In order to honour the memory of our great benefactor and fighter for the nation’s survival, our community has placed, at the square, in front of the community library, a bust bearing his name.
Costas Pyrros was born in Asgata in 1899. After graduating from his village’s primary school, he then went on to attend the Pancyprian Gymnasium and the Nicosia English School. After his graduation, he left for Alexandria in Egypt so that he could obtain a visa and travel to America. He stayed in Alexandria for three years waiting for his visa to be issued and during that time he was able to work and study at a college where he received his degree in the French Language. He left for the USA in 1920 and he quickly became the leader, protector and guide of his fellow villagers and other Cypriot expatriates due to the fact that he was an educated person who also spoke English. After settling financially, he continued his studies and in 1936 he obtained his degree in Social Sciences from the New York University. Along with his brother Pavlos he got involved in many businesses and evolved into one of the most distinguished Greeks in New York.
Costas Pyrros promoted the Cyprus Problem in his articles published in magazines and newspapers and he was a founding member and first president of the American Association of Asgata Residents which was established in 1934. He used to publish the monthly newsletter of the Association of Asgata Residents, with which he informed everybody about the news of Asgata and Cyprus. He would organize theatrical performances and dancing parties and project Asgata and Cyprus whenever he was given the opportunity.
Moreover, he played an important part in the foundation of the Cypriots’ Union of America which was established in 1939 and of which he was a secretary. As soon as WWII ended, he actively participated in organizing events for the expatriates who demanded for Cyprus to be freed and for the Great Powers to honour their promises towards Greece and Cyprus. He helped and financially supported, both personally and as a president of the Association, almost all projects which were effectuated in the village (schools, church, irrigation, electricity supply etc.).
Costas Pyrros died in 1965 in New York, without unfortunately managing to visit Asgata and Cyprus. Until 1959 he was unable to come to Cyprus because he would likely be arrested by the British for aiding the guerilla fighters of EOKA. After the independence of Cyprus, he kept postponing his visit to Cyprus waiting for his health to improve. Unfortunately, the time never came for Costas and his dream remained unfulfilled. However, his bust is standing in the centre of his village, exactly where he had dreamt of it, to always remind us of this remarkable person.
Source: Antonis Kavazis: “Asgata = History and Memories”
Georgios Chr. Katsaris
Giorgos grew up in Asgata and graduated from the Technical School of Limassol. He was employed by the Hellenic Mining Company and worked at our village’s mine as a technician.
He was an exceptional young man who actively participated in the community’s social life and his village’s football squad. In 1963, upon the commencement of the Turkish mutiny and the bicommuncal unrest, he voluntarily joined and trained with the platoon that was formed to guard the community.
In 1964, when the National Guard was established, Giorgos was part of the first class of 1944 that were called to enlist. After short term training his battalion was transferred to the area of Tylliria during the Turkish raid. Some of his fellow fighters testified that he fought bravely and fell on August 8th 1964 struck by a mortar. His fellow fighters buried him in the mountains of Pachyammos Tyllirias.
Our community honoured the hero by placing his bust in a cenotaph located in the church forecourt. In 1988 the hero’s family and the community transferred his remains, placed them in a box and buried them in the cenotaph. The state honoured our hero by naming the army camp in Plateies after his name.
Source: Antonis Kavazis
Commodore Andreas Ioannides
The late Andreas Ioannides served at the navy camp of Asgata as Commander for many years. He was an excellent officer who created strong bonds and was loved by our community. Next, as Navy Commander, he continued his relationship with Asgata and participated in many events the church and our community organized. In fact, on the last night of his life he and his wife attended the annual dancing party of our church. In the tragic morning of July 11th 2011, the entire village cried upon hearing the sad news of his loss.
To honour his memory, our community has named the street leading to the “Georgios Katsaris” navy camp after the commander and placed an honorary plaque in the area.