The Boy from Panayia who became Archbishop and First President of Cyprus

It is well known by almost every Cypriot that Archbishop Makarios came from a village in Paphos high up next to the magnificent forests of the western Troodos Mts. Born in 1913 (August 13) in Pano Panayia to a poor shepherd family, he went to Kykko Monastery at a young age and rose from novice monk to Bishop of Kition (Larnaca) in 1948, then became Archbishop of Cyprus in 1950, stuggled through the turbulent political events of the late 1950s and, after being exiled to the Seychelles by the the British, he saw the creation of the Democratic Republic of Cyprus and became its first President. He also ended up being hosted at the White House by President John F Kennedy.

There are volumes of literature written about Makarios and the history of his life, the profound influence he had over the modern history of the island. It is not the intention here to rehash any of this important material. Instead we simply present some great images of Makarios at various stages of his life.

Some of the images below were pulled from a small yet fantastic book entitled “Makarios and His Birthplace.” It was published in limited edition in 1984 by the late Nikos Papadapoulos, a native of Panayia Village himself, where he worked as the village Daskalos (“School Teacher”) and then became a self-made scholar, who made important contributions about issues involving the village and its people. Anybody who wants to learn the biography of this influential Cypriot man in plane and simple English should read this book.



Makarios and Snapshots of Moments in his Life: From Kykko to Boston to Kennedy at the White House





President and Archbishop Makarios III visits the “Kyrenia Shipwreck” underwater excavation project in August, 1969. Kneeling down, the project Director, Dr Michael Katsev explains the function of ancient millstones (made of basalt from the island of Kos), whilst at far right, the then US Ambassador to Cyprus, Taylor Belcher, looks on. Sources say this photo was taken on August 13, 1969, which would have been Makarios’ 56th birthday. (This photo appeared in the original National Geographic publication of the Kyrenia Shipwreck.)

A Little Known Fact about Makarios

A careful survey of Cyprus long and turbulent political history reveals this surprising fact: With election of Archbishop Makarios as President of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, he became the very first native born Cypriot person to take political control or leader over the entire island. Before Makarios, all rulers (Kings, Queens, Pashas or Governors, etc.) were all non-native Cypriots, foreignors born outside Cyprus and holding external political allegiances.

The Makarios Commemorative £50 Gold Coin

And then we have this most unexpected image: