Paphos commended as good example of European capital of
By Bejay Browne
Paphos is a good example of a European Capital of culture,
European Union Culture Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said at
the official opening ceremony of the Cultural Capital of
Europe and East Asia Forum in Shanghai.
Mayor of Paphos Phedonas
Phedonos also addressed the forum on behalf of all the
mayors of the European Capitals of Culture.
spokesman for Paphos municipality said the town was
complimented on its approach and implementation of the
Cultural Capital title and is being hailed as a good example
for future capitals of culture.
“A successful cultural
capital is judged according to three main pillars, the
cultural programme, the projects and the participation of
the local society,” he said.
Phedonos also held a
private discussion with the Commissioner within the
framework of the forum, he said that Paphos would be invited
to Brussels to present the city’s good example to new
capitals of cultures.
At the Shanghai event, the
mayor also presented the upgrading projects going on in the
town and the impact they have had on the local culture and
society. A similar presentation was also made by the
chairman of Pafos2017 Christos Patsalides.
was attended by mayors and delegations from 14 European
cities that have previously held the title or have been
selected as future Cultural Capitals.
Capital of Culture programme was initially called the
European City of Culture and was conceived by Melina
Mecouri, in 1983. The programme was launched in 1985 and
Athens was the first title-holder. In 1999, it was renamed
the European Capital of Culture.
The initiative is
designed to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures
in Europe, celebrate shared cultural features, increase
European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural
area and foster the contribution of culture to the
development of cities.
Experience has shown that the
event is also an excellent opportunity for regenerating
cities, raising their international profile, enhancing their
local image, breathing new life into a city’s culture and
Gift of love appeals
for gifts for children this Christmas
By Bejay Browne
love Paphos’ which ensures hundreds of children of needy
families in the district receive presents at Christmas is
underway and is appealing for gifts and food vouchers.
The initiative started five years ago and this year is
headed up by volunteer Mikka Heaney, who said she is now
collecting gifts for children of all ages, kindly donated by
members of the public.
“This year we aim to help
around three hundred children through local schools and
other organisations. These gifts will go towards the most
needs families in the community and will give them a smile
on Christmas day,” she said.
Heaney is undertaking
the project alone this year and said that volunteers and
donors are welcome.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of
any children going without a gift this year, it’s not fair
on them and they need to know that people are thinking about
them and care about them. Its hard work and labour
intensive, but it’s important to put a smile on their face,
whatever their background or religion,” she said.
Gift of Love embodies the spirit of Christmas and gives
gifts to all sorts of families, Cypriot, British, Russian
and Syrian, she added.
In addition to the gifts,
Heaney is also collecting food vouchers which will ensure
these families will get meat, chicken or turkey during the
festive season, and also dried and canned goods, such as
pasta, rice and tinned tomatoes.
Unlike other years,
presents do not need to be placed in shoe boxes which can be
hard for the public to find, said Heaney, but can also be
placed in bags, sacks, stockings or baskets, she said.
Presents will be checked by volunteers ahead of their
distribution in the Paphos district, so they may be donated
wrapped or unwrapped and a team of six women from a quad
bike group will help this process this year, added Heaney.
All gift of love boxes/bags
are filled with a selection of gifts around the value of
“Our goal is to provide each of our
children with the necessities and a few luxury items such as
chocolate or a toy for example,” she noted.
children’s ages range from 0 to 18 years, however, this
year’s vital ages are 2 to 16 years, the 0-2 age group for
both boys and girls have already been covered, so donations
in this section are not needed, she said.
of gifts are required, a full list and guidelines are
available on the appeals’ Facebook page and are age-related.
They include colouring books, crayons, socks, gloves,
sleepwear, toiletries, sweets, chocolate, hot water bottles,
deodorant, clothes, nail varnish, makeup, calculators,
writing pads, pens, small games and jewellery.
gifts are distributed every December through various
networks such as schools and community centres.
can all help to make a child feel special this Christmas and
I hope our wonderful community helps again this year,” she
Details of pick up and drop off points
are available at the dedicated Facebook page and include:
Revival Fashions in Kissonerga, Chalkies Bar Coral Bay
Strip, Baby corner Chlorakas and Style Spas Mesoyi Avenue.
