The Politician The Poet The Painter The Husband
  Early Years
  born on May 13th 1920

....in an era when sons were special
Vassos Lyssarides was born on May 13th 1920 in a small mountainous village in the Larnaca district called Lefkara. It has not been touched by time, since the days of Leonardo Da Vinci, who is said to have visited the village. Some of the designs he created while there are still being embroidered by the women of the village and are known as Lefkara Lace.

His birth brought great happiness to his parents, Michalis and Eleni Lyssarides, as he was the first son after the birth of four daughters in an era when sons were special. Yet another sister was born soon after. He was brought up in a predominately female household; his father, a gentle local dignitary was a prominent merchant and store-keeper, deeply


Pancyprian Gymnasium

Highly Intelligent

Medical Studies
           in Athens


Successful Doctor


A Man
              of Wit



Patients from
          all over




Powerful use
of the
Greek language


> 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 education.

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 Greece.

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 practice.

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.

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 Last update: 27.06.2005 - lyssarides.com. All Copyrights Reserved.