The Foreign Residents in the TRNC
30 minutes with the Secretary
by Ralph Kratzer
I have had very positive feedback on my recently started series of interviews with members of The Foreign Residents in the TRNC. Thanks to all the people reading and supporting my scribblings!
I decided to continue the series with our well-known Treasurer of the Society, Horst Gutowski. When I asked him for the interview he did not hesitate to invite my girlfriend and I for dinner in his villa in Lapta. As we knew he is a great cook we were very happy about this invitation.
But before the fun was the work! So I started asking him about his life:
Born in 1949 in Büdelsdorf near Rendsburg in the State of Schleswig-Holstein, the most northern part of Germany, he there began his school education before changing to a Junior High School in Rendsburg. After that he started an apprenticeship as an Administrative Secretary at the AOK, the biggest health insurance company in Germany. In 1969 he joined the University for Applied Science in Kiel, special field social insurances, and after another 2 years he gained his diploma.
Back with the AOK he started to climb up the career ladder step by step until he became a Head of Department in 1984. In 1990 Horst applied for a position as a Member of the Executive at AOK Kiel and he was selected. Later becoming District Director and member of the Board of Directors in the new founded AOK Schleswig-Holstein. He held this position until his retirement in 2000.
Not enough with his main job in those times, in addition he took a position as a lecturer at the University of Kiel and executed this for 14 years.
For another 3 years he worked as an independent consultant in the field Health Service and became a member of the Board of Directors in a consulting firm and, parallel to this, was employed as a Scientific Advisor for the German Parliament in the capitol of Berlin.
There may be people thinking now, this guy couldn´t have had a private life! But he had!
1971 he married his first wife, the mother of his two sons. Both sons, are now at the ages of 39 and 36 and still live in Germany. Horst also became the proud grandpa of a sweet little girl.
After being divorced Horst came together with Karin in 1994 and after 9 years living together the couple married in 2003. Many of our members will remember the cordial and charming Karin who came with Horst to North Cyprus in 2004 and lived with him in their dream home in Lapta until her sad decease in 2010.
Being asked how the two came to live in North Cyprus, Horst explained that he had been to the island for a holiday in 1993, staying at the Chateau Lambousa Hotel at this time, and that he had enjoyed this stay very much. When he and Karin started to think about settling abroad, he remembered the beauty of Lapta´s surroundings and after having visited a travel fair in Berlin and the stand of North Cyprus there, they decided to cancel a planned trip to Italy´s beautiful landscape of Toscana and to book a flight to the island of Aphrodite in 2001. The result of the holiday was the order to a local architect to build their beautiful villa with its absolutely stunning sea view.
With the invaluable help of his British neighbours and friends, Horst overcame the period of illness and the death of his beloved wife. After a time of mourning life went on for him. He spent a very nice time with his Irish girl friend Susan before he recently met Annerose from Germany, who some of his friends, including me, already had the pleasure to meet during both of her visits to the island late last year.
Asked about his passion for collecting all kind of old objects he is finding during his daily walks with his dog Karakiz, Horst mentioned it might come from his interest in history. In Germany he was not only a collector of company chronicles but he was one of a few people responsible for the rediscovery of an ancient trackway in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein called “Oxen way” or German “Ochsenweg” which is today a well-known trail for cyclists and walkers.
Last, but not least, we talked about the subject of cooking, because some of you may know that Horst is an excellent cook. He told us he never had a passion for cooking until the day Karin broke her leg a few years ago. Due to these circumstances he found himself in the kitchen in those days and his wife controlled his activities remotely from the sofa. Getting more and more practice he discovered his love for cooking. The ideas for the dishes come from his imagination or sometimes from TV cooking shows.
Being a member of TFR since his first days in North Cyprus he later became auditor and in 2010 Treasurer of the Society.