Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

May Front Cover .qxd by chenshu


									                                                                                                                                                                                                                              housands of                                              As we go to
                                                                                          Published monthly by the Public Information
                                                                                          Office of the United Nations Peacekeeping
                                                                                          Force in Cyprus, HQ UNFICYP, PO Box
                                                                                          21642, Nicosia 1590, Cyprus.
                                                                                                                                                                   Giving Peace A Chance
                                                                                                                                                         May 29 has been designated the first Interna-
                                                                                                                                                         tional Day of United Nations Peacekeepers by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      T       Greek Cypriots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and Turkish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cypriots, many visibly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    press, some 242,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Greek Cypriots have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    made the journey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      moved, began crossing                                         north while more
                                                                                          Tel:     22-864550/22-864416/22-864408                         the UN General Assembly in tribute “to all the               from one side to the
                                                                                                                                                         men and women who have served and continue                                                                                 than 158,000
                                                                                          Fax:     22-864461                                                                                                          other of the divided                                          Turkish Cypriots
                     The magazine for UNFICYP’s civilian, military and police personnel

                                                                                          E-mail:                              to serve in UN peacekeeping operations, as well              island on 23 April,
                                                                                                                                                         as to honour the memory of those who have lost                                                                             have travelled south.
                                                                                                                                                                                 following the
                                                                                                                                                         their lives in the cause of peace”.                                                                                           To help ensure
                                                                                          Web site:                                                                                                   announced easing of                                           safe passage through
                                                                                          Editorial Team                                                 The date marks the day in 1948 when the first                restrictions by the                                           the various crossing
                                                                                                                                                         UN peacekeeping mission, the United Nations                  Turkish side the day                                          points in the buffer
                                                                                          Brian Kelly                                                    Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) began                 before. For many, it                                          zone, UNFICYP
                                                                                          Maj. Ingrid Tomeková                                           operations with a group of unarmed military                  was a journey                                                 was at full stretch
                                                                                          Miriam Taylor                                                  observers in Palestine.                                      back to the                                                   from day one
                                                                                          Photography                                                    As the Secretary-General said in a special broad-            homes they left                                       working closely with the
                                                                                          SSgt. George Cséfalvay                                         cast message to peacekeepers around the world,               in 1974. For                                          relevant Greek Cypriot and
                                                                                                                                                         the mission of UN peacekeeping remains vital.                all, it was a

                                                                                          Contingent Photographers                                                                                                                                                          Turkish Cypriot authorities.
                                                                                                                                                         While “peacekeeping by itself cannot end a war               tentative step                                        Sector 2, with only 24
                                                                                          Unit Press Officers                                                                                                         into the future.
                                                                                                                                                         ... it can prevent a recurrence of fighting. Above                                                                 hours’ notice at the outset,
                                                                                          Sector 1          Maj. German Lozano                           all, it gives time and space for conflict resolu-                Acting                                            was in the centre of things

                                                                                          Sector 2          Capt. Ali Simmons                            tion. It gives peace a chance”.                              SRSG and                                              in devising the best
                                                                                          Sector 4          Lt. Ladislav Regenda                                                                                      UNFICYP                                               strategy to get the people
                                                                                                                                                         Today, and as the Day itself was being observed              Chief of
                                                                                          UNCIVPOL          Garda Alice Tierney                          around the world, peacekeepers fulfil roles as                                                                     across as quickly and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mission,                                              safely as possible.
                                                                                                            Supt. Marty Plim                             military observers, trainers and disarmament ex-             Zbigniew
                                                                                          HQ UNFICYP Maj. John Hunt                                      perts, civilian police, civil administrators, judges                                                                 Troops from Sector 2 and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wlosowicz,                                                    MFR spent long,
                                                                                          UN Flt            Lt. Mauricio Ortiz
                                                                                                                                                         and prosecutors, economists, human rights and                welcomed the
                                                                                                                                                         humanitarian workers.                                                                                                      hot, dusty hours on
                                                                                          MFR               Capt. Garrett O’Leary                                                                                     crossings while
                                                                                                                                                         Others perform the more traditional peacekeep-               speaking with reporters                                       duty, reassuring the
                                                                                          FMPU              Capt. Fiona Smith                            ing functions of monitoring ceasefires and                                                                                 waiting crowds,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in the buffer zone
                                                                                          The Blue Beret is the in-house journal of                      buffer zones in 14 missions on three continents.             between the Ledra                                             distributing water,
                                                                                          the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in                       UNFICYP, the UN’s third-oldest peacekeeping                  Checkpoints. “This is                                         and even erecting a
                                                                                          Cyprus. The views expressed are those of                       mission, is among these.                                                                                                   shaded walkway on
                                                                                          the authors concerned, and do not neces-                                                                                    a very important day
                                                                                                                                                         In the past 55 years, 1,819 United Nations peace-            for Cyprus. For many                                          the stretch between
                                                                                          sarily conform with official policy.                                                                                                                                                      the Ledra check-
                                                                                                                                                         keepers – civilian and military – have died while            years, Cypriots were
                                                                                          Articles of general interest are invited from                                                                                                                                             points to help the
                                                                                          all members of the Force. Photographs,                         on mission, 172 of them while serving with                   not able to move freely
                                                                                                                                                         UNFICYP.                                                     throughout the island.                                        long queues cope
                                                                                          together with captions, should accompany                                                                                                                                                  with the unsea-
                                                                                          the articles.                                                  While most were the victims of accidents or                  We hope that it will be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      followed by more good                                         sonably warm
                                                                                          The copyright of all material in this journal                  illness, 583 were the casualties of hostile                                                                                weather.
                                                                                          is vested in United Nations Publications.                      activities. All paid the supreme sacrifice in the            things and that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      it will contri-                                                   Since then,
                                                                                          Any article or illustration may be repro-                      service of peace.                                                                                                  three new crossing points
                                                                                          duced with the written permission of the                                                                                    bute to reconci-
                                                                                                                                                         On this special anniversary, we salute them.                 liation”, he said.                                    have been established at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Press reports                                     Ayios Dometios/Metehan,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      indicated that                                        Pergamos and the 2.5 Mile
                                                                                                                                                                       Contents                                       some 2,900                                            Gate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Turkish Cyp-                                               Like their Sector 2
                                                                                                                                          Editorial/Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2                                                         colleagues, UNFICYP’s
                                                                                                                                          Back to the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3   riots and 1,750
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Greek Cypriots                                        engineers were quick off
                                                                                                                                          Two Sectors – One Aim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4/5          made the cross-                                       the mark to help ease the
                                                                                                                                          Baghdad to Larnaca (and back...)/                                           ing between                                           traffic congestion as new
                                                                                                                                           Playing at the Palace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6     9:00 am and                                           crossing arrangements
                                                                                                                                          UNFICYP Wedding/A Special Day in Varisha . . . . . .7                       midnight on the                                               meant that vehicles
                                                                                                                                          Cultural Heritage of Cyprus: Part XII                                       first day, as                                                 crossing in Nicosia
                                                                                                                                           The Mountaintop Refuge of Kantara Castle . . . . .8.9                      Cypriots went                                                 would switch to
                                                                                                                                          The Hard Rock Cafe/                                                         cautiously back to the                                        Ayios Dometios/
                                                                                                                                           UNCIVPOL Medal Parade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10                future.                                                       Metehan while
                                                                                                                                          Artists of the World Unite! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11           The initial trickle                                       official vehicles
                                                                                                                                          Air Crash Exercise/                                                         quickly became a flow,                                        continued to use
                                                                                                                                           Green Line – Virtual Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12           spurred on by the co-                                         Ledra, making
                                                                                                                                          A Tribute to Štefánik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13     incidence of the Greek                                        use of the newly
                                                                                                                                          Three Finns and a Sauna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14/15          Orthodox Easter holi-                                         laid gravel road
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      day weekend with                                              parallel to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      some 18,000 people                                            “pedestrianised”
                                                                                                                                           Front Cover: Crossing the Divide                                           passing through the                                           old link road in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ledra Palace crossing                                         the buffer zone
                                                                                                                                                         Back Cover: ANZAC Day                                        point in one day.                                             there.

