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Georgios Templar: The historical figure of the Carnival that gave his name to a city street

Geοrgios Templar, journalist and social actor of Limassol, as outlined in a note by Totis Mandalios, was born in 1891 and died in 1981. With a name associated with the history of the place and the period of the Templar Knights on the island, the "patriarch" of Limassol Carnival, as he is known, would now be nearly the same age with the same institution he loved and glorified.

The classic monocle and his fez, apart from the most typical attire in the history of the city's carnival, is also a symbol for its character and temperament, since over the years Limassol balanced in harmony between western and oriental culture.

"I think that the city landscape with the sea and the hospitable people, but also with the tendency to music and entertainment, has created this nice vibe of the Troubadours", he told Totis Mandalios in 1975. Geοrgios Templar admired the work of the Troubadours, the cheer they would spread in the city. "On Tsiknopempti (Pancake Day) after the Second World War, around 1946 or 1947, I initiated each Tsiknopempti the feast and party which Bonis and Papidis hosted in the 1910s," he said to Mandalios.

The home of Geοrgios Templar hosted for many years an unlikely carnival celebration with the participation of many Limassolians. He was present in any other big celebration of carnival: from the British domination, until the cosmopolitan parties in theaters and hotels. "During the period of the 1931 rebellion, the sly Governor wanted to cease everything and all those events almost died and the Carnival tradition would be dissolved forever", recorded the famous carnival figure.

He managed to work with the authorities to allow the carnival celebrations to continue seamlessly. "When I learned that the Governor was planning to make us forget the Carnival, just like he wanted us to forget the Greek flag, which was forbidden for several years, I found the 2 friends Police officers, Izzet and Jemal, and went to Government House to meet the Governor. We guaranteed, the 3 of us, that nothing bad or revolutionary will happen, apart from the fact that on Green Monday we would all be on sore throats from the feast and singing and we inspired him to dress up as well...

We all know the conservatism of the British, the phlegmatic. In Limassol, the carnival lured the conservatism and almost every night the British administrative, police, judge, tax collectors, engineers with their wives and Greeks from the Club of friends would be seen partying and drinking with them thousands of Romans (Greeks)".

Today, apart from the street Georgios Templar, in the same neighborhood with the legendary theater Yordamli, which hosted many of the feasts in which the famous carnival figure was in, his image, with the monocle and the fez, remains one of the iconic moments of the carnival. His portrait, just like his monocle and fez are now kept in the Historical City Archives.


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