Cyprus Mail
Letters

No need for more than one crematorium

It was encouraging to see the story on page three of the Cyprus Mail, June 7, suggesting that the Bill authorising cremation in Cyprus could be passed before long.  But the Chairman of the House Interior Committee, Yiannos Lamaris, was planning to canvass the views of the Church authorities before moving the issue forward.

It has been reported that the Church is not in favour of cremation on the island.  Yet, both the Archbishop and the Bishop of Paphos have given me personal assurances that they will not stand in the way of those of us who are campaigning for a crematorium here.  Both said they regarded the matter as being one of personal choice.

With over 8,000 names collected in support, including the interest of the British High Commission, there is overwhelming backing for Cyprus to be no longer the only EU country without such a facility.  Moreover, the Church was warned a few years ago by the Attorney General that if and when a cremation Bill was passed, there would be a requirement in Law for Greek Orthodox priests to officiate at a given Service if requested.

It is significant that some 13% of Greek Cypriots would now opt for cremation were it available.  The alternative of grossly overcrowded and very badly maintained cemeteries has an understandable and increasing lack of appeal.

There was reference in the Cyprus Mail piece to crematoriums. But the size of our population would not dictate a need for more than one.  The research our small lobbying group has carried out over ten years has covered the size required; its land needs; its staffing; its imported crematorium unit requirements (probably from China, which country manufactures the most advanced equipment); and finally, the optimum design.

The relevant 58 page legislative document prepared and completed last year by the Law Commissioner, designed to form the basis for a Bill, was a brilliant and thorough piece of work and should be progressed now with no further delay.  Many thousands of people will be grateful to see this proposal become a reality.

 

Clive Turner, Paphos

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