2                                                                                                                             May 2003 - The Blue Beret                                                                                         May 2003 - The Blue Beret
                                                                                            Douglas Campbell profiles Sectors 1 and 4                           aj. Milan Kukuk of Slovakia is an air defence

        NFICYP has welcomed the latest
U       members of the Force from South
        America and Central Europe who
arrived in March. The Blue Beret has
                                                                                                                                                                specialist with 23 years army service. He is
                                                                                                                                                                married to Emilia and they have two children
                                                                                                                                                      Veronika, 18, and Martin, 17. He is no stranger to the
been meeting some of the new faces and                                                                                                                United Nations, having been one of eight Slovakian
uncovering stories, including the young                                                                                                               observers based in Iraq in 2000-2001 with UNGCI
marine who discovered he had become a                                                                                                                 under the Oil for Food programme. He is now senior
father while manning his observation                                                                                                                  logistics officer for Sector 4. Maj. Kukuk, 41, says: I
post 17,000 km from home, and the                                                                                                                     am getting used to the different procedures and
blind dog who runs anti-snake patrols in                                                                                                              computer systems here but the main parts of my job are
Sector 1.                                                                                                                                             the same back home. The work is more demanding than
    Capt. Pablo Halaburda, 35, from                                                                                                                   it was when we were in Iraq. I come from the town of
Asunci n, Paraguay, a member of his                                                                                                                   TrenŁ n in the western part of Slovakia, and I find living
country s Special Forces, arrived in                                                                                                                  on an island very different to my homeland. In his
Larnaca after a 16-hour military char-                                                                                                                spare time he enjoys studying Egyptian history. His
tered flight, which he jokingly described                                                                                                             other hobbies of motorcycling and hunting will have to
as being better than a C130 . A single                                                                                                                wait until the end of his tour.
man and keen skydiver and target                                                                                                                          Capt. Andrea I arikovÆ comes from the industrial
shooter, he is one of seven Paraguayan                                                                                                                town of Presov in eastern Slovakia. She is single and a
officers, NCOs and other ranks. Capt.                                     Men on the line                                                             personnel officer in Sector 4, having completed 13
Halaburda says: We re just settling down right now by fax, and if there is a threat to the status quo, we report                                      years army service. In the hot summer months in
with the new jobs. We are trained for war but now we are it to HQ in Nicosia. Every soldier is able to solve                                          Cyprus she likes swimming and diving on the coast and
peacekeepers and it is a totally different kind of mission. problems and they are real professionals. I am very                                       at other times she climbs the Troodos mountains and
We look forward to the challenge of working with both proud to serve my country in this international mission.                                        takes part in social and cultural events. I think it s very
sides here in Cyprus.                                        It s a very important mission and I intend to continue the                               interesting being part of an international team, Capt.
    Chilean Marines Capt. Mauricio Diaz, 37, is from good relationships with Argentina, with the other South                                          I arikovÆ, 30, says. I enjoy the different accents and
Viæa del Mar near Santiago, Chile, where he left behind American countries and with Cyprus too. Capt.                                                 learning about other cultures. I recently met some
his wife Paula Muller and daughters Catalina, eight, and Claudio, a jungle specialist and instructor, is engaged to                                   Argentinians and I liked their folk music very much.
Javiera, five. Capt Diaz, who enjoys sports including Viviane Melo and the couple are planning their wedding.                                         Cyprus is a beautiful country with very nice people and
soccer, arrived in Cyprus with four officers and 28 other Addressing his fellow South Americans, he laughs: Yes,                                      I would like to do another tour after this one finishes.
ranks. It is his first trip outside the Americas apart from you are all invited if she s still waiting for me when I                                      Capt. Andras Palatinus from Szabadszallas,
a UN tour in Cambodia in 1991-92. He says: For Chile, get home!                                                                                       Hungary, is married to Gyongyi and they have two sons
the most important thing is integration with our new             At Patrol Base 25 in Sector 1, high in the Troodos                                   aged eight and four. He is second-in-command of the 1st
friends from the other South American countries here foothills, one mongrel dog lies sleeping in a makeshift                                          Hungarian Company based in Athienou. He lists sports,
and most importantly, with the Argentinian Task Force. gymnasium. He s blind, and the best snake-hunter in                                            soccer and table tennis as his interests and is very keen
We are very keen to experience peacekeeping operations Sector 1. When we go out running, the dog goes out                                             to research the history of Cyprus as this is his first trip
in different situations, such as in the line or at HQ.       with us, but 2 5 , who got his name from our patrol
                                                                                                                                                      abroad. Capt. Palatinus, 34, says: I have only been here
    April 7 started out like any other day for Cpl. Patricio base, gives us early warning of snakes. He runs over to                                  a short time but I think this is a very nice country and
Perez of the Chilean Marines, when he reported for duty where the snake is and points it out for us so we know to
with Alpha Company at OP 09. But at 22.00 hours, he keep away. He s really useful to have around. Lt. Hugo                                            the local people are very friendly. I would like to tour a
received a very important message he was a new father. Daniel Yamanishi, whose father s family emigrated                                              lot here when I am off duty. My wife and children will
More than 17,000 km away in Viæa del Mar, his wife from Japan to Paraguay, adds: This is our little home up                                           be coming for 10 days in August and I would like to
Maritza had given birth to a baby boy, Benjamin. Cpl. here. We have the gym where we work out and we rotate                                           take them to some interesting and historic places.
Perez, 25, says: Capt. Diaz told me the news when I was every 10 days so it s quite relaxing, but we still have our                                       MCpl. Zsuzsanna Kubic, 24, is single and from
on duty and I have just seen for the first time a picture job to do and go out on patrol. It does get quite busy                                      Szolnok, Hungary. She is a radio operator in the 1st
of my son. The Navy welfare department arranged an e- sometimes.                                                                                      Company communications centre and took the job after
mail photo and when I saw it, it was such an emotional           Argentinian Marines Capt. Gabriel Marin, 31, is a                                    completing a one-year army course in English. She is a
moment. It s hard to be away from my baby son and wife Company Commander based in a former box factory                                                keen swimmer and jogger, and would like to spend more
but at least I will see them in October. His mother closer to the British sector. A single man and native of                                          time learning languages. MCpl. Kubic says: I am in a
Jaqueline is delighted to be a grandmother but insists she Rosario, Argentina s second-largest city, he is well                                       team of six radio operators and three are on duty at one
is not old enough at 39, jokes Cpl. Perez. Meanwhile, he travelled, having visited many countries while training                                      time. I enjoy talking to people so I like my job. This is
is busy at work, keeping fit and playing                                      as
                                                  Lt. Yamanishi with 25 a naval officer in a tall ship. His area
                                                                                                                                                      my second time here in Cyprus and I really like the
soccer until the family is reunited in five                                   of responsibility includes Mammari                                      island and the people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish
months.                                                                       village, a community of 1,500 Greek                                     Cypriots.
    Capt. Claudio Alexandre De Al-                                            Cypriots in the buffer zone. Says Capt.                                     SSgt. Roland Dravucz has completed 10 years
meida Freitas, 31, is a veteran of 16                                         Marin, who enjoys social activities and                                 service in the Hungarian Army. The 26-year-old, a native
years with the Brazilian Army. The                                            quizzes: We are right next to the Bri-                                  of Szolnok like MCpl. Kubic, is a patrol base radio non-
other Brazilian member in UNFICYP, is                                         tish sector, and sometimes we combine                                   commissioned officer. He has served in the Ukraine and
Sgt. Felipe Bran a da Costa. Capt.                                            our patrols or start and finish in each                                 Bosnia and in common with his colleague, he wants to
Claudio, of Resende in Rio de Janeiro                                         other s areas. It s very good teamwork.                                 improve his written and spoken English. SSgt. Dravucz
State, is advancing his English and                                           I got to Cyprus two weeks ago, but I                                    says: It s really great to be here and I would say it is
Spanish languages, and finds Spanish                                          was here a few years back when I was                                    even better than Hungary. I was out and I went to a shop
easier as it is related to his own                                            second-in-command of an area. Now                                       where I accidentally left my mobile phone. I went back
Portuguese. Describing his job, he says:                                      I m the commander of two areas so I m                                   two days later and the shopkeeper returned it to me. The
 We analyse incidents which come to us                                        growing or just getting older!                                          Cypriot people are very honest.
                                        May 2003 - The Blue Beret                                                                       May 2003 - The Blue Beret
4                                                                                                                                                                                                              5
                   Baghdad to Larnaca (and back...)                                                                          UNFICYP Wedding
                                                                                                                                 Sgt. Lee Crawford tied the knot on Friday

