Bedros Kalaydjian

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Bedros Kalaydjian was a famous parliamentarian and public figure in Cyprus. He was born in 1934.

Kalaydjian studied Business Administration in Manchester, England, and later headed the family business that included a group of trading, real estate and hotel companies.

He served in the House of Representatives as the Representative of the Armenian community in Cyprus for two terms, 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 role, he was a vocal supporter of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, while like all of his predecessors frequently raising the issue of Turkey's denial of the 1915 Armenian 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 in Nicosia, which the AGBU Central Board in New York subsequently decided to close, citing financial reasons.

Bedros Kalaydjian fervently opposed the decision to close the school and sell off the land, but was unable to persuade the organization’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 Cypriot government of the need 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 destroyed just before 2005 and is now restored.

However, he did not live to see his dream project materialize, the creation of a 'monument of gratitude' that was built after his death on the Larnaca seafront to commemorate the arrival of Armenian refugees and survivors of the genocide in Turkey and the subsequent welcome offered by the people of Cyprus.

For many years he served on the boards of the Larnaca AGBU chapter, the Armenian Church Committee, the American Academy in Larnaca and Limassol (including as Chairman) and the Larnaca Rotary Club (also as President).

After his brother's death in 1995, Bedros Kalaydjian worked hard to extend and upgrade the Kalaydjian Rest Home that they had established in Nicosia for elderly people, adding a new floor and chapel in recent years.

Kalaydjian died in 2005 at the age of 71 after a long illness.

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

The funeral took place at the Sourp Stepanos (St. Stephen's) Armenian Church in Larnaca.


Sources

  • CYPRUS ARMENIAN MP, BEDROS KALAYDJIAN DIES, www.financialmirror.com, January 1, 2005