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Issue #1759      November 30, 2016

Vale Comrade Harry

On November 11 Harry Kypridemos passed away after a long illness, a highly respected member of Sydney’s progressive Greek community, a truly remarkable man, a faithful and talented CPA member.

Harry Kypridemos – 1930 - 2016.

Harry was born in Cyprus on December 14, 1930. Following his graduation from High School he enrolled at the Cyprus Teachers College and at the completion of his studies at the College he was appointed a primary school teacher.

Possessing a high degree of social conscience, he joined AKEL (Communist Party of Cyprus) at a very young age and devoted his life to the struggle for a better life for all working people.

In 1966 he migrated to Australia. He continued his contribution to social struggles by joining the active organisations in the Greek community - Atlas Club, Friends of AKEL, Cyprus Community, Greek Orthodox Community. He also became active in the Australian peace movement. Meanwhile he was married to Elvira and had a family.

For a number of years he was the director of the Greek afternoon schools of the Greek Orthodox Community in Sydney. Being a great believer in the transforming value of knowledge, he entered Sydney University and obtained a bachelor of economics degree. He worked in managerial positions of some large companies. He was not satisfied with being a well paid employee of capitalist enterprises. He wanted to improve his knowledge about the society we live in so he could contribute more effectively to the struggle for changing it.

He went back to his studies on a part time basis and got a masters degree in political science. He joined the CPA and remained a member of Beloyiannis Branch of the Party until his death.

Harry was not satisfied with a Masters degree. Political science fascinated him. He wanted to do a PHD. At an advanced age he started working on his doctoral thesis with the University of Sydney.

The subject he chose for his doctoral diatribe was the modern history of his beloved Cyprus since the commencement of the liberation struggle against the British occupation of the island to the situation created on Cyprus following the fascist coup against Makarios and the Turkish invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974.

In his Thesis that was published in book form comrade Harry adopted the Marxist methodology in the analysis and presentation of events. He demonstrated clearly and convincingly the position in the independence struggle of the different classes and strata. He exposed the erroneous and harmful position of the local nationalistic bourgeoisie and the Church (Ethnarchia), while praising the consistency of purpose and the heroism of the struggling working class. He even pointed out some wrong positions of AKEL in the early stages of the struggle.

We consider this book to be of great importance for the correct understanding of the intricacies and difficult aspects of the Cyprus question, an outstanding historical and political analysis from the point of view of the working class movement.

Comrade Harry Kypridemos was not just an academic. Above all he was an activist in the full sense of the term. He was involved in all aspects of the class struggle, showing great determination, extensive knowledge and power of persuasion.

For many years, to his death he was the secretary of the Friends of AKEL in Sydney. He is survived by his wife Elvira, his children Andreas, Solon, Louise, Joe and four grandchildren.

On behalf of the Beloyiannis Branch of the Party and his many friends and comrades we extend to his family heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy in their hour of sorrow. May his memory live forever.

Vale comrade Harry. You fulfilled your duty to the working class, with honour, dignity and boundless courage. Your remaining comrades will continue the struggle for the noble cause you devoted your life to. You will always be an inspiration to them.

Steve Mavrantonis

Next article – Australia needs positive jobs, not a new arms race

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