      onia Dumont of the United Nations Office of The
      Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq (UNOHCI) was
      evacuated to Larnaca, Cyprus, along with more than
100 UN colleagues on 18 March, during the transition to
                                                            north of the country, where the Kurdish majority live.
                                                            Staff working on the Oil-for-Food programme had an
                                                            observational mandate in the centre and south, while in
                                                            the north the nine UN agencies were implementing the
                                                                                                                           S     11 April when he married Sarah Hunt in
                                                                                                                                 Paphos. Lee, who is on a 2‰ year posting
                                                                                                                           with Ops Branch at HQ UNFICYP, arrived
war in Iraq.                                                programme.                                                     from Abingdon last October. Sarah, who
    Preparations were being made as the Blue Beret went           I arrived here in Larnaca with the first group of        comes from Bedford, was working for Lloyds
to press to assess security on the ground before staff      inspectors to be evacuated. We were just five from the         TSB before arriving in Cyprus early in April.
could return to Iraq and help the people who are so         humanitarian agencies and the rest were inspectors. The            For the occasion, Lee wore his blues (No.
desperately in need of food, water, medicines and other     bulk of our humanitarian workers left on the third flight      1 dress) and Sarah looked lovely in a long
essentials under a coordinated distribution system.         with the Coordinator, Mr Lopes da Silva. He was the last       ivory wedding gown. The couple were wed in
    Ms. Dumont, 34, an information officer, is a Cana-      one to leave. We had 3,400 national staff left behind and      St. George s Chapel located in the grounds of
dian national from Montreal. Her husband, Michel, is        our thoughts were with them as the situation evolved.          the St. George s Hotel in Paphos. They chose
chief of operations for the UNOPS Mine Action                      We watched the pictures on the TV like everyone         Paphos because their first proper home will be
Programme. Since leaving Iraq, they had been renting        else and we got more and more concerned as we saw              in Cyprus, and it seemed the nicest place to
accommodation in Larnaca until it was deemed safe to        events in the field and the chaos. The whole population of     wed. Lee says: We chose Cyprus because we
return. The Adonis and Flamingo hotels in Larnaca are       Iraq were a part of us a part of our lives. Talk to anyone     come from different parts of the UK and it was
being used as a temporary base for UN staff.                here and they will tell you the same thing they are eager      one way for all our family and friends to get
    Ms. Dumont gave the Blue Beret this personal            to go back. We are starting now to get more contact with       together for the wedding and enjoy a little
perspective on the situation. I ve been in Iraq for two     our national staff, but the information is scattered. In the   holiday as well . For the ceremony, about 15
years with the office and I was stationed in Erbil in the   north, the situation is less intense.                          members from both sides of the family flew
                                                                  Security staff have been assessing the overall           out from the UK, and the reception at the hotel
                                                            situation in the north and have agreed to the return of the    catered for approximately 40 guests from the
                                                            first UN inter-agency team, depending on a safe passage.       UK and from UNFICYP. The honeymoon was
                                                            There is an ongoing dialogue but at the same time, things      spent in Rome and Paphos.
                                                            are still happening on the ground. We have 200 people              The couple have known each other for two
                                                            working here in the coordination office in the Adonis and      and a half years, and Lee has been away for
                                                            Flamingo hotels. We had to take out furniture and              over half that time on operational tours in
                                                            organise computers, but the procurement system kicked          Kosovo, Afghanistan and Cyprus. Sarah s
                                                            in. We have four or five people working in one office but      father was in the forces too, so she knows what
                                                            it is a little more organised now. We are coordinating with    life will be like married to a soldier. Sarah
                                                            groups in Jordan, Turkey, Syria and other regional centres.    says: It was a wonderful day. We are very
                                                                   We know what we are doing, the preparation has          lucky to be starting our married life in
                                                            taken place and we are ready. We want to be impartial and      Cyprus.
                                                            fair in the distribution of aid. You cannot deliver when
                                                            there is chaos and lawlessness, looting and hospitals being
                                                            ransacked. The Geneva Convention is clear on this.
                                                            [Editor s Note: Since giving this interview, Ms. Dumont
                                                                                                                                                         A Special Day in Varisha
                                                                                                                                   s 28 April dawned, the focus of attention was the
                                                            has returned to Iraq.]                                  CD
                                                                                                                           A       day s event in the village of Varisha, some 800
                                                                                                                                   metres southeast of OP 11. Soldiers from ATF 21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Bishop of
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Morphou, Neophytos,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               with Lt. Col. JosØ

