Lapithos Municipality

HISTORY OF LAPITHOS MUNICIPALITY

When the British bought Cyprus from the Ottoman Turks in 1878 and set about re-organizing the administrative structure of the island, Lapithos became one of the ten new ‘municipalities’. Both the Mayor and the Municipal Council were democratically elected by the people of Lapithos. As a result competent personalities were elected into office, who strived for the progress and well-being of the small town.

The Municipality of Lapithos had a diverse variety of services. It functioned smoothly as a small town and the administrative and technical staff of the municipality did their best to materialize projects the Lapithiotes took pride in. Some of them were the following:

  1. Expansion and maintenance of the road network. In 1974 this project was almost complete.
  2. Community water-supply with fountains in all main streets. In the 1960s water-supply was extended to every household. The water came from Kefalovryso (Headspring).
  3. Street-lighting.
  4. Market on the ground floor of the Town Hall.
  5. Abattoir
  6. Tax Collection Service
  7. Library
  8. Garbage Disposal and Hygiene Service
  9. Municipal Garden (Situated within the Town Hall grounds, with a great variety of plants, flowers, birds and animals, including peacocks and the endemic agrino – moufflon – of Cyprus)
  10. Home Mail Delivery and Street-naming Service
  11. Municipal Committee for the Organization of Cultural and National Events
  12. Building Licence Department

The Town Hall was constructed in 1923 at the heart of Lapithos under the imposing rock where the First Primary School for Boys was built. Following the freedom struggle of 1955-59 the square in front of the Town Hall was named Heroes’ Square. Marble plaques were symmetrically placed on the rock. The names of those who had given their lives to the cause for the defeat of British Colonialism were inscribed on these plagues. In addition to this, there was also marble plaque in memory for all heroes of Greek Revolution of 1821. The Heroes’ Square became the venue for all communal events organized in common by the Municipality, the Schools and the athletic club of the town.

The coat of arms of the Municipality was the Horned Athena. This image was on an ancient Greek coin found in the grounds of Lapithos, this ancient town called Imeroessa – charming, exquisite, and desirable.

Yiorghos Kazelis happened to be the Mayor when the invading Turks took control of our town while the other members of the Municipal Council were:

  1. Andreas Eleftheriou
  2. Kostas Filippides
  3. Christos Christofides
  4. Evangelos Evangelides

This Municipal Council stayed in office until the end of 1987, thirteen years after the invasion.
The 1974 catastrophe put all the activities of our Municipality to a halt. The displaced Lapithiotes were dispersed not only around the island but also in the world at large. They were simply looking for a place of refuge…

The items on the agenda of the first post-1974 meeting of the Municipal Council on 13 January 1975 were as follows:

Jobs in the civil service for the now unemployed municipal employees.
Reviewing the problems of the municipal employees.
Information campaign on the Cyprus National Problem.

The Municipal Council meetings were taking place in the homes of its members until the Municipality was offered temporary offices at 37 Ammochostou Street, Lefkosia, west of Ammochostos Gate. The Municipality of Lapithos found itself under the same roof with also refugee Municipality of Kythrea.

In the period 1988-1991 the Municipal Council consisted of Yiorghos Kazelis, Panayiotis Niros, Kostas Yermanos, Savvas Christofides and Ntinos Karolides. The first four municipal councillors took the chair in turn. As from 1992, elections were re-instituted.

THE MAYORS OF LAPITHOS

Lapithos was declared a municipality in 1878. The Town Hall lay in the centre of the town. Its coat of arms was the figure of Horned Athena, that adorned an ancient coin discovered in the vicinity of Lapithos.

The Mayor and the Municipal Council were democratically elected every five years. Below is the list of the Mayors since the inception of the municipality:

  1. Andreas Koumides
  2. Mustafa Shefki
  3. Kostas Chatziparaskeva
  4. Nikolas Pyrgos
  5. Chariton Athanasiades
  6. Efthyvoulos Paraskevaides
  7. Kostas Kaplanis
  8. Christoforos Taliadoros
  9. Odysseas Ellinopoulos
  10. Fidias Paraskevaides
  11. Melis Poullis
  12. Panayiotis Yiangopoulos
  13. Yeorghios Kazelis
  14. Kostas Yermanos
  15. Savvas Christofides
  16. Panayiotis Niros
  17. Nikos Evangelou
  18. Athos Eleftheriou

Thus for the four year term 1992 to 1996 the following were elected unopposed:
Nikos Evangelou, Mayor
Athos Eleftheriou, Deputy Mayor
Andreas Evangelou, Member
Pavlos Aristeidou, Member
Savvas Christofides, Member
Andreas Mourettos, Member

As from 1 January 1997 the Municipal Council has increased its members to eight under the new Municipalities Act. Thus for the four year term 1997-2001 the following were elected once again unopposed:
Nikos Evangelou, Mayor
Athos Eleftheriou, Deputy Mayor
Andreas Evangelou, Member
Panikos Panayi, Member
Pavlos Aristeidou, Member
Eleni Kakoura, Member
Maria Nikolaou, Member
Theodhoros Theodora, Member
Andreas Mourettos, Member

On December 16, 2001, took place Municipal elections, during which the Mayor and the City Council were elected for the term beginning 01/01/2002 and ending 31/12/2006. The City Council was formed by the following:

Athos Eleftheriou – Mayor
Neoptolemos Kotsapas – Deputy Mayor
Pavlos Aristeidou – Member
Vasileios Madralis – Member
Eleni Kakourou – Member
Andreas Evaggelou – Member
Andreas Mourettos – Member
Constantinos Padechis – Member
Yiannakis Christofidis – Member

On December 17, 2006 we had municipal elections once more while still refugees. At this election the Mayor and the City Council were once more elected for the term beginning 01/01/2007 and ending 31/12/2011, as follows:

Athos Eleftheriou – Mayor
Yiannakis Christofidis – Deputy Mayor
Pavlos Aristeidou – Member
Vasileios Madralis – Member
Maria Koumidou – Member *
Yiannos Kremmos – Member
Soulla Mourettou – Member
Eleni Kakourou – Member
Christodoulos Tsimouris – Member

* Mrs Maria Koumidou resigned from her position as member of the City Council for the Municipality of Lapithos by a letter dated 31/01/2007. Her position was taken over by the first runner-up, Mr Dimitris Mina.