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George Hajifanis & Marbles Reunited

George Hajifanis, a member of the Management Committee of Marbles Reunited [1] unfortunately died suddenly a few weeks ago.

George worked tirelessly for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, using his connections within London’s Greek Cypriot community, as well as via other organisations involving the diaspora in Europe. His contributions & level headedness will be sorely missed.

From:
London Greek Radio [2]

LGR – 22 December 2008

The funeral for George Hajifanis will be held today (23/12). The service will take place at St Sophia’s Church, Moscow Road, Bayswater and the burial will follow at Hendon Cemetery, Holders Hill Road.

George Hajifanis, Secretary of the National Federation of Cypriots in Britain, died suddenly in hospital on 15th December. He had suffered a stroke while he was visiting, together with his wife and two daughters, relatives in Maidstone, Kent.

George had been elected Honorary Secretary of the Federation in 2007, having been a founder member and having served as Honorary Secretary of the organisation and on its Secretariat for a number of years. George had also been a founder member and first president of the Union of Cypriot Students , a founder and General Secretary of the Cyprus Relief Fund and a founder member of the Cypriot Forum for Labour. His memberships included The Hellenic Centre , Friends of the British Museum, Friends of the Acropolis and the management Committee of ‘Marbles Reunited’. George had run his own architectural practice for twenty years, prior to his death.

From:
National Federation of Cypriots in the UK [3]

Funeral of Honorary General Secretary of the Federation George Hajifanis – 23 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 00:00

Details: Funeral service at the Cathedral of St. Sophia, Moscow Road, London W2 4LQ at 1.00pm on Tuesday 23rd December 2008 to be followed by the burial at Hendon Cemetery, Holders Hill Road, London NW7 1NB and the ‘Pariyoryia’ at St. Michaels Church of the Holy Cross, Golders Green Road, London NW11.

Instead of flowers, the Hajifanis family would prefer small donations to be made to the British Heart Foundation.

Farewell Speech by Federation President Peter Droussiotis

It is with a huge sense of loss and feelings of shock and deep sorrow that we have gathered in this historic cathedral to say our final good bye to our good friend and colleague, George Hajifanis.

George was a man of many talents and varied interests. I got to know him mainly through his work as an active and articulate member of the Executive and the Secretariat of the National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom of which I have the privilege to be the current President.

Idiosyncratic, outspoken, cultured, self confident, dignified and with an independent mind, George was driven, above all, by his love of Cyprus and the ideals of freedom, democracy and justice which he wanted to see fully restored to the whole of that long suffering island. His passion for the Cyprus cause which he served with distinction and consistency for decades was matched by his love of the Greek language, Hellenic culture and civilization which he sought to champion at every opportunity.

The strength of the Federation derives from its unity of purpose but also from the diverse collection of community figures who have served it selflessly since it was founded in 1974, the faithful volunteers who add value to its work through their altruism and their determination to contribute both to the just cause of Cyprus and also to the advancement of our community in this country.

George epitomised these qualities and everything that is good about the attributes which sustain our mission and define our work – active citizenship, the ethos of voluntarism, a sense of community and a desire to serve. In his case, George also brought to the task an element of civility, a propensity for intellectual discourse and, perhaps because he was essentially an artist, blessed with the imagination of an Architect, a multi-dimensional and, sometimes, unconventional approach to politics.

His colleagues and I within the Federation shall miss him dearly and our organisation will be a lesser body because of his sudden and untimely departure. Our pledge to him and to his family is that we shall continue the struggle for which he fought many battles until the day dawns when the Cypriot people can live in peace in a reunited island free from foreign domination and control.

The achievement of this noble objective would be the highest honour we could bestow on him and his memory.

On behalf of the Federation and myself personally, I offer our sincere and profound sympathies to his wife Helen and his daughters Rea and Zoe and to the whole of his family.

May he rest in peace και ας ειναι ελαφρυ το χωμα που θα τον σκεπαση – αιωνια του η μνημη.

Peter Droussiotis
Federation President
23rd December 2008