                        Playing at the Palace (Ledra)                                                                      had been appointed to mount the escort several days
                                                                                                                           earlier and now everything was ready. All that was
                                                                                                                           required was for the officer in charge to give marching
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Maria Colombo,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 2i/c Sector 1

      ector 2 recently hosted its bi-                                                                                      orders to the convoy of five vehicles waiting to leave San
S     annual Combined Services Enter-
      tainments Show at the Ledra
Palace Hotel. Over the two nights,
                                                                                                                           Mart n Camp.
                                                                                                                              After an hour-and-a-half on a hard, zigzagging road,
                                                                                                                           the Agios Giorgios church tower bell loomed 800 metres
nearly 400 UN personnel joined in the                                                                                      above the beautiful old mountain village in the buffer
fun. The star attraction was Miss
Claire Sweeny, the well-known British
TV actress who stars in the West End
smash hit, Chicago. There was also an
extremely funny ventriloquist, not to
mention a comedian (he didn t!) and
some very energetic dancers who were
clearly a hit with the young men.
   All attending agreed it had been                                                                                                                                                     zone. Greek Cypriots have been coming here on pilgri-
two nights of fantastic entertainment.                                                                                                                                                  mage from Limassol since 1999.
Each night saw many of the audience                                                                                                                                                         At about 08:00 hours, the first buses started to arrive,
dancing on stage and in the aisles.                                                                                                                                                     escorted by UN vehicles from the temporary checkpoint
There was lots of laughter when, to the                                                                                                                                                 1,000 metres away from the church. It was a poignant
amusement of all, a strange man from                                                                                                                                                    moment when the pilgrims caught their first glimpse of
Sector 2 ran onto the stage dressed in                                                                                                                                                  their former homes.
stockings, high heels and suspenders.                                                                                                                                                       For those of us privileged to be there, it was gratifying
We ll just never know the whole                                                                                                                                                         and rewarding to be present at that moment in the service
story!!                                                                                                                                                                                 of the people, in the service of UNFICYP.
                                              May 2003 - The Blue Beret                                                                                                   May 2003 - The Blue Beret
6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 7
                                           antara Castle is located on one of the last peaks at the eastern end                             Description
Although the limestone cliffs
of the Kyrenia mountain range
date back to prehistory, their
rugged peaks belong very
                                  K        of the Kyrenia Mountains, at a height of 630 metres. Its name
                                           probably comes from an Arabic word, qantara, meaning “bridge” or
                                  “arch”, which may have originated with Arab invaders or perhaps the
                                                                                                                        Kantara Castle sits within a forest that takes its name from the
                                                                                                                    castle – an area that, owing to its cool summer breezes, was long
                                                                                                                    a favoured summer refuge from the heat of the Mesaoria Plain.