Heaney: 96 462558
with industry professionals to promote sports tourism
By Bejay Browne
training camps have been established in Paphos and are
attracting world and Olympic medal holders and there are
plans to further expand this market and increase the appeal
for foreign athletes, Andreas Demetriades, head of the
Paphos chamber of commerce and industry, EVE, told the
added that industry professionals and tourism experts are
working closely together to promote sports tourism in Paphos
but that further infrastructure is needed to keep up with
the demand, as some athletes are being turned away.
“We are already struggling to cope with the demand which is
spread among all sorts of sports activities, from visitors,
individuals and organised groups,” he said.
there is some good infrastructure in place, such as Olympic
sized swimming pools and sports training grounds, which can
accommodate this type of tourism, more needs to be done as
facilities are already stretched, stakeholders agree.
“We have already approached the government to request state
owned land in Paphos to be rented for a period of ten years
which could then be used to accommodate football training
and other sports,” said Euripides Loizides, head of the
Paphos Hoteliers Association.
that EVE is working closely with local municipalities, the
local tourism board and other stakeholders to increase the
number of playing fields and other facilities.
Loizides said that unlike the wider tourism sector, sports
tourism, once established, is a steady market, where
athletes will return year after year for training and
holidays. All sorts of athletes are visiting Paphos, he
said, including those participating in football, cycling and
Head of the Paphos regional board of
tourism, Nasos Hadjigeorgiou said that the existing
infrastructure meets the demands of the most intensive,
professional training programmes, and that sports tourism is
a multimillion industry for Paphos, and a very important
Athletic events also act as leverage
to ease seasonality and to extend the tourist season,
keeping Paphos buoyant as an all year round destination. He
said that the top five sports where Paphos should further
invest are: golf, cycling, running, swimming and football
though infrastructure hasn’t changed much during the last
few years, the tourism board has been working closely with
and supporting local professionals, which has brought great
results,” he said.
Hadjigeorgiou said that joining
forces with other authorities and professionals to focus on
promoting the region, has resulted in the number of athletes
choosing Paphos to train to increase every year.
Such a positive outcome has been helped by Mokapot
Productions which was set up in Paphos two years ago by Tony
Martin, a 53-year-old former British Army Commando Royal
Engineer. Martin has specialised in sporting events and
training camps for over 24 years and the company provide,
amongst others things, sports training camps and support
He has also designed and produced
international events in Antarctica, the North Pole, Colorado
and Siberia, as well as television programmes including Top
Gear Polar Challenge and others.
Xterra, an internationally recognised off-road triathlon in
Cyprus, which initially attracted athletes from 17
countries. They are expecting around 40 or so countries to
participate in April 2018. They have also joined forces with
other stakeholders to bring ‘Ocean Lava’, an international
on-road triathlon, to Cyprus in 2018.
have World Champions, Olympic gold and silver medallists, a
full time pro squad in Triathlon and Olympic standard
swimmers all training here,” he said.
A number of
Paphos hotels such as Almyra, Aliathon, Constantiou
brother’s and Louis hotels, as well as others, are already
involved in the sports tourism market and have special
facilities for athletes such as bike gyms, pools and
Hadjigeorgiou said that from 2017,
the tourism board, along with hoteliers and sports
professionals have implemented a specific action plan to
promote the five top level athletic events taking place in
Paphos: Gran Fondo cycling, Cyprus marathon, Xterra
triathlon, Paphos triathlon, four day challenge, as well as
attracting athletes through training camps.
New Christmas decorations for Paphos
By Bejay Browne
will be awash with new Christmas decorations this year which
will reflect the ‘new face’ of the city, according to the
The council has awarded the tender for
new lights and decorations to a Greek company, totalling one
130,000 euros, according to Paphos councillor, Andreas
“The old decorations are unusable and
the new ones, from the proposal that I have seen, will give
us some decent Christmas decorations that will last us at
least six years,” he said.
