From Myth to Reality
By Chris Elliott……..
We are delighted that John Aziz Kent and The Celebrity Hotels Group have given us permission for the publication of the following article from a book published as “The Rebirth of The Ancient Kingdom Of Lambousa.”
“By Başaran Düzgün
(Journalist and owner of Havadis Gazete)
The Rebirth of the Kingdom of Lambousa
From Myth to Reality
Go and sit on a place high over the slopes of the mountains. At dawn, when the sun rises and its rays are on the shores, you may see King Praxander, who lived in the thirteenth century BC, may be inspecting the rebirth of his ancient realm of Lapta-Lambousa. He had inspired a young man, who lived thousands of years after him, to return to his homeland to try and revive, in a sense, the old glories of Lapta-Lambousa.
The Dream of a Miner’s Son
Aziz Kent is the son of a poor miner. His father, after a day’s work in the pits, would earn just enough money to buy bread for his family. Following the Second World War, besides poverty, troubles appeared in Cyprus. Greek Cypriots had started terrorist activities, both against the British and the Turks, in order to achieve the centuries old dream, the Union of Cyprus with Greece.
For Aziz Kent, a difficult period had begun. He was working in any job which was available, without any security for the next day. The year 1956 became for him, a year of suffering and also a time for a new start. When his friends working with him in the same job, were murdered by Greek terrorists, he decided to leave the island. With a few belongings in an old suitcase, he started for London, “the dream city” for him”. He worked in various jobs in London and, after saving some money, he began to visit his country annually.
First, he purchased a citrus grove, as a means of help for his family and then a small farm in the mountains. He was then planning to spend his retirement at this farm, but how could he know that King Praxander would not allow him to follow his goal?
He returned, once again, in the summer of 1968. After visiting his family, he went to Lapta to entertain himself and several friends accompanying him. They had gone to Baspinar, the magnificent spring gushing down the slope of the mountain, facing the sea. There they began to eat and drink. Their drink was “Zivania”, the strong, pure alcohol distilled from grapes..
The locality from where the spring gushed had a commanding view of lovely mountain scenery on the Mediterranean Sea. They had plenty of food with them, so spent the night on the spot, drinking and chatting until dawn. Then they were amazed at the sight of the glittering sea seemingly to lap up to the mountains. Aziz Kent was spellbound at this marvellous sight. Suddenly a thought filled his mind . He said to his friends “I’m going to build a hotel here and give a new start to the old Kingdom of Lambousa”.
His friends laughed at this . How could they know that it was King Praxander’s decision and his spirit was there with them? After all they were drunk.”
Drunk or not John had the vision and inspiration to build a hotel, in fact he built two, The Celebrity Seafront Hotel and also Chateau Lambousa plus Aphrodite Bungalows on a delightful site housing 33 bungalows.
This labour of love was not without tremendous difficulties during the Greek Cypriot period and since then John’s difficulties have continued with problems besetting him during the Turkish Cypriot period and we will learn more of this in the weeks to come.
Not only did he want to build hotels but he also wanted to see his country become a major tourist centre and worked hard to promote North Cyprus tourism by founding and becoming Chairman of the North Cyprus Hoteliers Association and now holds the role of Honorary President of this Association.
Life in North Cyprus is not without major difficulties and hurdles to overcome daily and John Aziz Kent and King Praxander have now been joined by another man of great vision, he is Serhat Akpinar the Founding Rector and Chancellor of Girne American University who has taken a long term lease and is currently upgrading Chateau Lambousa and the Aphrodite Bungalows and will use the facilities here as a major education and tourist facility and we also hope to bring you more news of this in the weeks to come of what progress has been made.
Please read the GAU News article telling of what the future holds for by clicking here Chateau Lambousa