Paul Haines – Walking for Peace
Rome to Jerusalem
By Margaret Sheard….
It is strange how the long gone Newman’s Farm in Kyrenia continues to come up in my writing and although it is a very remote connection it still has a bearing on our association with Paul Haines who is walking from Rome to Jerusalem for Peace. The connection is through Carrie Langford, a friend of Paul’s in Cornwall who remembered Newman’s Farm from her childhood and I wrote an article about her memories. Click here to read Carrie’s story of her time in Cyprus in the 1960’s.
Carrie contacted me to see if we could help Paul on his journey when he came to Cyprus to walk from North to South as part of his route and we were pleased to be able to help by giving him a bed for the night and helping him with his route through the TRNC.
Paul arrived from Turkey on the ferry which docked at the New Harbour in Girne and Chris collected him from the ferry port early on Monday 23rd November. We had arranged for Engin Dervisağa and his crew from BRTK to come and interview Paul and they arrived at our home at around 10am and proceeded to do the interview in the garden as it was such a nice sunny day.
Later Chris drove Paul to Lefkoşa to familiarise him with the route he would need to take to when he was ready to start walking again, with a few detours to show him some places of interest, and then drove him into the old city and parked near the Buyuk Han and walked him round to the Lokmaci crossing where the tourist office suggested a local hotel that Paul could stay at when he finally arrived in Lefkoşa so they walked to it and made the necessary arrangements.
We went out for a meal in the evening where we sat in a quiet corner and I had an opportunity to find out some information about Paul and how he came to be a walker.
The following morning Paul was itching to start walking again so after breakfast we took him to his starting point at the Hirondelle Roundabout and waved him goodbye as he set off up the hill and the route over the mountain to Lefkoşa where he would be staying overnight and meeting up the following day with Can Gazi for another interview for Can’s A Cup of Conversation programme on BRTK.
Following this Paul’s route would be to cross the border into the South and make his way down to Limassol where he would be getting a boat for a sea journey before continuing his walk to Jerusalem.
We enjoyed Paul’s brief stay with us and found him to be a very interesting man who is dedicated to his fairly new pursuit of walking, he said he just loves it and the places he sees and the people he meets make it so enjoyable.
Paul was born in Canada, his father was English and his mother an American from New Jersey. Paul’s father worked in the tobacco industry and the family left Canada when Paul was a few months old and they travelled extensively for a few years with his father’s occupation, living in England, Switzerland, Denmark and then returning to Liverpool in England and eventually London where Paul spent most of his life.
Initially, Paul trained as an architect and worked in this profession for about 4 years before deciding to change his career and he joined the BBC in London firstly as an Assistant Set Designer and then as a Set Designer in his own right. During this time he worked on many different types of programmes and well-known dramas, including Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Crime and Punishment, and met many actors, entertainers etc. through his career, which spanned 20 years.
During the last 4 years of his working career with the BBC, in 1992, Paul became ill with M.E. and during this time he said the BBC were wonderful in trying to help him through this difficult time, giving him time off and gradually getting him back into working in a less stressful clerical capacity and eventually back to Set Design. The last project Paul worked on was the launch of the UK National Lottery and while he managed very well with this, towards the end he was flagging and the BBC brought in an assistant to help him. Following this, it was felt that Paul could not continue due to his illness and he was retired from the BBC due to ill health in 1996.
Paul said this was a very difficult time for him to suddenly find himself without work and what the future would be so he and a girl friend went to live in Austria, where they stayed for 1½ years and then Paul decided to return to the UK and moved firstly to Devon and then to Cornwall, where he still lives in Carnon Downs. In 2009 Paul contacted a Professor of Immunology who came to Cornwall and he worked with Paul and gave him the chance to function in a better way. It was then that Paul started walking and on a trip to France where he visited some of the war grave sites he became aware of the thousands of people who had been killed as a result of war.
Part of adapting to a totally different way of life was learning about himself and this learning curve went in the direction of walking, which Paul found he enjoyed and so the course of Paul’s life changed with his first walk which was in Spain and relatively short, followed by a second longer walk in Spain, then the Pilgrim’s Way in England, also walking in Switzerland and in Ireland.
In 2014 Paul set out to walk from London to Rome which went through Canterbury where he met a Canon who kept in touch with him throughout his walk. On his return he received an invitation to give a talk about walking at a pilgrimage weekend at Canterbury Cathedral, together with 2 others. Paul was a bit apprehensive about this but decided to go ahead and he said it was an amazing experience and he was also able to talk with the Archbishop of Canterbury who was present at the event.
So here we are in 2015 and Paul is now walking from Rome to Jerusalem and really enjoying the experience of walking through many countries and meeting many interesting people along the way. His route is taking him through Europe, crossing into Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Bosnia, Albania, Cyprus and then on to see the Christmas tree in Manger Square, Bethlehem and to celebrate Christmas and Hannukah in Jerusalem. He carries an exercise book with him and invites people he meets to write their thoughts about PEACE and we were both pleased to be able to enter our thoughts into Paul’s book.
To learn more about Paul visit his website by clicking here.
We wish Paul every success with the remainder of his walk which is also in aid of a charity to help the children of Israel and Palestine – “Children of Peace” and Paul can be sponsored through Just Giving, to see more about this charity click here