SVA Visit to Cyprus 2012.

Because of the uncertain situation in Egypt and it getting more difficult to organise the annual reunion trip to the Canal Zone, Jeff Malone, the Association’s overseas reunion organiser, decided that he could no longer arrange future visits. It was suggested that the 2012 trip should be made to Cyprus as many Suez Vets had been stationed there at some time or other and many had spent time on leave on the island so it was a logical alternative.

A group of 70 members/wives/partners flew out from different airports in the UK on Wednesday 21st November and all met at the wonderful four star Athena Beach Hotel in Paphos, some of the group had booked for just one week and others were staying for a fortnight. Duncan Price, a member living in Australia made his own way there to join with the group.

It was, of course, a different sort holiday to those that had been spent in the Canal Zone in previous years but it had been arranged to hold a wreath laying ceremony at Wayne’s Keep, the Nicosia War Cemetery on Friday 23rd November.  With Wayne’s Keep being in the buffer zone between the Greek and Turkish sections they had to stop at a base of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force on the outskirts of Nicosia where they were supplied with tea or coffee and biscuits before picking up a UN escort to lead them to the cemetery.    (Members of R.E.M.E. are the current UN Force at Nicosia.)

During the ceremony at the Cross of Remembrance Evelyn Norton laid a wreath on behalf of the Suez Veterans with Bill Lawrie and Roy Robinson acting as her escorts. Jeff Malone played the Last Post and Reveille and Richard Woolley recited the Exhortation.

The group then took the opportunity to wander round the cemetery and one member was able to place crosses at the graves of some of his old colleagues.

Jeff had arranged other outings and visits were made to the Tombs of Kings, Aphrodite’s Birthplace, Aphrodite’s Bath, the Archaeological Site of Kourion, and the Neofytos Monastery.

All the outings were interesting but by reports the most enjoyable was a visit to the Kolios Winery.

Here they were given a talk about the vineyard by the owner, Marios Kolios, were taken down to have a look at his impressive cellar well stocked with bottles of his wine ready for ageing and distribution.  This was followed by a description of some of the wines and a generous wine tasting session before the group were served with an eight course meal with as much wine as wanted.

It could be said that a good time was had by all and some of the bottles of wine were bought for taking home or drinking later.

The return to the UK was on 5th December after what was a very enjoyable holiday with talk of repeating the idea in 2013. 

Evelyn Norton to lay the wreath with escorts
Bill Lawrie and Roy Robinson.

And the Salute afterwards.
The building in the background is in the Turkish part of the island and is a look-out post

The Wreath Laying Party.
Roy Robinson - Evelyn Norton - Bill Lawrie - Richard Woolley

Again, - this time with the UN escort.
The UN escort was a R.E.M.E.

Seated at the winery between the wine tasting session
and the 8 course meal.

Some of the group sampling local food and drink.

Two members enjoying the peace and quiet of Monastery grounds.

Old and New. Some temple ruins with wind generators on the skyline.

Ancient ruins of a castle destroyed by an earthquake.

Sea Caves near Paphos

Looking down to Aphrodite's Rock.
She got around a bit did Aphrodite!

Part of the hotel gardens at sunset.

Rubble washed up onto Paphos Harbour during a storm on the
last day of the holiday.

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