                                  Maronites from Lebanon who are said to have had settlements in this part          Fire destroyed the previous Kantara forest of pine and cypress
much to the mediaeval world.      of the island.
Kantara, St. Hilarion, Buffa-                                                                                       trees in 1912, so the trees and small brush on the slopes today are
                                      Indeed, the castle’s setting resembles an arch, and it commands a             much younger than the old stone of the castle walls.
vento… the names of the three     breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea, the eastern reaches of the                The castle is in reasonably good shape, especially compared
castles that cling to the moun-   Mesaoria Plain, and the Karpaz Peninsula extending like a finger, pointing        with Buffavento Castle. Many chambers survive, including guard
taintops evoke a time when        to the northeast.                                                                 rooms, store rooms, the Queen’s room, and even a small
observation posts surveyed the        It’s widely believed that the castle was built in Byzantine times, 200        Christian chapel.
northern coastline of Cyprus to   years before Richard the Lionheart took possession of Cyprus in 1191. In              With particularly steep cliffs to the north, west, and south,
guard against invasion.           the 10th century, Kantara would have served as an observation post,               Kantara’s entrance was placed on the (relatively) approach-able
   The Lusignans rebuilt and      keeping watch over the movements of the Seljuk Turks from the opposite            eastern side. Here, an imposing barbican entrance sits in the
improved the castles between      coast.                                                                            centre of an outer wall, protected by two rectangular towers
1192 and 1489, and the stony          Some historians dispute this, however, dating the castle’s origins to the     whose upper floors are now largely in ruins. The wall itself
                                  first years of the Lusignan (Frankish) rule, around 1192, when Kantara            stretches protectively in front of the castle, ending in two
ramparts that still remain on     begins to appear in the written records of that time. What is certain is that
the peaks owe much to this                                                                                          horseshoe-shaped towers with loopholes (narrow windows
                                  the Lusignan kings improved Kantara, recognising that the steep cliffs            through which arrows could be shot).
period of time. In this instal-   around it offered a natural protection from attack, and that its lofty position       The barbican leads to a steep hillside, up which a series of
ment of The Blue Beret’s          afforded views of any enemy approaching from either sea or land.                  steps climbs to the wall around the inner ward, similarly flanked
series on the Cultural Heritage       One story from this period comes from a witness of the third crusade,         by two towers. To the left, the southeast tower features a large,
of Cyprus, we look at the         saying that after the Battle of Tremithousa, Duke Isaac Comnenos, chased          rectangular room with a cross – vaulted ceiling. In the tower’s
easternmost castle: Kantara.      by Richard the Lionheart, found refuge at the castle. After Kyrenia Castle,       lowest level, which was once used as a prison, a cistern gathers
                                  on the northern coast, surrendered to Guy de Lusignan (Richard’s repre-           rainwater. Beyond the tower, three vaulted rooms with loopholes
                                  sentative), Isaac left Kantara, and surrendered himself to de Lusignan. In        were used as barracks for the soldiers – conveniently near the
                                  this chronicle, the castle is mentioned as Candasia or Candaira.                  castle’s entrance – along with a mediaeval latrine.
                                                         During the Lusignan period, at the beginning of the            The chambers that line the rest of the south and the west castle
                                                     Lombardic War, supporters of the German Emperor                walls are less well preserved than these first three, but still offer
                                                     Frederick II managed to capture Kantara. After                 a sense of the castle as it once was, with cisterns, and a ruined
                                                     Frederick’s troops were defeated by Regent John                tower that would have protected a small entrance in the western
                                                     d’Ibelin’s army at the Battle of Nicosia on 14 July 1229,      walls (impractical for everyday use, but vital in emergencies).
                                                     one of the leaders – Gauvain de Chenichy – took refuge             Circling around toward the castle’s northern wall, a ruined
                                                     at Kantara. D’Ibelin’s army besieged the castle under the      tower stands on the mountain’s highest peak, one window still
                                                     leadership of Anseau de Brie, but the thick walls and          framing the view to the west. From this vantage point, guards at
                                                     strategic position proved a difficult challenge. Only after    Kantara could communicate with their counterparts at Buffavento
                                                     de Chenichy’s death did the castle surrender, in the           Castle, exchanging messages and warning of potential threats.
                                                     summer of 1230 – although it changed hands back to                 The two-storey northeast
                                                     Frederick’s supporters, and back again to d’Ibelin,            tower – located on the northern
                                                     several years later.                                           edge of the castle’s entrance
                                                          The castle’s key place in history continues in later      wall – remains in fair condition.
                                                     centuries. During the Genoese occupation of Famagusta,         Here, its ground floor passage
                                                     which lasted almost a century (1374 to 1464), the castle       leads to a square chamber
                                                     of Kantara appears to have served as a strategic position      covered with a cross vault. A
                                                     for the Lusignans to defend against the Genoese attacks        doorway leads to a horseshoe-
                                                     inland, remaining in the hands of the supporters of King       shaped vaulted tower, with
                                                     Peter II. This era saw Kantara once again providing safe       loopholes on three sides. The
                                                     refuge, this time for the Regent John of Antioch, when he      tower’s top floor features a
                                                     was smuggled out of the Famagusta prison to which the          long, narrow passage and a
                                                     Genoese had sent him, and brought to Kantara. In 1391,         rectangular chamber that leads
                                                     James I (Peter II’s uncle and successor) reinforced            to the tower’s parapet.
                                                     Kantara by adding its outer wall.                                           Nearby
                                                          During the early Venetian period (1489 to 1571), the          The site of an ancient
                                                     castle was guarded by a company of Italian soldiers            monastery dedicated to the
                                                     detached from the garrison of Famagusta. After 1525,           Kantariotissa Virgin lies a short
                                                     however, hampered by a lack of manpower to guard the           distance from the castle. In the
                                                     castle, Italian engineers judged Kantara to be of no           13th century, the monastery was
                                                     further use, and it was partially dismantled and               the Orthodox Church’s centre of
                                                     abandoned to the elements.                                     resistance to the Latin clergy.
                                       May 2003 - The Blue Beret                                                                                                    May 2003 - The Blue Beret
8                                                                                                                                                                                                         9
                                                             The Hard Rock Cafe
                                                                     n top of a hill, in the middle of the buffer zone,

                                                             O       south east of Camp Saint IstvÆn in Athienou,
                                                                     there is a small isolated patrol base called the
                                                             Hard Rock Cafe. Where that nickname derives from no
                                                             one knows! Maybe it s because it is situated on a hard
                                                             rock ? Or maybe it s because its habitants have made
                                                             it into a nice, cosy cafe, always ready to offer a visitor
                                                             a cup of coffee and engaging small talk.
                                                                 Six men live there side by side, day in, day out.
                                                             They patrol, they observe, they are standby in the 2nd
                                                             Platoon 1st Coy area of responsibility, and when that is
                                                             done, they hang out together, as a close family, work-                                                                                                United Artists!
                                                             ing, resting, eating, and often making jokes with each
                                                                                                                                                                                                    hen in Italy last year, I purchased a painting from
                                                             other. As SSgt. TamÆs Csendes, PB leader, says:
                                                              There is a very strong bond between us!
                                                                 When the soldiers are not out patrolling, they are
                                                             busy with their hobby collecting old motor vehicles              Marian Ingruber and Alice Tierney discuss
                                                                                                                          the merits of Marian’s painting “An Open Window”
                                                                                                                                                                                         W          a little gallery in Florence. When I got it home I
                                                                                                                                                                                                    took it to a gallery downtown and asked the owner
                                                                                                                                                                                         what she thought of it. She said: The good news is it s a
                                                             in the buffer zone. They have jokingly named their                                                                          genuine Pandino, from his Venice period . I was ecstatic.
                                                             base as the heaviest base in 1st Coy. It s also one of                                                                       The bad news is that Pandino was a plumber. But as the
                                                             the more pleasant ones, with a year-round breeze, even                                                                      old clichØ goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and
                                                             during the hottest months, giving PB 114 another nick-                                                                      beauty, style, class and a whole lot more were in abundant
                                                             name: Base of the Everlasting Wind.                                                                                         display on 14 May at St. Michael s school UNPA when the
                                                                                                                                                                                         students of the UN art workshop exhibited their creations
                                                                 There is one member of the team not yet mentioned.                                                                      for all to see.
                                                             Burkus, the watch dog, is responsible for guarding and                                                                          Many were showing their work for the first time and all
                                                             securing the area. She is the oldest member of the PB,                                                                      must be congratulated for the quality and diversity of
                                                             and is always there to greet and bid farewell during                                                                        painting on display. Works ranged from horses in oils, to
                                                             rotations.                                                                                                                  lilies in pastels, charcoal drawings of churches, old men
                                                                 Yes, life in PB 114 is not all that bad!                                                                                looking pasty in pastels, frogs climbing trees, apples,
                                                                                                                                                                                         flowers and abstract shapes and colours. Picasso would
                                                                                                                                                                                         have been proud of them.
                UNCIVPOL Medal Presentation      By Supt. Marty Plim
                                                                                                                            Wall-to-wall paintings and not an inch of space!
                                                                                                                                                                                              The evening started with a reception hosted by Marian
                                                                                                                                                                                         Ingruber, tutor and mentor, who guided the students through
                                                                                                                                                                                         months of hard work from furrowed brow frustration to
       uring April and early May 2003, the new crossing      decided that the UNCIVPOL Medal Parade had to be                                                                            raptures of delight on being told when shyly showing their

