Municipality, British High Commission Nicosia, Aphrodite
Jewelry, Blevins Franks Cyprus, Almyra Hotel, Massiva
printers, The Paphos Post, Cyprus Mail Newspaper, Radio
Pafos, Flybynite Media, Kivotos Gallery, Chris Hopkins
Photography, Cyprus Images Photography, TOTT Events and
Joulietta Chocolatier and Patissier.
To request a
form or for further information:
Samaritans celebrate 20 years
By Bejay Browne
The Cyprus Samaritans celebrated 20
years since inception in October.
organisation offers an island-wide free helpline number
which provides a listening ear to all those who need it.
Although they are not part of the UK Samaritans, the
charity’s policies are similar and they are part of
‘Befrienders Worldwide,’ which operates in around forty
countries, Samaritans director, Christine Simister told the
“We are here to offer confidential
support to people with emotional difficulties, people who
are distressed or despairing, or experiencing feelings of
suicide,” she said.
The service costs around €50,000
a year to operate and the charity is reliant on the income
from their three shops, two of which are found in Paphos and
one in Limassol. The Cyprus Samaritans also operates two
centres, one in Paphos and a second one in Limassol, which
opened in 2013.
The demand for the service has
increased dramatically during its 20 years in operation, and
although it can vary from week to week, around 30 or 40
calls are handled by the trained listening volunteers every
The helpline is run from 4pm-midnight every
day, 360 days a year, she said. “Some people may have mental
health issues, are bereaved or felling lonely, we are here
to help,” she added. The volunteers listen to caller’s
problems but do not give advice or tell people what to do.
“Often people will work through their problems by
talking to us and letting it all out, they often come to
conclusions at the end of the call and have worked through
issues, we are all non-judgmental,” Simister said.
Around 18 months ago, the Cyprus Samaritans started a new
initiative when, ‘In Touch’ was launched, it offers a
friendly ear to those who are mostly alone. “The same
volunteer speaks to those that might not otherwise have much
human connection in their lives for a weekly chat, it’s a
befriending call, not necessary anything bad or sad,” she
The trained listening volunteers now number
around 45, and some speak Greek as well as English.
Simister, an ex-teacher, joined the Cyprus Samaritans in
2006, after retiring to the island from the UK with her
husband the year before. She took over as Director of the
charity in 2015, and heads up a 10-strong committee.
She will hold this position for three years, after which a
new director will be chosen.
“It is very satisfying
being a Samaritan and we are always looking for new
volunteers to help in our shops in Limassol and Paphos, as
well as those that wish to take part in our training
programmes,” she said.
To volunteer contact
Christine Simister: 99988849
The Samaritans can be
contacted in confidence via email at:
confidential helpline service 8000 7773, is available from
4pm until midnight seven days a week.
Cyprus has third highest increase in air passengers in EU
By Bejay Browne
Cyprus recorded the third largest airline passenger increase
in the EU in 2016, according to figures published by
The Cyprus News Agency reported that in
2016, 972.7 million passengers travelled by air in the
European Union, an increase of 5.9 per cent compared with
Larnaca airport ranked 57th among 147, with
6.628m passengers, a 24.7 per cent increase since 2015.
According to Eurostat, the largest increases were 25 per
cent, in Bulgaria and Romania.
Overall in the EU,
the number of air passengers rose by 54.4 million (5.9 per
cent) between 2015 and 2016.
In 2016 the highest
number of air passengers was recorded in the UK, around
249m. This was followed by Germany at 201m, Spain 194m,
France 145m and Italy 135m. However, Belgium saw a 2.7 per
cent decline and Slovenia a 2.2 per cent decrease.
London’s Heathrow remains the EU’s busiest passenger airport
in 2016, with 75.7 million passengers handled, a slight
increase on 2015.
ensemble ‘Romiosini’ captivates audiences
By Bejay Browne
fantastic two hundred strong dance ensemble is captivating
audiences around Cyprus with their performances of
traditional folklore dances of Greece and the Caucasus
Headed up by choreographer and artistic
director, 35 year old Agis Toursidis, who is also a
practicing vascular surgeon, ‘Romiosini National Dance
Ensemble’ regularly perform at the islands largest theatres
and events and have also taken their shows abroad to Greece,
Russia and Georgia.
Toursidis explained that the
“Romiosini” has a ‘great meaning’, and reflects the culture
of the orthodox Greeks.
