Coffee Cup conversations
Sometimes hobbies can take over our lives and become more than just a passing phase. In the majority of cases we can often predict the particular interests of our friends and relatives; some people are sporty, whilst others enjoy art and culture events. However I have to admit that never in a million years would I have been able to guess what retired policeman Brian Hills does in his spare time.
The number of people who have jumped on the Tulips cancer charity bandwagon is increasing year by year; and this is an excellent progression. There is a strong group of dedicated expat volunteers, who all work hard to keep much needed funds coming in – and it’s by no means an easy task. Brian retired to the TRNC from the UK a few years ago and currently lives in the Bahçeli area. After hearing about the good work The Help Those With Cancer Charity does, he decided that he wanted to help them by organising fun and innovative events for the public to enjoy that would also raise as much money as possible. Thus he was recently given the duty of being the events coordinator for Tulips in the Esentepe region.
As I implied before, Brian is a man who is more than he seems at first sight. Chatting with him recently he told me that job as a policeman in the UK was very stressful, which meant he often sought ways to switch off the crimes he dealt with and relieve the tensions of murder, rape and child abuse, to name but a few. Whilst working hard in the police force Brian found the time to compete a degree in music and he was also introduced into the world of magic! It wasn’t long before he was sworn into the Magic Circle, literally learning all the tricks of the trade.
The most unusual of Brian’s passions is that he was contacted by a friend in the UK who invited him to join The Knights Templar. The Knights Templar have a strong link with Cyprus and feature heavily in the medieval crusades that involved our small island. The quaint village of Zeytinlik just outside Girne is famous for being the home of the Knights Templar back many centuries ago. A few months ago Brian was ordained into the Knights Templar, whose main aim is to help the people, serve the community and promote humanitarian causes. He even owns the heavy chain mail costume, that also includes the famous red cross, that is worn by all members, even to this day, who attend regular meetings held all over the world.
Brian is a very interesting man with a mission to help Tulips survive so that it can be of service to the hundreds of people who need both its financial and moral assistance during their battle with cancer. With this in mind Brian tells me that the next Tulips event will be a pirate themed boat trip aboard the African Queen. The boat will depart Girne harbour at 3pm on Tuesday the 16th of September, and the seventy odd people on board will be entertained with a disco, karaoke, raffle and quiz. Food and drink will of course be included in the price and those attending should come in pirate fancy dress; I’m told that there’s a prize for the best and worst costumes! The boat will sail anywhere the passengers want to go and will return to the harbour at about 9pm. If you would like to find out more about this event, or to book your place, either call Brian on 0533 8333468 or go direct to the captain of the African Queen, Mr T, who can easily be found at the harbour. It seems like a great way to end the summer season here in the TRNC, whilst supporting a very good cause.