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Remembering Melbourne’s ‘warrior,’ Costa Procopiou, who fought for the Cypriot cause

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By Bill Papastergiadis.

Ancient Greece was the birthplace of philosophy and sport. Hellenistic philosophies attributed enormous importance on athletic prowess. These were the hallmarks of great leaders. For me, Costa Procopiou was a true leader. He was involved in business, academia, sport and community. He embodied all of the characteristics of someone who exercised their mind and body. This was always the picture I had of Costa and it was the immediate image that came to my mind when I received the phone call from Paul Sopikiotis (son-in-law of Costa) on Friday morning telling me of his father-in-law’s passing away. I witnessed all of these characteristics in my dealings with Costa.

I remember attending a community event some 5 years ago and as always, Costa was there in support. He was wearing a sports jacket, shirt, trousers and as I observed, he strangely was also wearing “running shoes.” I remarked to Costa, “that’s an interesting look, an unusual combination wearing the runners!!” Costa replied, “I am a tennis player and I had played a little earlier today.” I looked back at Costa and somewhat fancying my chances given Costa was in his 70s I said, “well then, I too play tennis, how about a game one day.” Without even blinking, Costa stared straight back into my eyes and with a cheeky smile replied, “I am ready whenever you are, you better come prepared.” That resolve and steely determination was enough for me to rethink that challenge.

In business, Costa had a keen eye in property and design. Aesthetics were important to him and he was a well regarded property investor and developer. Having acted for him and his family, I knew that he was astute but always fair.

Costa was a teacher for many years of our beautiful language.

However, where I knew Costa the most was in his “warrior approach” to the Cypriot cause. Before the rallies for the Cypriot cause each year in the city, he would ring me to make sure I would attend. Of course, I would always be there. Costa led from the front. It was his duty to fight for this just cause to see his beloved home freed. He carried this emotion and conviction deep in his heart 

Costa was a warrior. Our community is and will always be indebted to him.  

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