“It is mostly connected
with the period of the Byzantine Empire but its roots lie in
Hellenic history. Since Greeks from Georgia make up ninety
per cent of our ensemble and they are direct descendants of
the Byzantine Greeks, it seemed logical to give this name,”
The repertoire of the ensemble is
breath-taking and encompasses many styles and traditions,
all performed to an excellent standard. Toursidis explained
that the aim of the choreography is to underline the meaning
of each dance and to create the ‘proper’ atmosphere both on
the stage and in the audience, whether the performance is a
war dance on a battlefield or a joyful celebration in a
Toursidis, who speaks fluent Greek,
Russian and English, first started to dance at the age of
four in Stavropol, Russia, where he was born. He first
appeared on stage at five and said that being a vascular
surgeon is his second profession, dancing is his first, as
it’s ‘in his DNA’.
His father and mother met at
Stavropol University, where his father, Nektarios, was the
art director of the university’s dance ensemble “Kazbek”,
his mother became a member of the group, going on to perform
The family left Russia and moved to Cyprus
when Toursidis was 12, and for 8 years he didn’t have a
chance to continue dancing at a serious level. However, when
he returned to Russia to study medicine, he was invited by
his father’s protégée, who was now the art director of the
‘Kazabek’, to join them at their anniversary concert.
“I started dancing again; I became a soloist, then moved on
to become the chief choreographer and art director of the
‘Elefteria’ ensemble of Greek diaspora in Stavropol, which
my father also created.”
After his medical studies he
moved back to Cyprus in 2011.
Nektarios also created
the “Romiosini” ensemble in Limassol in 1996, and on his
return, father and son revamped and expanded the group,
starting dance lessons in Paphos in 2011, followed by
Nicosia in 2012.
Toursidis is in the process of
creating a new dance show ‘300 Spartans’ that will depict
the legendary battle at Thermopylae. “We will try to
finish it by summer 2018,” he said.
Decision on Paphos marina expected soon
By Bejay Browne
Group will find out in the coming days whether they have met
the necessary criteria to construct a long-anticipated
marina in Paphos, according to the head of the Paphos
Chamber of Commerce and industry.
Demitriades told the Paphos Post that: “The Pafilia Group
were asked to provide all of the necessary documentation to
highlight their ability to promote, implement and finance
the project for the construction of the marina in Potima in
Kissonerga. They need to demonstrate that they meet the
terms and conditions of the competition,” he said.
The Poseidon consortium had planned to build and run the new
Paphos marina, which came with a €215 million price tag, but
they were rejected in April, which meant that tender runner
up Pafilia could step up and submit their paperwork for a
chance to snare the deal.
The Pafilia bid is a
different design and costs less, around 175 million euros,
and if their bid is successful the project will be awarded
to them. However, if the developer fails to meet the
criteria, the entire process, which has already dragged on
for more than a decade, will be cancelled and another tender
announced, he said.
The tender for the project was
first announced in 2007 and in 2008. It was initially
awarded to the Cybarco-Pandora consortium, which includes
the Leptos Group.
However, the other two bidding
consortiums, Pafilia and Poseidon, a joint venture in which
Aristo Developers is a mayor stakeholder, challenged the
award at various stages. They claimed the winning developer
used inside information to offer a lower figure for the
construction of the marina, and won the tender.
project was then frozen after litigation began in 2008.
In December 2015, the Supreme Court voted in favour of
Poseidon and their €215m project. They then had to provide
proof of funds – a total of 60 per cent of the amount, which
was set at €125m.
However, after many months of
negotiation, it was decided that Poseidon was unable to meet
the financial criteria, and the project then passed on to
Pafilia, the biggest developer in Cyprus.
proposed marina will include up to 1,000 berths and more
than 42,000 square metres of residential and commercial
developments. The project will take approximately three
years to complete.
Paphos old town
appeals for new citizen centre
By Bejay Browne
Paphos old town is appealing to the
government to create a second citizens’ service centre in
the area to better serve residents.
Head of the
Paphos Old Town Association Kyriakos Kyriakou said that such
a decision would bring multiple benefits to both the
residents and authorities of Paphos.
“I have been
informed that the government has made a decision to create a
second satellite citizens’ service centre in an area of
Paphos which is already busy and doesn’t have good public
transport links. This is awful and a disaster,” he said.
The centre is earmarked to be created in an area which
already houses the road transport department, off the main
Mesoyi Road, and is extremely busy, he said.
service centres deal with issues such as passport renewal,
IDs, certification and medical cards. “They are an important
one stop shop for all sorts of things,” Kyriakou said.
The association is now appealing to the government to
reconsider the position of the facility and has sent letters
to that effect to the Paphos district mayors and
councillors, MPs and government officials, while ministers
are next on the list.
