Rotaract Club of Nicosia – Blast from the Past !

Rotaract Club of Nicosia is proud of its past Rotaractors and achievements and in order to celebrate the past we are introducing this new page ….so that past Rotaractors can look back and remember and future Rotaractors can be inspired.

all information has been taken from Rotaract Club Nicosia’s first website from 1998 

Christmas 1999

In light of Christmas and the upcoming new year and new millennium, Rotaract Nicosia members have carried out two interrelated community projects.

The “Strouthokamilos” Project

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Members of our Club have taken a number of poor families with children to the Ostrich farm in the outskirts of Nicosia for some pre-Cristamas fun.  The Children were able to observe the ostriches in the farm, as well as the exhibits of “ostrich products” that are on display in a special area at the farm.

Apart from the educational side of the excursion, the children and their families were treated to lunch at the farm, and were then given Christmas gifts.

Packets for Poor families

We have undertaken to prepare boxes of food and personal hygiene products as well as gifts for poor families, in order to help them have a more pleasant Christmas and New Year.

A lot of the items put in the baskets were kindly donated by individuals and companies that are sensitive to social issues, while some were purchased by the club.  The members formed in groups and visited the selected families and fave them our small Christmas “gift”.


Recording Books for the Blind
Main Project

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The Rotaract Club of Nicosia decided for the Rotaract year 1998-1999 to assist un its main project the School for the blind in Nicosia.  Specifically, all year round, members if the club have been reading books which were recorded in audio cassettes, either at the school’s specially designed studio, or at home.  This is the only way that these books can be “read” by blind people, as they have not previously been translated in the Braille language for the blind.  The books covered a wide range of topics, ranging from academic and literature to current events and entertainment, depending of the Schools needs at the specific point in time.

In mid-June 1999 we communicated our initiative to the public at large through flyers; at a later stage, we are planning to place these flyers as free inserts in newspapers and magazines.  The purpose of our insert was to create awareness to the greatest number of people possible, so as to sensitise them to this particular need of our fellow blind people.  The project delighted the management of the School, while the campaign yielded satisfactory results in terms of number of inquiries received by the School from volunteers.

Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family

The Rotaract Club of Nicosia decided for the Rotaract years 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 to conduct a major innovative community project.  The project focuses on the prevention and handling of violence in the family, whether this is physical, sexual, mental or psychological.  Figures from the Government’s Welfare Department show an increasing occurence of incidents of abuse within families in Cyprus.

The main objectives set for the project are to collect a substantial amount of donations to cover some of the many needs of abused persons, especially of the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family; to increase awareness among the public at large, of the problems facing the abused persons; and to educate the public on ways and methods for providing assistance for the abused persons.

We will use an innovative advertising theme, which in our case is to urge everybody to skip breakfast on a specific day of the second half of 1999 and donate the minimum of £1 for saving the abused persons.  In order to increase our credibility, in our campaigns, we will use politicians and other VIP’s and well-known figures of the Cypriot Society in our campaign.  We have already secured the free cooperation of the largest newspaper /magazine publisher in Cyprus “Fileleftheros” and that of an advertising agency and a printing company, whereas the state channel CyBC have agreed to present members of the Club on various talk shows.  Discussions are still being held with other TV/Radio stations, both on a nationwide as well as on a local scale.

The little Girl and the Matches

Held at the Falcon School, Nicosia, on the 6th of December 1998.

On the initiative of Christie Themistocleous, our gifted ballerina member, an outing was organised for Katerina, a woman with special needs, whom members of the club escorted to the ballet.  Katerina thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the children’s ballet.

The Gray Water Recycling Project

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1. Snowman Appeal: The Sequence

The Club’s main project was organised by the Community Service during the weekend 20-21 of December 1997. This year’s theme was based on the successful “Snowman Appeal” project organised in Christmas 1996, but the whole idea was eventually developed into a much more enhanced and varied charity project.

Specifically, this year we had a stand outside Woolworth Central in Nicosia, where we were offering hot coffee to the shoppers, we had a slide where the young kids could play with, and we had our Snowman filled with small gifts for the children to take. The public could give their donations for one or more of these three events.

The charity to which we decided to donate the money collected form the project was the Institute of Neurology and Genetics in Nicosia, specifically for the people suffering from multiple sclerosis. We collected in one weekend the sum of £ 3.063 Cyprus Pounds, which was more than satisfactory since we managed to exceed our target of £ 2.500 Cyprus Pounds needed to buy a Transfer Aid for the patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and receiving treatment at the Institute.

Given the many events that we had to run simultaneously, the members of the Club and their guests were not working on shifts but all were working from 10:00 am until 21:00 pm on both Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of December 1997. It was a really exhausting and tiring weekend but all the members and the guests were very happy we managed to achieve our goal.

Good publicity was given for the event with television coverage, telephone interviews in radio stations and press releases in the newspapers. At the “opening ceremony” which was held on Saturday 20th of December at 12:00 present were Mr Lellos Demetriades, Mayor of Nicosia, and his wife, Dr Rita Komodiki, representative of the Ministry of Health, The Chairman of the Institute of Neurology and Genetics Dr Levkos Middleton, and Dr Kyriacos Kyriallis, specialist in multiple sclerosis.

The Transfer Aid was donated to the Institute of Neurology and Genetics on Tuesday 23rd of June 1998.


1. Super Kid Fiesta

A joint project was organised between our Club and the Rotaract Club’s of Nicosia-Lefkothea and Limassol-Amathusia. The project concerned an event organised by the magazine Selides for their kids insert “Super kid”. Specifically, on Sunday 4th of January 1998, a party was organised between 2:00 and 8:00pm at the Cyprus International State Fair. At the party several sponsors of the magazine participated with kiosks, whereas many artists entertained the kids including singers, magicians, dancers, clowns, etc.

The role of the three Rotaract Clubs was to organise the stand with the food and the drinks. Specifically, we were selling hot dogs, pop corn and coffee to the visitors. Two Rotaractors were dressed in uniforms representing two fictional characters of the magazine. We worked for 6 hours and managed to collect the sum of CYP £ 416 net. With this money we purchased two thermometers for the children suffering from cancer and leukaemia at Makarios Hospital in Nicosia. It was a very interesting project with three Rotaract Clubs working collectively for a good cause.

The contribution of Rotaract Club of Nicosia amounted to one third (33%) of the whole effort.



1. Group Study Exchange (GSE) Programme

On January 9th 1998, Nicos Zyngas, Community Service Director, was selected as one of the four Rotaractors from Cyprus to travel in the USA within the GSE Programme.

“It was a great honour for me to be selected as a member of the first ever Cyprus Team to take part in the 5-week Group Study Exchange Programme sponsored by Rotary International and hosted by District 7510.

I was very much impressed by the excellent hospitality and friendly attitude of all the Rotarian families which hosted me in New Jersey. I was received so warmly and I felt as a member of their family. The programme organised for me was unique and I had a fabulous time. A considerable amount of time and money was spent in order to organise trips and visits to various places of economic, social and tourist interest in New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

I also had the opportunity to have lunch with different Rotary Clubs during their weekly meetings. In addition, I also participated in the District Conference which was held in Wilmington, Delaware on June 5th and 6th 1998. Most important of all, during these meetings I had the chance to promote Cyprus and talk about our national problem. I met a lot of very interesting people who come from diverse backgrounds and vocations and I gained knowledge about the culture and customs of the American people. Therefore, I express my admiration for their high standards of values, hard work, honesty, reliability, hospitality and so more.

A very crucial part of the programme was the “vocational day”. Once a week, I had the chance to visit other market research firms located in New Jersey, which was of great interest to me given that market research is my profession. I am positive that the knowledge, experience and contacts I made during my visit to these companies, along with the exchange of thoughts and ideas, will contribute significantly to my career.

I take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to the leader of the team. Rotarian and ex-District Governor 2450, Mr Christodoulos Karakanas, has really shown a great interest and love to the whole team during the trip. Special thanks also to my very good friends Stelios Onoufriou, Emilia Zachariou and Stephania Kannaourou whom I was lucky enough to travel with and who made this trip even more exciting. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to Mr Doros Jeropoulos, District Governor for this coming year, for all the help and support he gave us prior to our departure. But above all, I would like to thank all those wonderful American Rotarians and their families for their excellent hospitality and the friendship shown to me.

I believe that this trip was for me the best indication of how much Rotary Cares. For I was offered a memorable experience I shall always treasure.”


1. Tree Planting

Members of the Club participated in a tree planting exercise at Athalassa forest, on the outskirts of Nicosia. Coordinator was the Community Director, Mr Nicos Zyngas, and more than 60 trees were planted.

2. Country Project

All Rotaract Clubs of Cyprus jointly organised the annual country project. For the second year in a row, Rotaractors collected foodstuff outside supermarkets in all towns for those families suffering from hunger in Cyprus (currently estimated at 2.500 families). All the food was delivered to the families through the Cyprus Red Cross.

