The English School Honours Hero of EOKA, Michalakis Karaolis, 67 Years After His Sacrifice
On Wednesday, 10th May, The English School held a commemorative ceremony in honour of Michalakis Karaolis, a former student of the school who sacrificed his life for the cause of Cypriot independence. Karaolis was a member of EOKA, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters, which sought to end British colonial rule in Cyprus during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The commemoration was held 67 years after Karaolis' execution and took place in the school courtyard in front of a statue erected in his honour. Attendees included his classmates Andreas Chatzipapas and Andreas Zacharia, and on behalf of his family, Michalakis Karaolis' brother's son, Alexis-Savva Karaolis, a student at our School in Year 3.
Wreaths were laid by Alexis-Savvas Karaolis, classmate Andreas Zacharia, our Headmaster, Mr David Lambon, Ms Myna Pattichi on behalf of the Board, and ESOBGA chairman Mr Andreas Antoniou. Members of the school's management team, staff, and teachers were also present. Mr Chatzipapas left a small bouquet of flowers from his garden in front of the hero's statue.
The ceremony was accompanied by a music group of school students, who played the song "Της Δικαιοσύνης Ήλιε Νοητέ" (Tis Dikaiosynis Ilii Noite) Music by Mikis Theodorakis and lyrics by Odysseas Elytis. The music group comprised Panos Milios on violin, Andreas Ioannou on piano and vocals, and Sophia Kleopa on cello.
The newly elected Student Leaders were also in attendance, Marissa Troullidou, Louisa Maroudia, Philemon Antoniou, and George Tornaritis. The students had the opportunity to speak with two of the remaining classmates of Michalakis Karaolis, learning more about him, their relationship with him, as well as about life at The English School over 70 years ago when they were students.
It is worth noting that Karaolis' classmates have historically honoured his memory every year by attending a commemorative prayer organised by The English School on the exact day Karaolis was hanged by the British. In addition, every year at the school's graduation ceremony, an award is presented to outstanding students in long-distance running in memory of Michalakis Karaolis.
Karaolis' sacrifice serves as a reminder of the struggle for independence and the dedication of those who fought for Cyprus' freedom. The English School's annual commemoration of Karaolis is a tribute to his courage and sacrifice and a recognition of the importance of Cypriot independence to the school's history and ethos.