“The proposed area would not
be a good choice in any way and we are suggesting that
instead it be placed in the heart of the old town in the
newly renovated old post office which sits next to the
district office,” Kyriakou added.
He said four large
car parks which are close by are an added benefit and that
as the bus station is only a couple of minutes’ walk from
the building, it would mean that many people would not have
to bring their vehicles into the area at all.
are good public transport connections with the harbour,
Coral Bay, the suburbs and the villages and it makes much
more sense to create a new centre here,” he said.
concluded that the association sincerely hopes the
government and the municipality of Paphos will directly
assess this “great opportunity” and make a positive decision
to transfer this service to the centre.
New gallery opens its doors in Paphos old town
By Bejay Browne
lover has launched a unique art gallery in the heart of
Paphos old town which sees thirty local artists specialising
in a raft of different mediums, all housed in an old
Found down a side street in Ktima,
(Paphos old town) the aim is to create a space which is home
to an eclectic mix of unique artworks from a variety of
local artists across the island, and create a positive space
for the town, full of great energy, said the founder,
28-year-old English Cypriot, Lauren Love.
Friday October 6,’ Chakra Fine Arts and Gifts’, also holds
workshops run by artists. “Our new gallery features work
that you might not be able to see anywhere else, it’s a mix
of everything and at the moment, thirty artists are taking
part,” said Love, adding that Ktima is slowly becoming a
buzzing and vibrant place.
Love said that she chose
the name ‘Chakra’ as she would like to establish the gallery
as the energy centre for Paphos, a place that exudes and
resonates a positive feeling of warmth.
As the founder of
Chakra, the art lover is on a mission to support local
“Some are well-known but don’t exhibit
anywhere and some others prefer to stay out of the
spotlight, but produce amazing artworks,” she said.
She added that the gallery displays many genres including:
mosaics, sculptures, paintings and limited edition prints,
digital installations and photography and handmade gifts and
“There are also locally made wooden
gift art which people can personalise if they want,
beautiful handmade jewellery, intricate prints and even a
spherical mosaic fountain, mosaic garden table and jazzy
coral-like pots for the garden,” she added.
taken four months of hard slog to get the rented space up to
scratch and even the front of the building sees a community
kids project, a mosaic map of Paphos, grace its exterior
The venue is open six days a week, excluding
Sundays, from 8am until 7pm. It consists of a main gallery
space and a smaller one which is currently being used by a
local artist, Paris Christodoulou. A separate studio will
also be available to rent as a workshop space in the near
Latchi port authority plans
improvements at picturesque harbour
By Bejay Browne
port authority’s new plan to improve the organisation of the
harbour is worrying fishermen who fear the latest
regulations are threatening their livelihoods.
new general plan is to make the harbour as good as it can
be. Up to now, everyone was doing whatever they want,” said
a spokesman for Latchi port authority.
local fisherman fed up with jostling for space with an
increasing number of tourist boats, and angered over a
number of the new ‘regulations’, staged a short protest,
blocking the entrance to the harbour for a couple of hours.
“It seems that the port
authority is giving priority to the tourist boats, and that
the size of the vessels using the marina is increasing,
making it far harder for us to negotiate our way in and out
to sea,” said Alecos Christodoulou, head of the local
There are around thirty or
so professional fisherman currently using the harbour, he
Christodoulou said that the main problems he
faces, as well as the lack of space to moor his boat,
involve the storage of fishermen’s nets and use of trailers.
“We have been told to remove our nets from the front of
our boats, and it is difficult to take them home every day
and bring them back in the morning. Also, we are no longer
allowed to use our own trailers to get our boats in and out
of the sea, but only ones belonging to the ports authority
and then they will charge us,” he said.
fisherman said he believes that their space is being
encroached on, as the ports authority make money charging
“I don’t think that they want to
remove us from the port and there is nowhere else for us to
go anyway, but it is now very difficult to get in and out to
sea,” he said.
The ports authority spokesman denied
that the space allocated to the fishermen had decreased, but
suggested that the number of professional fishermen in the
area is dwindling. “They are choosing other professions,” he
Latchi harbour is also home to many popular
restaurants, and their operation is also being affected by
the new initiative already being implemented by the
Lakis Matheou, owner of Faros, a busy
restaurant along the harbour, said that he welcomes the new
plan which he hopes will be fair for all and improve the
“We are still busy with tourists now, it has
generally been a very busy summer which is great,” he said.
“Everybody needs to have his own position on the harbour, to
understand the guidelines so we can present a better
He added that improvements are
still needed such as public toilets.