D      points opened along the BZ led to a significantly
       increased workload for UNFICYP. Ledra- and
Pyla-based UNCIVPOL members were especially hard-
                                                             cancelled. Nevertheless, it was also decided that if
                                                             operational priorities permitted, a less formal Medal
                                                             Presentation would take place.
                                                                                                                                                                                         work to a loved one: It s fantastic, get it framed and hang
                                                                                                                                                                                         it on the wall ! Oh the joy when it all comes together.
                                                                                                                                                                                             The very large attendance included the Chief of Mission,
                                                                                                                                                                                         Mr. Zbigniew Wlosowicz, and the Force Commander, Lt.
pressed. So it was with regret and after much deliberation      On 8 May, available UNCIVPOL members and their
that Ch. Supt. Basil Walsh, Commander UNCIVPOL,              families, assembled outside UNFICYP HQ, where the                                                                           Gen. Jin Ha Hwang. The Irish Ambassador, Mr. John Swift,
                                                                                                 Chief of Mission                                                                        was also present to support his wife, Jean, who was one of
                                                                                                 presented UN med-                                                                       the exhibitors.
                                                                                                 als and numerals to                                                                         The very appreciative students presented Marian with a
                                                                                                 15 AUSTCIVPOL                                                                           bouquet of flowers. In return, she thanked all for attending
                                                                                                 and 11 IRCIVPOL                                                                         and, in particular, John and Shelia Hunt for their support in
                                                                                                 members. All were                                                                       helping to keep the art classes thriving within the UNPA.
                                                                                                 disappointed that                                                                           Anyone interested in participating in the Art workshop
                                                                                                 the Medal Parade          Big Spender Dermot Higgins inspects the exhibits,             can contact Marian at 99-584104.
                                                                                                 had to be cancelled,
                                                                                                                                       hand firmly on his wallet                                                                                   CCC
                                                                                                 but felt, under the
                                                                                                 circumstances, that
                                                                                                 the Medal Presenta-
                                                                                                 tion was an appro-
                                                                                                 priate substitution.
                                                                                                    Others welcomed
                                                                                                 the large turnout of
                                                                                                 spouses, partners
                                                                                                 and young children,
                                                                                                 saying that the his-
                                                                                                 toric circumstances
                                                                                                 on the island made
                                                                                                 the     presentation
                                                                                                 perhaps even more                                                                                         Look, with hands like these,
                                                                                                 memorable.               If I framed this shirt, I could hang it with all the others!               I could have painted the Sistine Chapel!
                                               May 2003 - The Blue Beret                                                                                                       May 2003 - The Blue Beret
10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 11
                                 Air Crash Exercise                                                                                                      A Tribute to Štefánik
      ollowing UNFICYP s air crash

F     exercise which took place in the
      UNPA on 7 March this year,
Sector 4 decided to hold a similar                                                                                          T
                                                                                                                                   he camp in Sector 4
                                                                                                                                   Headquarters is named after
                                                                                                                                   one of the most significant
                                                                                                                            generals in Slovakian history. To
                                                                                                                                                                                                             the French Government to go to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                             island of Tahiti in the Pacific to
                                                                                                                                                                                                             observe the course of Haley s comet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             It was on this trip that tefÆnik came
exercise in the AOR of 1st Coy close
to PB 101. The event was planned                                                                                            explain his importance, The Blue                                                 in contact with his compatriots in the
and cooordinated by the Ops Asst.                                                                                           Beret highlights the biography of                                                US and learned that nearly three
and Air Liaison Officer, Maj. SÆndor                                                                                        this distinguished personality.                                                  quarters of a million Slovaks had
Hegedus, to test the ability of Sector                                                                                          Nestling at the foot of Mount                                                emigrated there in search of better
4 personnel in an air crash situation.                                                                                      Bradlo in Slovakia lies the small                                                opportunities than those available in
   The scenario was as follows: a                                                                                           village of BrezovÆ, hidden among                                                 their own homeland, which
helicopter crash occurred in the                                                                                            the surrounding wooded hills. Near-                                              remained strangled in the grip of
vicinity of PB 101. This was imme-                                                                                          by is the village of Ko ariskÆ, where                                            feudal government.
diately reported to the JOC, and the                                                                                        Milan Rastislav tefÆnik was born                                                     While travelling from New York
local medical and fire teams were                                                                                           on 21 July 1880. His father was a                                                to San Francisco, tefÆnik stopped
called to the scene. Simultaneously,                                                                                        Lutheran clergyman, who ministered                                               off to visit the Slovak colonies in
members of PB 101 began fighting                                                                                            to the spiritual needs of the villagers.                                         New York, Chicago and on the west
the fire.                                                                                                                   His vocation afforded him more                                                   coast. Everywhere his magnetic
   Meanwhile an Incident Control                                                                                            consolation of conscience than pecu-                                             personality won him friends. By
Point (ICP) had been set up and the                                                                                         niary reward, for the people were                                                1913, his renown had spread far and
area secured by two checkpoints.                                                                                            poor and the emoluments meagre.                                                  wide, and his astronomic calcula-
                                                                                                                                In this peaceful atmosphere, in circumstances            tions, discoveries and observations were widely known
                                                                                                                            bordering on outright want, tefÆnik spent his boyhood        and respected.
                                                                                                                            under the guidance and tutelage of his parents. It was           On 9 September 1913, the New York daily paper
                                                                                                                            here that the foundation was laid for the education of the    Slovak v. Amerike , under the headline Dr. tefÆnik in
                                                                                                                            boy who was destined to become a noted mathema-              America , informed its readers of his visit, his
                                                                  The trapped crew were gradually eased out of the          tician, astronomer, diplomat and soldier, and ultimately     achievements and plans. Recalling an earlier visit by the
                                                              helicopter and first aid was provided.                        achieved the army s highest rank, that of French General     distinguished traveller, the paper noted how he had
                                                                  The fire team brought the area under control, and the
                                                              Sector 4 Medical Officer and his team attended the            (August, 1918).                                              survived many perilous adventures but perhaps none so
                                                              injured. The casualties were evacuated from the crash             Small of stature, frail and lightly built, having been   dangerous as when he had almost lost his heart to a
                                                              scene by a Bell 212 UN Flight helicopter and by               born with heart problems, tefÆnik was a dynamo of            charming young Slovak lady, the belle of Chicago’s
                                                              ambulance.                                                    energy in spite of this handicap. It seems that the very     Slovak community.
                                                                  Although this exercise may sound easy and                 knowledge of this defect, and the uncertainty as to when         Returning to Czechoslovakia from Siberia where his
                                                              straightforward, it definitely isn t! It is vital that such   he would be called back to his Creator, imbued young         visit had helped boost the morale of the Czech army,
                                                              training takes place, ideally on a regular basis.              tefÆnik with exceptional zeal and determination in           tefÆnik next turned to Italy where some legionaires still
                                                                  It was an excellent opportunity for all personnel         whatever he undertook. Certainly his frail condition did     awaited transfer home to their newly liberated country.
                                                              involved to experience an emergency situation and learn       not deter him from succeeding in the tasks and                tefÆnik made the necessary arrangements and then set
                                                              how to deal with it accordingly.                              challenges he set for himself. If anything, it probably      about organising his own trip back.
                                                                                                                            just spurred him on.                                             Such was his love of country that he opted to fly

