CYPRUS ARMENIAN MP, BEDROS KALAYDJIAN DIES

01/09/2005
www.financialmirror.com

Bedros Kalaydjian, the Representative of the Armenian minority in
the Cyprus parliament, died Thursday after a long illness.

Kalaydjian, who turned 71 a week ago, served in the House of
Representatives for two terms. He was first elected in the by-election
of October 22, 1995 and at the parliamentary elections of May 26,
1996 and May 27, 2001.

Through his parliamentary duties, he often support for Armenia and
Nagorno Karabakh, while like all his predecessors often raised the
issue of Turkey's denial of the 1915 Genocide. At home, Kalaydjian's
main priorities were educational reform and improvement of the Nareg
elementary schools in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol.

He played a decisive role in the ratification and adoption by Cyprus
in 2002 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages,
one of the first European countries to do so. The Charter anticipated
the continuation of the Melkonian Educational Institute school in
Nicosia, which the AGBU Central Board in New York decided to close
citing financial reasons.

Kalaydjian fervently opposed the decision to close the school and sell
off the land, but was unable to persuade the organisation's leadership
of the importance of maintaining the only Armenian secondary school
in the European Union, with its unique boarding facility attracting
students from around the world. He assisted in securing a preservation
order and declaring most of the school grounds a 'national historic
site.'

He was a founding member of the Cyprus - Armenia Friendship Association
and convinced the Cyprus government to sponsor dance, orchestral and
art groups from Armenia to visit the island.

Kalaydjian supported government decisions to maintain Armenian
monuments, including the 19th century historic cemetery near
Paphos Gate that was recently destroyed but was expected to
be restored. However, he did not live to see his dream project
materialise, the establishment of a 'monument of gratitude' that is
expected to be built on the Larnaca seafront to mark the arrival of
Armenian refugees and survivors of the massacres in Turkey and the
subsequent welcome offered by the people of Cyprus.

For many years he was president of the Larnaca AGBU club, on the
board of the Armenian Church Committee, chairman of the board of the
American Academy in Larnaca and Limassol and president of the Larnaca
Rotary Club.

Bedros Kalaydjian studied Business Administration at Fallowfield
College, Manchester, and headed the family business that included a
group of trading, real estate and hotel companies. After his brother's
death ten years ago, Bedros worked hard to extend and upgrade the
Kalaydjian Rest Home they had established in Nicosia for elderly
people, adding a new floor and chapel in recent years.

He was married to Lisa Jackson and is succeeded by his son, Dickran,
and daughter, Julia, and three grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at the Sourp Stepanos (St. Stephen's)
Armenian Church in Larnaca on Saturday, September 3, at 4pm.