By George Christou
Loucas Charalambous, the Sunday Mail’s regular columnist for close to 20 years, passed away in his sleep on Tuesday night. He was 67.
Never afraid to express views that ruffled feathers and exposed the hypocrisy of politicians, Loucas always wrote with honesty and integrity, which even his biggest critics would acknowledge. He was a committed supporter of a Cyprus settlement, often exposing the rhetoric and hollow promises of rejectionists in his weekly column.
Although the Cyprus problem was his main interest and concern, he also wrote about the corruption and dishonesty that blights Cyprus life, the self-serving decisions of politicians and state officials, the excessive powers of public sector unions as well as the lack of rationality in public debate.
Loucas wrote his column as a hobby, his love of newspapers having been cultivated at a young age when he had worked for several titles. He was an accountant by profession and until his death was the general manager of what was known as Kinopraxia Asfaliston Dimosion Metaforon, a joint venture of insurance companies that provided insurance cover to public transport vehicles.
He was very proud of his involvement in the establishment of Disy in 1976, even though he had become disillusioned with the party after Glafcos Clerides departure from the leadership, feeling that it had lost its way.
“Loucas was a good man,” said Cyprus Mail publisher Kyriacos Iacovides, who had been friends with him for more than 20 years. “He was honest, forthright, generous and always cheerful; a good and loyal friend who will be sorely missed.”