THE CONTRIBUTION OF OVERSEAS CYPRIOTS
“We do not forget our enslaved villages and towns, we do not forget the enslaved places where our altars and hearths are built and where our parents and ancestors are buried...” Makarios III 20th July 1977
Thousands of Greek Cypriots have emigrated to various countries to create a better future. They have worked hard and managed to prosper and advance and at the same time to contribute to the progress of the countries which they have made their second homeland. Many Overseas Cypriots are distinguished in the fields of letters, arts and sciences, in commerce, business and in most other areas of human activity. In the capitals and cities of many countries, our brethren overseas have organised themselves into communities, founded schools and churches, set up clubs, organisations and associations and their activity deserves every praise. Both as individuals and as organised communities, Overseas Greek Cypriots do honour to the name of Cyprus. And it can be said of them that they are the finest ambassadors of Cyprus to the countries where they have settled. Overseas Greek Cypriots, a living and thriving branch of Cypriot Hellenism, preserve intact their bonds with Cyprus. In whatever country they may be, they also turn their minds, souls and hearts to Cyprus. They never forget their own native land. And they are always there whenever Cyprus is faced with difficulties and danger. I express the deep gratitude of Cypriot Hellenism to all Overseas Cypriots for this great and valuable support. There are, of course, problems of all kinds which Cypriot communities abroad face and to the solution of which the Cyprus Government has a duty to contribute. I address my message of love to all the Overseas Cypriots attending the conference and express my great appreciation for their interest in Cyprus and their support, which is a source of invigoration and strengthening in the continuance of the struggle for the restitution of our trampledon rights. My message to all Overseas Cypriots is that Greek Cypriots will never yield to brute force and will never accept a faits accomplis brought about by military invasion. We will remain upright and undeterred on the ramparts. With the help of Greece, with your own support and the support of Greeks wherever in the world they may be, we will intensify our struggle until Cyprus is freed from foreign occupation and fully regains its independence.
The idea of establishing a Service for Overseas Cypriots came from the late Archbishop Makarios. The idea materialised with the appointment of the Head of the Service for Overseas Cypriots on 16th December 1976 and from 1st January the Service began to function officially. The aims, objectives and mode of functioning were announced on 2nd January 1977 and its duties and responsibilities were confirmed by decision of the Council of Ministers, no. 17451 of 22nd November 1978. By the same decision its coordinating role was confirmed in those cases where its responsibilities come under the competence of another specific Ministry or Service. Up until 9.4.1981 the Service for Overseas Cypriots was under the Ministry to the President. Subsequently, and by decision of the Council of Ministers, it has been under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(As described in a speech by former president of the Republic of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III)