Economides Michael

Michael Economides

Born January 17th 1910 in Nicosia, the son of a wheat merchant. He left Cyprus at the age of 16 for Latin America but an illness delayed him en route and he ended up in London! He arrived in 1929 and found it difficult to get a job. Already influenced by the British Communist Party's stance on Cyprus, he joined the League Against Imperialism and the Communist Party in 1932.He travelled to Spain in 1936 to fight for the republic; he became a captain and fought in many of the bloodiest of battles, including at Jarama, where he was shot in the leg and the Ebro, where he received a chest wound.

pic: Michael Economides

Once back in Britain, he became vigorous in the campaign for independence in Cyprus, he helped to found the British-based Greek language paper, `Vema'. In 1946, he was in the Cypriot delegation at the Paris Peace Conference.

Between 1943 and 1968, he had a restaurant and, after his marriage in 1952 to Bernice Holmes, he ran it with his wife. In his last year of life, already terminally ill, he read in impeccable Spanish a poem dedicated to the Brigades to a crowd of 12,000 at the Madrid Palace of Sports. Twenty days later, he was dead, aged 86, on November 25th 1996.

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