Kyrenia Branch

Kyrenia Branch

The Kyrenia Branch consists one of the Subsidiary Units of the Cyprus Red Cross Society (C.R.C.S.) was set up in Kyrenia. There is no information about its activities before 1974 because all its records were lost either at the Kyrenia premises or at the offices of the C.R.C.S. in Nicosia which was bombed during the Turkish invasion. From information gathered, we know that until 1964 its president was Mrs Tull (later OBE) while Mrs Anna Charalambides later took over.


The Committee members were mainly various English ladies who had their permanent residence in Kyrenia as well as Cypriot ladies living in the town. They used to meet every Tuesday at the ''Hut'', where they made all kinds of handicraft such as toys and clothes for children which they sold at the annual Christmas bazaar which was held at the Hesperides hotel. They also organised Jumble Sales of used items outside the customs office at Kyrenia harbour, and this was followed by dance dinner dance at Catsellis Hotel.

The main concern of the Kyrenia Branch was to support the C.R.C.S. Children Therapy Centre Stella Soulioti (formerly Home for Sick Children). The Home was originally housed at the premises of an Englishman living at Glykiotissa. It then moved to Karakoumi until the 1974 Turkish invasion. The children, who lived in a boarding house, were given appropriate treatment until the age of 18. Dr Minas Hadjiminas used to visit the Home every Thursday. The ladies of the Kyrenia Branch visited the Home frequently and looked after the needs of the children or the staff. A workshop also operated at the Home for children who were fit to work creatively or produce things.

After the Turkish invasion the members of the Kyrenia Branch broke up and dispersed, the English ladies left Cyprus and the Branch became temporarily inactive. The district committee of the Youth Section Kyrenia under the presidency of Mrs Eleni (Elli) Sotiropoulou continued to operate as part of the Nicosia/Morphou district committee. In 1995, Mrs Sotiropoulou in consultation with C.R.C.S. President Stella Soulioti managed to reactivate the Kyrenia Branch which until now is accommodated in the administration offices of the Nicosia C.R.C.S.

Since 2001, the Kyrenia Branch in cooperation with the Youth Section, offer, in memory of Mrs Sotiropoulou, a prize worth 85 euros to a 3rd form pupil of the Aglandjia Gymnasium (where Eleni Sotiropoulou worked as headmaster) who had the best performance in sports and social involvement, and who preferably has Kyrenia origins. 




The Kyrenia Branch has more than 320 members and its 24 member committee meets on the second Tuesday every month. Its main concern is to alleviate human suffering according to the principles of the International Red Cross with emphasis on the relief of displaced Kyrenia people who face difficulties.

Members of the Kyrenia Branch participate in all C.R.C.S. activities and cooperate closely with all other Branches, especially with the Nicosia Branch and the Youth Section who are housed in the same building.

The Branch raises funds through various activities, such as the annual afternoon tea, which gives the opportunity to Kyrenia people to reunite. The Christmas bazaar is held in Eleftheria Square in Nicosia on the last Sunday before Christmas, the same day that the Youth Section organises its own bazaar at the Mall of Cyprus. The annual door to door collection forms the main source of income for the Branch.


Many Kyrenia displaced persons live a lonely life in refugee settlements and are keen to meet people from the same district. The Branch organises an excursion every year to offer such a chance to these people. The excursion includes a visit to a monastery and lunch at a seaside restaurant.

During the Christmas and Easter holidays, boxes with foodstuffs are distributed to families and persons in need. The Kyrenia Branch tries to help as much as possible displaced Kyrenia families, working in cooperation with the Kyrenia Bishopric and the municipalities of Kyrenia, Karavas and Lapithos.