in love with his wife who was also a strong
personality. Young Vassos was blessed with the gentle
kindness of his father and the shrewd and dynamic personality
of his mother.
He and his sisters attended the
village elementary school. Believing that boys needed
to be better educated than girls, his parents later
enrolled him at the village Gymnasium. Upon completing
the first two classes there, he was sent to Nicosia
to the Pancyprian Gymnasium to complete his high school
A highly intelligent pupil, Vassos
excelled in his studies and proved to be a fine scholar.
His fervent wish was to study philosophy in Athens,
but his parents believed that becoming a doctor instead
would give him prestige and an income.
While still at the Gymnasium,
he was recommended by his teachers to be the guide of
a Dutch archaeologist who happened to be visiting Cyprus
at the time and required a knowledgeable young man to
show him the island and explain its history and culture.
Young Vassos so impressed the man that he financed his
studies abroad. Being a proud young man, Vassos would
never have accepted such a generous offer so his patron
told him that he had arranged a scholarship for him.
His medical studies in Athens
were interrupted by the Second World War and the young
student found himself back in Cyprus, supporting himself
doing various odd jobs such as barman and time-keeper.
After resumption of his studies
at Athens University, he was elected President of All
Students Committee of the Cypriot Struggle which led
the demonstrations for the unification of Cyprus with
This included all of the student
organizations of various political affiliations. He
was also secretary of the Organisation of Cypriots in
Greece, as well as being responsible for the national
organization of Cypriots, EAM.
After completion of his medical
studies he returned to Cyprus where he set up his medical
Due to his struggle for the unification
of the island with Greece, he had been denied entrance
to Greece over a long period of time as the establishment
there had considered such a petition poisoned relations
between Greece and Great Britain. Cyprus was a British
colony at the time.
The man who has a deep love for
his fellow human beings; a deep love for life. His chosen
profession underlines this love.
A most successful doctor during
the years he practiced medicine he gave up his practice
when elected to Parliament and then founded the EDEK
party, entering political life full time.
Sensitive, friendly, approachable,
a man of wit, youthful exuberance, philosophical thought,
self confidence and assurance. This is how those who
have known him describe him.
His patients had come from all
over Cyprus at a time when transport was exceedingly
difficult. Dr Lyssarides never charged poor people for
his services, and frequently gave them the money for
life-saving medicines which they could not afford.
Archbishop Makarios, the first
president of Cyprus was one of his patients.
He is very well known and appreciated
throughout the island as an orator and for his powerful
use of the Greek language.