On Sunday 2 August, His Eminence Archbishop Sergios,Metropolitan of Good Hope officiated at the Service of the Holy Eucharist together with Father Nikolaos Giamouridis and deacon Father Michael Simos, at the Cathedral of Saint George in Cape Town. The Service was followed by a Memorial Service to pray for the repose of the souls of those who died in the defence of Cyprus and in the subsequent occupation during the illegal Turkish invasion of 1974.
In his address after the Service His Eminence said that the ‘invasion and occupation of Cyprus’ remains one of the worst moments in post WWII history for our Nation. He said that many Orthodox Churches and Byzantine treasures exist in the occupied territory together with properties belonging to those Greek Cypriots who were forced to flee as refugees.
The military coup ‘Junta’ (regime of the Colonels) were against the Cypriot government which was one of the causes of the invasion and illegal occupation of a large part of Cyprus by the Turks. Archibshop Makarios who was the President of Cyprus at the time was working towards a peaceful coexistence for all but unfortunately he was betrayed and managed to escape with his life. This betrayal broke his heart because he had to witness the destruction and loss of so many innocent lives and he died a few years later.
His Eminence said that as Orthodox Christians we value peace but above all we value “truth” and that as people with common beliefs and principals we must stand united to defend what is right for all humanity. We do not advocate war because there are other more peaceful ways to defend our rights. He added that we must never cease to pray for a fair and peaceful solution for all the inhabitants of Cyprus.
After his address, Demetri Phillipou related the historical events of the invasion.