About Popas KLEOPAS
Born Famagusta, Cyprus, 6 October 1911, son of Yiangos Kleopas, Mukhtar of Varosia and Eleni Michaelidou, founder of Kantara resort and founding member of several societies and clubs. After finishing Famagusta Greek Gymnasium in 1929, Popas studied at the American University of Beirut and the Commercial University of Dijon. Upon his return he worked for a short period as a teacher at the English School, Famagusta and in 1934 he was employed by the Bank of Famagusta (founded as Salamis Savings Bank in 1900, with his grandfather G. Michaelides as one of the founders). In 1943 he established his Accounting Office, which he operated until 1974. In parallel, he taught French and Accounting at Secondary Schools, developed the orange orchard in Kato Varoshia and built a hotel near the coast.
He was involved in the initial steps of the Labour Movement and in 1939 he presided over the 1st Pancyprian Labour Conference, which did not produce results due to the outbreak of the War. In 1946-1949 he participated in offering assistance to the Jews held captive in Karaolos camps, outside Famagusta, and helping them to escape (see the film ‘‘Exodus’’).
In 1943 he married Militsa Psara and they had 2 children, Yiangos and Michalis.
Popas was an active citizen and a member of several associations: Founding member of Famagusta Nautical Association, Founding Member and Secretary of the Excursions Club, General Secretary of ‘‘Evagoras’’ Sports Association, Founding Member and Treasurer/Secretary of the Scientific and Literary Association, Founding Member and President of Alliance Francaise, Founding Member and President of Famagusta Rotary Club, Chairman of the 195th District Conference of Rotary International, and candidate for Governor of the District. He was honoured by several Associations.
After the invasion and occupation of Famagusta, he lived and worked in Athens. He returned to Cyprus and after a long illness passed away in 1988, without fulfilling his dream of returning to his beloved Varoshia (New Famagusta).
Many of his old friends, including Mayor A. Pouyiouros, Dr. Vassos Karageorgis, Judge G.Pikis, Labour Leader A. Fantis, wrote honorary testimonials for inclusion in his biography to be published soon. Judge L. Savvides wrote that one phrase best describes him: ‘‘Popas of Varoshia’’.