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Sourp Stepanos Armenian Church - Larnaca
Saturday 3 September, 2005 at 4:00 p.m

GIBRAHAYER e-magazineNICOSIA, Friday September 2, 2005 (Masis Der Partogh)- Bedros Kalaydjian, the Representative of the Armenian minority in the Cyprus parliament, died on Thursday after a long illness.
Kalaydjian, who turned 71 a week ago, served in the House of Representatives for two terms, after succeeding his brother, Aram, in the same seat who died in 1995.
He was first elected to parliament in the by-election of October 22, 1995 and at the parliamentary elections of May 26, 1996 and May 27, 2001.
Bedros was a member of the House Standing Committee on Educational Affairs and also played a key role in Cyprus-Armenia diplomatic and political relations.
Through his parliamentary duties, he often raised the issue and garnered support for Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), while like all his predecessors often raised the issue of Turkey’s denial of the 1915 Genocide.
At home, Kalaydjian’s main priorities were educational reform and improvement of the Nareg elementary schools in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol, securing additional funding for the schools and aid to Armenian students.
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 secondary school in Nicosia, which the AGBU Central Board in New York decided to close citing financial reasons.
Kalaydjian fervently opposed the decision to close the school and sell off the land and despite meeting the AGBU President twice, was unable to persuade the organisation’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 Cyprus government to sponsor dance, choral 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 recently destroyed but was expected to be restored. However, he did not live to see his dream project materialise, the establishment of a ‘monument of gratitude’ that is expected to be built on the Larnaca seafront to mark the arrival of Armenian refugees and survivors of the early 19th century massacres in Turkey and the subsequent warm welcome offered by the hospitable population of Cyprus.
For many years he was president of the Larnaca AGBU club, a member of the board of the Armenian Church Committee, chairman of the board of the American Academy in Larnaca and Limassol and president of the Larnaca Rotary Club. He was also on the Private Education Advisory Committee.
Bedros Kalaydjian studied Business Administration at Fallowfield College, Manchester, and headed the family business that included a group of trading, real estate and hotel companies.
After his brother’s death ten years ago, Bedros worked hard to extend and upgrade the Kalaydjian Rest Home they had established in Nicosia for elderly people, adding a new floor and chapel in recent years.
He was married to Lisa Jackson and is succeeded by his son, Dickran, and daughter, Julia, and three grandchildren.
The funeral will take place at the Sourp Stepanos (St. Stephen’s) Armenian Church in Larnaca on Saturday, September 3, at 4pm.

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