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New British Cemetery in Lapta

Source: Cyprus Observer  
29 June 2007

It’s just a field at the moment, about 1.4 donums and although it looks a bit rough, we already have four graves sited in an east to west formation near the Olive trees,” explained Lapta resident Derek Brown who, as Chairman of the Lapta British Cemetery Committee, is working with Mayor Fuat Namsoy to convert the ‘field’ into a suitable place of internment for deceased British ex-pats.

“The Mayor has been very supportive and helpful in achieving our goals. He has donated the land, which is close to the local Muslim Cemetery. A chain link fence will soon be erected around the plot, water tanks are due to be installed and a metalled road to the site will soon be constructed,” continued Brown, “So he really is doing his bit. Our job on the committee is two-fold. Firstly, the Cemetery needs to be landscaped with footpaths, bearing in mind that in future, the graves will be laid out in a North to South pattern; then there needs to be a perimeter hedge, trees, shrubs and flowers, all designed to make the plot look like a Cemetery and a suitable place for the bereaved to lay their deceased friends and relatives to rest.”

Manual of ‘after death procedures’

Brown then explained that the second job for the committee, consisting of Clive Smillie, Ian Hartley, Trish Lunness, Marion Butler and Jill Parkins, is to establish a Manual of Burial Procedures. “We need to help the local Municipality workers to take the required reverential steps after a death and during burials, to ensure that these occasions are appropriate for British style interments, based on Christian values and traditions. The last time we had a JCB digger crank up just at the wrong moment and some other unwelcome occurrences, so we will draw up a set of procedures, have them translated into Turkish and then try to ensure that Burial Services are taken with due reverence.”

Brown went on to explain that the committee has yet another challenge. “That is to raise the funds to finance the landscaping. We shall be holding some fundraising events in the Lapta area, so that we will be able to start the work as soon as possible. Hopefully, very soon we will have created a beautiful cemetery, nestling under the Kyrenia hills, with lots of lovely trees and flowering shrubs, well tended by volunteers and looking the part. The bereaved will be comforted that their loved ones are at rest in a beautiful place.”

“It looks like the Mayor and his team have already started on the work as some materials arrived this last week, so we expect that our ‘field’ will soon be transformed into a proper cemetery. Mayor Namsoy is to be congratulated for his foresight and his willingness to accommodate the needs of the increasing British population in the Lapta area,” added Brown.

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