Chrysanthou noted that
the decorations will be placed in central areas of Paphos
and consist mostly of items crafted using LED lighting.
“There will be Christmas trees, street decorations and high
level decorations across the streets,” he said.
municipality spokeswoman added that although finances are
‘tight’ it is important to boost the new appearance of
Paphos and the old decorations were mostly broken and
“The plan is to buy new items every year
and it’s impossible to purchase everything in one go, as it
would need a budget of at least half a million euros,” she
The new decorations will adorn Kennedy square,
the commercial town centre, Debenhams roundabout, Poseidon’s
Avenue, and another roundabout into the town.
town’s main large Christmas tree will be placed in nearby
Kennedy Square outside, as the area outside Paphos town hall
will hold the Pafos2017 capital of culture closing ceremony.
Revamped charity shop making thousands for Paphos
By Bejay Browne
Paws dog shelter shop in Chlorakas has fast established
itself as the number one charity and second-hand furniture
shop on the island, through the efforts of one Paphos woman
who has galvanised staff and turned fortunes around in a
matter of months.
The shop, on a main road in Chlorakas, Paphos, also boasts a
newly opened 400m2 basement which sells good quality
second-hand furniture and a double shop frontage.
Stephanie Driscoll, 55, is a fully qualified nurse, who
retired to Paphos from the UK with husband Michael in 2012.
The animal lover – her first memory is rescuing a bee
trapped in a spider’s web at the age of four– aims to raise
120 thousand euros a year through sales at the shop, all of
which will go towards helping the 150 or so unwanted and
stray dogs at Paws dog shelter in Achaelia.
shelter team do a superb job and they are all very special
people. I want to work hard at the shop to ensure that they
never have to worry about paying a vet’s bill, or funding
airline flights for those being rehomed abroad,” she told
the Paphos Post.
Founded in January 1985, Paws dog
shelter aims to rehome as many shelter dogs as possible and
offer them a better quality of life, said Matthew Harris,
one of the shelter managers.
“It will cost us around
200 thousand euros to operate the shelter this year and
since Stephanie has taken over the shop and it’s working so
well, it is allowing us to do things we couldn’t before,
such as fixing up dogs with bad physical injuries,” he said.
Funds raised go to feeding the dogs and vets’ bills.
Every dog has blood tests on arrival to check they are
healthy and are then either spayed or neutered. They are
made ready to either travel abroad to be rehomed or stay in
Driscoll and her husband live in
Chlorakas with a number of rescued animals – three dogs,
five cats and two rabbits. The animal lover started helping
out at the charity shop in 2014 when it was far smaller.
“I realised that they needed investment and expansion,
so we donated some money and a number of local tradespeople
worked at the shop to extend it, and now it’s double the
size,” she said.
Harris said that Driscoll’s vision
for the store, which was previously barely breaking even,
and the dedication of volunteers are helping ease the lives
of hundreds of Paphos’ dogs.
This year, the shop
manager, who is paid by the charity but pours all of her
wages back into the shop, along with staff created an art
gallery selling pictures and paintings, a bedding and
lighting area and a huge furniture outlet on the lower
level. The store also sells clothing for adults and
children, books, white goods, kitchen equipment and bric a
already hit her 10,000 euros a month target once, and come
close to it on a number of other occasions, and said the
shop’s success is due to a concerted team effort from
volunteers, only selling good quality, clean and quality
stock, and the ability to deliver goods swiftly, in many
instances, on the same day.
Younger volunteers have
also stared working at the shop, which has helped to inject
a different dynamic, she said, although volunteers of all
ages are still required.
Driscoll also spends time
heavily promoting new stock on social media, utilising the
shop and shelter’s Facebook pages, as it is important to
keep items moving.
With Christmas approaching, staff
have opened a Christmas showroom upstairs and at the end of
November, husband Michael will open a Christmas grotto,
complete with Father Christmas.