In Nicosia, Rotaract Nicosia together with Rotaract Nicosia-Lefkothea covered two big supermarkets, Charalambides and Athienitis. Members of the Clubs and their guests on Saturday 11th of April 1998, from 8:00am-2:00pm, were requesting from shoppers to buy along with their routine shopping some additional food for the people suffering from hunger. A list of suitable food items was handed to the shoppers to help them chose what to buy. The list included rice, pasta, biscuits, flower, tin food, coffee, sugar and jelly, i.e. non-perishable food.

The country project once again proved to be a very big success with Rotaractors in all districts achieving to collect many several cases with food. Many shoppers congratulated us on the good cause and innovativeness of the project since we did not ask for their money but rather for a different form of donation, food.


1. Handover

The Handover Ceremony was held at Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, 10th of September 1997. The Vice President and Incoming President, Mr Alecos Loizides, undertook the position of the President for the Rotaract Year 1997-98 from Past President Mrs Elena Varianou Loucaides. Present at the meeting were Vice District Rotaract Representative, Mr Alkis Socratous, Past Governor’s Representative for Rotaract Matters, Mrs Popi Kanari, Past District Rotaract Representative, Ms Lenia Kontopoulou, Past Vice District Rotaract Representative, Mr Kyriacos Kousios, the Presidents of the Rotaract Clubs of Limassol-Amathousia Mr Nicos Steratzias, Nicosia-Lefkothea Ms Nayia Kontopoulou, Larnaca Ms Sotiroulla Koutsofta, and Pafos Mr Charis Papanicolaou, the parents of the late George Englezos founder of our Club – Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow Mr Panos Englezos and his wife Annita -, Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors and many other distinguished guests.

2. Governor’s Visit

Members of the club attended a Rotaract Leadership Meeting held on Sunday 19th of October 1997, at 10:30 am, at Elias Hotel, to honour the Governor Mr Kotb Soliman who was visiting Cyprus at the time. Present were the incoming Governor Mr Doros Ieropoulos, the VDRR Mr Alkis Socratous, and the Presidents, Past Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries of all six Rotaract Clubs of Cyprus. Also, present was an exchange student from the United States of America, funded by Rotary International to study for 1 year at Cyprus College in Cyprus.

At the meeting the Governor talked about Rotary International and in particular Rotary and Rotaract in the district and in Cyprus; he discussed with the Rotaractors the problems facing the Clubs in Cyprus and gave valuable guidance and directions as to steps to be taken for better performance of the Clubs; the Governor also answered to questions made by the Rotaractors.

Following the meeting, lunch was served at Elias Hotel for the Governor and Rotaract officials.

3. Fellowship Weekend

A Fellowship Weekend took place at Pinewood Hotel, at the mountain resort of Pedoulas, during the weekend 21-22 of November 1997. This event is organised annually on a national basis by the Rotaract Club’s Service Directors and its main purpose is to strengthen the bonds between the members of the various Rotaract Clubs of Cyprus.

Rotaractors from all the six Clubs of Cyprus were present along with their guests. On Saturday night the Rotaractors and their guests had dinner at the hotel and then played table games. On Sunday they all had lunch at a restaurant in Pedoulas. During the weekend the Rotaractors and their guests had the opportunity to meet with Rotaractors from the other Clubs and also to exchange views with them.

4. Birthday Party

The 7th birthday anniversary of the Club was celebrated with a dinner party held on Wednesday 3rd of December 1997, at the restaurant-ouzeri Loxandra in the old town of Nicosia. The party was very successful with over 30 participants and it was organised by Mrs Eleni Mitsidou, Club Service Director. Greek meze was served to the guests with plenty of wine and other spirits. Live music with guitar and bouzouki entertained the guests and birthday cake was offered.

Present at the party were Vice District Rotaract Representative, Alkis Socratous, Past Presidents of the Club, Antonis Assiotis, Louis Thoma, Lenia Kontopoulou, and Elena Varianou Loucaides, the Presidents of the Rotaract Clubs of Limassol-Amathousia Nicos Steratzias, Nicosia-Lefkothea Nayia Kontopoulou, Larnaca Sotiroulla Koutsofta, Past Presidents of other Rotaract Clubs, Past Members of the Club, Rotarians, Rotaractors and many other distinguished guests.

5. Christmas Party

The Club’s Christmas party was held on Friday 19th of December 1997 at the restaurant-club Evohia, in Nicosia. Around 40 people attended the party and enjoyed the lovely buffet. According to the Club’s Christmas tradition, small gifts were exchanged between the members and their guests and Christmas crackers were opened. Late at night the restaurant was turned into a club, where the D.J. entertained the guests with Greek and English music.


6. Carnival Party

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The Club’s traditional carnival party was held at Evohia Club, Nicosia on Saturday 21st of February 1998, with tremendous success. Around 85 persons attended the party creating major problems where to seat the guests. The Club’s members and their guests were dressed in fancy uniforms and danced until the early hours of Sunday.