Green Line – Virtual Reality                                                                                                    In 1910, tefÆnik, whose attainments had drawn the
                                                                                                                            attention of the scientific world, was commissioned by
                                                                                                                                                                                         home on the wings of love, on a Caproni plane. So,
                                                                                                                                                                                         accompanied by two Italian aviators, he took off in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 early hours of the morning. He
                  By Capt. Ali Simmons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and his companions crossed
    told the British High Commission I would be happy
I   to give the kids a talk about the Green line and the
    history of Cyprus. So here I was on 7 March, wel-
coming a group of 15 eight-year-olds from Highgate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 over the crests of the Carnolian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Alps and shortly before noon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 approached the outskirts of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Bratislava, the new capital of
Primary School at the gates of Sector 2 HQ at Wolseley
Barracks, and wondering what I had let myself in for!                                                                                                                                                            Slovakia. It was a windy day and
    After they had settled down in the briefing room I                                                                                                                                                           a suitable landing place could
launched headlong into my tried and trusted presenta-                                                                                                                                                            not be found. As the aircraft
tion on the history of Cyprus and a short chronology of                                                                                                                                                          circled above the town of
the war in 1974, though slightly simplified, (mainly for                                                                                                                                                         Vajnory at a height of 1,500 feet,
my benefit!!). I sensed that the attention span of a group                                                                                                                                                       it dropped suddenly, crashing to
of pre-teens might not last as long as my usual                                                                                                                                                                  the ground. tefÆnik and the two
presentation demanded and quickly switched to my                                                                                                                                                                 aviators were killed instantly.
electronic version of the Green Line Virtual Reality                                                                                                                                                                 tefÆnik s earthly remains
Tour.                                                                                                                                                                                                            were buried on Mount Bradlo,
    The photographs of the old streets and lanes of the       climbed the four long flights of stairs and eventually
Green Line, seemed to raise their interest level to a point   came out into the sunshine on the roof of LPH. This was                                                                                            the mountain of his early
where there was a great deal of audience participation,       the closest they would come to actually seeing the                                                                                                 childhood. To this day, his spirit
especially when it came to the minefields within the old      situation at first hand, and the questions came thick and                                                                                          lives on among the people, the
city.                                                         fast. All the kids seemed to enjoy the unusual school                                                                                              hero who had worked untiringly,
    After the presentation, we all marched smartly over       trip departing Sector 2 with waves and very smart                                                                                                  day and night, in the crucial
to Ledra Palace Hotel (LPH) in military fashion,              salutes!                                                                                                                                           liberating days of the revolution.
                                                May 2003 - The Blue Beret                                                                                                  May 2003 - The Blue Beret
12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13
                                                                however wears two hats in UNFICYP. He is also respon-
                                                                sible for Finnish Contingent personnel and logistics matters
                                                                                                                                   ike all true Finns, the        Contingent
                                                                                                                                  LThosepride in its saunaFinnishUNPA. takes
                                                                                                                                   great                   in the
                                                                                                                                           lucky guests who have received an
                                                                including financial affairs, contingent paperwork and
                                                                Finnish Contingent property, especially the sauna.                invitation to a sauna evening hosted by the Finns
                                                                    Pekka was with the UN in 1995-96 with UNPROFOR                will know that it is not simply a body cleansing
                                                                and UNPREDEP in Macedonia as Chief of the Personnel               ritual. It s a social event that could last a whole
                                                                Office in the Nordic Battalion. His hobbies include studying      evening or even a whole day. Fifteen-minute
                                                                administrative science, jogging, karate, ju-jitsu and kick-       sessions in the sauna room are followed by cold
                                                                boxing.                                                           beer, sandwiches and traditional sausages and then
                                                                    Pekka s wife Anne and son Tommi were unable to join           another stint in the sauna and so it goes.
                                                                him on this tour since Tommi attends school, but they catch           A guest who attended one such event said, most
             John (left), taking over from Jussi                up with him for holidays. Pekka says: I am always looking         Scandinavians enjoy taking a sauna but it is the
                                                                for new things to do and here in Cyprus, I can find the           Finns who have taken it to higher levels, making it
      he Finnish Contingent is one of the oldest in             opportunity to practise my English and of course meet