Many of the
shelter’s dogs find new homes in Germany, through the work
of the facility’s sister charity, Zypern Hunde and this
year’s figures could hit 200 rehomings with them, said
Dogs remain at the shelter for around one to
three years on average before they find homes and the
shelter does not euthanise any healthy dogs.
year we rehomed 300 of the 370 dogs that came to us,
including our longest resident, 16-year-old Betty Boo, who
has been with us for 13 years. She went to a new home in
Germany,” he said.
Paws charity shop, Chlorakas
Paphos- 97 826876
Paws Dog Shelter – 99 683775
Largest Paphos Park created by new tree planting
By Bejay Browne
planting event took place in Paphos in November, creating
the largest park in the centre of Paphos, according to a
Dozens of local students and
environmentalists took part in the event, which saw the
planting of five hundred and twenty five new trees, the cost
of which was covered entirely by sponsorship from
telecommunications company, Cyta.
“The park was
created opposite the monument of Makarios and the soil was
carefully prepared before to increase the chance of the tree
surviving and also saves more than 70% of water,” he said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Paphos Mayor Phedonas
Phedonos expressed his joy and satisfaction at the presence
of young student volunteers, stressing that their
contribution clearly sends the message that today’s and
tomorrow’s citizens of Paphos appreciate the environment,
care their town and seek a better quality of life.
“Through this new intervention, we want to create a vibrant
culture nucleus and an environmental reference point. We
want to offer the residents of the region a place of
relaxation and sociability, good entertainment and natural
beauty,” he said.
He also made special mention of
the renovation and transformation of the Turkish Cypriot
building, known as the “Ahmet Rashid House”, which is
included in the site, and aims to establish it for
innovative enterprises, noting that this initiative is part
of a new era for Paphos, that of modern technology, and a
“smart and green city”, and sustainable actions and
The building will be fully
renovated, at an estimated cost of around 300,000 euros
which will come from European funding.
The event was
also welcomed by head of Cyta for the region, Costas Mantis,
and the representative of the Environment Commissioner,
The park, which will be home not
only to trees but also flowers and shrubs, will also include
a playground, a small refreshment area, a walkway and a
Holidaymaker raising funds
for ‘Paphos cat lady’
A British holidaymaker has started a
fundraising page to help a Paphos cat lover raise much
needed funds for her animal welfare work.
a 31 year old GP from Edinburgh, is on her first trip to
Cyprus and told the Paphos Post that she was so moved after
meeting 73-year-old Gaynor Georgiou, affectionately known as
the ‘cat lady’ of Paphos, that she wanted to do something to
“Her plight and a lifetime of selfless work greatly
touched me and I set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to
help her feed and care for the stray cats of Paphos,” Swann
The GP has grown up with cats and lives with
two rescues. After reading about Georgiou in the press,
Swann and her partner Matthew found Georgiou on her daily
feeding rounds in Paphos old town and handed over some cat
said: “It’s wonderful that they came and found me, and also
that they are helping to raise funds to feed the cats, I am
really desperate and I have been struggling this year, even
two euros will help.”
Swann said that although the
pair gave Georgiou a small donation, some tins and a bag of
dry food, they realised that far more needs to be done.
Georgiou spends hundreds of euros of her own money on the
cats but is reliant on donations for the animals – she looks
after around 160 cats, which amounts to at least 20kg of
food every three days. She has been doing this for the last
The GP’s initial goal is to raise £250 but
she said she is also concerned as Georgiou also needs some
real long term help.
When possible, the 73-year-old
catches the stray cats and kittens and takes them to
Paphiakos and CCP animal welfare charity’s free spaying and
Georgiou’s task has been made
more difficult as people have started to dump unwanted cats
and kittens at one of her popular feeding areas.
“They are dumping their unwanted pets, many have already
been spayed and are very friendly, it’s really sad,” she
Georgiou said the cats are her life and apart
from them, she only has a sister, who is in a coma in the
UK. She recently managed to get four friends to feed the
cats so she could take a short trip to the UK to visit her
sister in hospital.
“This has been a terrible year
for me and I only have my cats. They have taken possession
of me and I would never walk away from them, but I really do
need some help.”
If you would like to help Gaynor:
www.gofundme.com/4o6h3lk or call: 99 778962