Dance competitions were held among all the guests for the best fancy dressed individuals and couples / teams. The winners were a couple dressed as S-300 anti-aircraft missiles who won a weekend for two at a sea-side resort hotel in Protaras, with the runners-up being a couple dressed as priest and nun who won a dinner for two at a restaurant in Nicosia.

7A. Mini Conference – Basketball Championship

During the weekend 7-8 of March 1998, the 1998 Mini Conference was organised in Larnaca by the Rotaract Club of Larnaca, in order to celebrate the annual Rotaract Week.

On Saturday, 7th of March, the Rotaract Clubs of Cyprus took part in a basketball tournament. Rotaract Nicosia’s first game was against Rotaract Limassol-Amathusia whom we beat by 31 to only 6. The next opponent was Rotaract Larnaca whom we beat 30-15. In the final Rotaract Nicosia faced Rotaract Larnaca again, and the winner and champions were once again Rotaract Nicosia with 42-17.

The members of Rotaract Nicosia’s team were, coach and team captain Mr William Eleftheriades, Mr Alecos Loizides, Mr Nicos Zyngas, Mrs Elena Varianou, Mrs Eleni Mitsidou and Mr Constantinos Tsountas as guest player.

7B. Mini Conference – Conference

During the weekend 7-8 of March 1998, the 1998 Mini Conference was organised in Larnaca by the Rotaract Club of Larnaca, in order to celebrate the annual Rotaract Week.

On Sunday, 8th of March, the Rotaract Clubs of Cyprus took part in the Mini Conference which was organised at Lordos Hotel in Larnaca. Two main speakers addressed the conference. Mr Makis Georgiou, representing the Cyprus Organisation for Youth delivered a speech on “Racism, xenophobia and Non-tolerance”. Also, Past Vice Governor and Past President Rotarian Mr Nicos Tziaris, delivered a speech on Rotary Foundation and its programmes. Then, at noon all participants had lunch at the hotel.

8. Championship Party

To celebrate the victory in the Rotaract basketball tournament, the Club director Mrs Eleni Mitsidou organised an outing at a local kebab house, “Evagelos”, on Thursday 26th of March 1998. The members of the Club and their guests enjoyed a lovely meal over cheers of joy for the victory.

9. DRR’s Visit

On Tuesday 31st of March 1998, DRR (District 2450) Dina Kotb Soliman visited Cyprus. A meeting was arranged at St Rafael Hotel in Limassol, at 7:00pm, where the DRR Dina Kotb Soliman met members of the Club’s boards, discussed with them their activities and problems, and informed them on the details concerning the District Conference to be held in Cairo between Wednesday 15th and Saturday 18th of July 1998. Present at the meeting were President Mr Alecos Loizides, Incoming President Mrs Eleni Mitsidou, Past president Elena Varianou, Past DRR Ms Lenia Kontopoulou and Community Director and member of the GSE team Nicos Zyngas.

Further to the meeting and following the conduct and completion of similar meetings with all Rotaract Clubs of Cyprus, dinner was held at the hotel to honour DRR Dina Kotb Soliman. Present at the dinner was also Incoming Governor Mr Doros Ieropoulos.



1. Dr Kyriacos Kyriallis

The Club’s 6th meeting was held on Thursday, 11th of December 1997, at 8:30 pm at Hilton Hotel, Nicosia. The Professional Service Director Mr William Eleftheriades invited Dr Kyriacos Kyriallis of the Institute of Neurology and Genetics in Nicosia, to be guest speaker at the meeting. Dr Kyriallis is one of the top scientists at the Institute and he is in charge of the research department for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Dr Kyriallis explained to the members and their guests the mission of the Institute in the Cypriot society and delivered a speech on “Multiple Sclerosis in Cyprus”. He also thanked the Club for deciding to donate all money collected from the Christmas project to the Institute for the people suffering from multiple sclerosis. He indicated as the most basic need for these patients a hoist which will assist the physiotherapists to move the patients, the cost of which is approximately £ 2.000 – £ 2.500 Cyprus Pounds.

2. Mr Neophytos Constantinides

The Club’s 13th meeting was held on Thursday, 2nd of April 1998, at 8:30 pm at Hilton Hotel, Nicosia. At the meeting Mr Neophytos Constantinides, President of the Committee for the Protection of Mentally Ill Persons, delivered a speech on the efforts undertaken by the committee for the induction of these persons into the active workforce of Cyprus.

Mr Constantinides also showed to the members and their guests a video of a programme organised by the Irish Government to ensure the employment of these persons. He also answered to questions made by the Club’s members and their guests.

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