T     UNFICYP. Over 10,000 Finns have served with the
      Force since the mission was set up in 1964. Currently
there are three Finns based in the UNPA.
                                                                people from other nations. Some days I don t say even one
                                                                word in Finnish. It has been quite a difficult year since
                                                                Camp Command has had to deal with all the flooding and
                                                                concurrent problems in the UNPA. I m now waiting for the
                                                                                                                                  almost an art form. It should then come as no
                                                                                                                                  surprise to learn that there are 1… million saunas in
                                                                                                                                  Finland for a population of 5.2 million, meaning
                                                                                                                                  there is one sauna to every four people.
    Maj. Jussi Hokkanen, the outgoing LO TF, who has been
with UNFICYP for the last year, is now saying goodbye and       summer season to arrive so that I can have a taste of nice, hot       Saunas are an integral part of life in Finland and    Outside the sauna
handing over to Lt. Col. John Laukka. John comes from his       weather!                                                          deeply rooted in their culture with many social             on the UNPA
posting as CO of the Hame Cavalry Battalion in the Hame             The third member of the Finnish Contingent is Capt.           events historically centred around the sauna, in-                             seems almost masochistic to somebody
Regiment in Lahti in south Finland (a town famous for           Marko L hteenm ki, the UNFICYP Force Signals Officer.             cluding birth and death as well as almost everything                          who hasn t tried it, but those who have
skiing and winter competitions). John has                                     Marko comes to UNFICYP from Kainu                   in between.                                                                   insist it has a wonderful therapeutic
been with the Finnish Army since 1974.                                              Brigade in northern Finland where he                                                                                        effect. Your skin feels great after a
He joined as a conscript, attended the                                                  served as Staff Officer of the Signal                                                                                   sauna and for days afterwards it feels as
officers cadet school and became                                                           Battalion.                                                                                                           soft as a baby s, one Scandinavian
a lieutenant in 1978. John has                                                                       Marko works with the                                                                                       woman said.
previous service with the UN,                                                                  Sector Signals Officers who                                                                                          Then there is the social side of it it s
serving as a Military                                                                            channel signal requests
                                                                                                  through him. He is direct-                                                                                    great once you get over the fact that
Observer with UNTSO in
OGGD (Damascus) from                                                                               ly responsible to the Chief                                                                                  everyone sitting around you is naked, you
1995-96. John s wife                                                                                Operations Officer and                                                                                      can relax and enjoy yourself. Women
Ritva joined him in                                                                                 the Chief of the Elec-                                                                                      tend to use it as a therapeutic time for
Cyprus on 16 April and                                                                              tronic Services.                                                                                            themselves to socialize with their
will stay for the whole                                                                                  Marko enlisted as a                                                                                    girlfriends and catch up on the latest
year. Tony and Jani, their                                                                          conscript in 1987. He                                                                                       news.
twin sons (21), are cur-                                                                           joined the military aca-                                                                                        On the other hand, men in Scandina-
rently conscripts and will                                                                        demy in 1989 and gradu-                                                                                       vian countries, and especially in Finland,
come for holidays. John                                                                          ated in 1992 in communi-                                                                                       use it as an informal business meeting
says: I m looking forward to                                                                   cations. Here in UNFICYP,                                                                                        area where deals can be clinched.
working with all the people in                                                               Marko s duties involve the                                                                                             Newly arrived Lt. Col. John Laukka
UNFICYP. I think I am the                                                                  operational communications sys-                                                                                      says he would like to bring a flavour of
luckiest Finn to have been selected to                                                  tems for the whole Force. He began                                                                                      Finland to UNFICYP. The last thing I
replace Jussi. There are many people who             Pekka                          his one-year tour in January 2003.
                                                                                  Marko attended a UN staff officers course                                                                                     did before leaving Finland and the first
would have liked this post, but, as they say in                                                                                       Only a few decades ago, when midwives                   In the sauna’s    thing I did when I arrived in Cyprus was
Finland, I won the lottery.                                     (UNSOC II) in Sweden last year. He enjoyed the course and         and hospitals were rare in Finland, babies were            reception room
    Jussi says: I ve had a great time with UNFICYP, and I       found it very instructive. But this is                                                                                                          to have a sauna. It s the perfect place to
                                                                Marko s first UN mission and he                                   born in saunas as there was plenty of hot water                               relax and discuss business!
hope John gets the same support and encouragement I
received during my tour. I wish all the best to UNFICYP         has already found out that every                                  available and the bench was a good place to lie          Enjoying the sauna
and my colleagues.                                              mission works in its own way.                                     down on and give birth.
    Pekka Riekkola, the Camp Commandant, is the second           The UN system took some                                              During wartime, the Finns built saunas for
Finn in UNFICYP and is well-known to everyone. Pekka            getting used to, but now I                                        their soldiers in the front line of battle to keep
enlisted in 1977 as a conscript and has been in the army        feel quite comfortable.                                           their morale high. And when the army
since then. He arrives from the Personnel Office of Western         Marko was an ath-                                             retreated, it not only carried its dead back with
Command Headquarters in H meenlinna in the south of             lete in the military                                              it but its saunas as well.
Finland. Pekka is responsible for 1,220 officers (nomina-       pentathlon at inter-                                                  In even earlier times, when Finnish settlers
tions, promotions, salaries, task demands, retirement, etc).    national level. He                                                moved into new territory, the first thing they
On his return to Finland, Pekka will take up the post of        has been all over                                                 built was not a cabin for themselves and their
Personnel Administration Planning Officer.                      Europe (particularly                                              families but a sauna, and they lived in it until a
    He arrived in UNFICYP in September 2002 for a one-          the Nordic countries)                                             real home was erected. Saunas were also used
year tour as Camp Commandant. This entails basically            and has even travel-                                              for brewing beer, curing and smoking meat,
running the Camp Command office, which includes                 led as far as China.                                              washing clothes and laying out the dead.
following up on the contractors who take care of the UNPA       He keeps up the
                                                                training but not so                                                   Today, however, it is the therapeutic effects
and the facilities located therein. CC also allocates
accommodation in Blue Beret Camp, as well as taking care        seriously as before.                                              of saunas that are capitalized on in spas the
of the renovation and refurbishment plans.                      His hobbies include                                               world over. Stepping into a steam room with a
   The Camp Command team includes Pekka, WO2 Noel               water sports, boating and                                         temperature of 100 degrees Celsius (the boiling
O Neill and Camp Assistant Mr. Panicos Loizou. Pekka            hunting with dogs.                                                point of water) to perspire for 15 minutes
                                                   May 2003 - The Blue Beret                                                                                                       May 2003 - The Blue Beret
14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     15

To top