Money raised at talk to go on wheel­chairs

Cyprus Today - - NEWS - By KEREM HASAN Chief Re­porter

MONEY raised at a talk on the Knights Tem­plar is to be used to buy wheel­chairs and walk­ing frames for Bri­tish mil­i­tary vet­er­ans liv­ing in the TRNC, it has been an­nounced.

Around 50 people at­tended the talk by Keith Lloyd at the Le­vant res­tau­rant in Kara­man last Thurs­day, which gen­er­ated funds for the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion (RBL) Kyre­nia branch.

The event raised a to­tal of 940TL and the RBL Kyre­nia branch is to use the money to buy two wheel­chairs and two walk­ing frames for vet­er­ans. “I’m pleased about that,” said Mr Lloyd.

The 78-year-old, orig­i­nally from Chester and who moved to Girne in 2003 with wife Betty, said he had spo­ken about the legacy of the Knights Tem­plar, which was formed in the 12th cen­tury, “in Girne, Gaz­i­mağusa and other re­gions”, in­clud­ing how they were “purged by the Pope in 1310 and how they were the world’s first bankers — an in­flu­ence which con­tin­ues to­day”.

He added: “I spoke about their his­tory, to the time when King Richard the Lion­heart gave Cyprus to them dur­ing the third cru­sade.”

Mr Lloyd said he might re­peat the talk — al­ready given for the sec­ond time — af­ter 20 people had to be turned away due to the de­mand for places.

While auc­tion­ing a bot­tle of Scotch, he also told the story of how the late Greek Cypriot leader Glaf­cos Clerides saved Turk­ish Cypriot sol­dier İbrahim Salih Bekir, who died in Lon­don last year aged 98, from be­ing sent to a con­cen­tra­tion camp while be­ing held cap­tive by the Nazis in Poland.

“The Ger­mans had mis­tak­enly thought Mr Bekir to be Jewish,” Mr Lloyd ex­plained, be­cause they be­lieved his name was “Abra­ham”.

“Mr Clerides . . . told the Ger­mans that Mr Bekir was in fact his fel­low coun­try­man and said that he was ac­tu­ally Cypriot,” Mr Lloyd said. “With his ac­tions, he saved him from go­ing to the gas cham­ber, to his death.”

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