Aradippou became a municipality in 1986. Previously, the authorities involved in the Council of improvements today and mainly since the commune then, the ‘’Mukhtar’’ like people call him still after the nomination of Aradippou as a municipality, Mukhtars yet continue to minister duties whose tasks are limited.
We made an effort to find data about the customs of the communes and the old Mukhtars and to include them in the records of Aradippou’s History file. Information like these were provided by the citizen Mr Niko Papaeleftheriou, who is distinguished for its special memory skills and the very good knowledge concerning the social matters of Aradippou. Mr Papaeleftheriou gave us the following interesting information:
Duties of the Communes
The Communes of Aradippou like every Mukhtar of the old village were the leaders of the village and responsible for the most important duties, to maintain the improvement of the conditions found in daily situations regarding the lives of the village’s residents. The main duties were the following:
- To apportion the tax to the villagers.
- To provide secure and uninterrupted supply of drinking water in the village.
- To maintain the cleanliness of the streets and collecting the garbage.
- To provide for paving and maintenance of roads.
- Were responsible for the maintenance of schools or create new ones, played a role analogous to the role of the current School Boards.
- To issue different certificates like birth, medical treatment card for the public hospitals.
- One of their duties was the ‘’malicious’’ as they called it. When damages occurred to fields due to the grazing of animals, the person responsible for this damage could not be identified and could not be found, so the commune decided for an amount of money as a logical compensation for the damage caused to the owner or the keeper of the field. This sum of money was the ‘’malicious’’ (since it was a malicious damage) and was allocated by the community council to the grazers of the community as they were considered to be the ones responsible for the damage and each of them paid their attributable share. This avocation that the community council was responsible for, seemed to have some financially beneficial impact since it took a percentage from the malicious and attributed the rest to the owner or the holder of the field.
- Generally, the communes were under pressure due to their responsibilities which today the municipality of Aradippou is responsible for.
The communes were not receiving a salary and for this reason they had their own jobs in order to earn money and ensure their livelihood. Usually, however, they used to take some kind of remuneration from the residents for the services they provided, for instance, for the issue of some kind of certificate.
Regarding their duties, help was also provided by Azans whose role was limited (depending on the commune’s personality). By rule, they worked with the decisions of the commune. Enough of the certificates which the commune edited, needed its signature.
The rural safeguard called as Turkish man was also an assistant to the commune. His job was to look after the fields and keep them safe from malicious damages usually damages caused by the grazers and their sheep and goats. In such cases, grazers had the power to demand a penalty. According to the laws, it was not a penalty, but a compromising amount of money suggested to the offenderinstead of its penal prosecutionfrom the court.
Commune’s office and Assistants
The communes of Aradippou did not have an office until 1951. The communes duties were usually taking place at the place of their work. In 1951, the market near the church of Apostle Loucas was built, which later was destroyed and became a parking place. In a small place at the top floor, the commune’s office was built and later with the hiring of more staff, the offices were increased. Due to the destruction of the market, the offices were moved in another place.
The first assistant of the community council was Yiorkis of Arakliti. He was a sifting man. He had a mule and equipment which the council provided to Mr Yiorkis for picking up the rubbish and at the same time with another coach he was carrying the meat from the Butchery shop.
Later on, they hired a road cleaner, Doullappou.
In 1950, Menelaos, the son of Tsouliou was hired as responsible for the control of the water’s right usage. Since 1950, the assistants of the Improvement Board was Yiorkis Shikkis and Irmilikkis.
In 1974, Takis Xenofondos was hired as Municipal secretary.
The community councils since 1945 until 1986.
According to Mr Niko Papaeleftheriou, the communes of Aradippou since 1845 like he learnt from old people who lived in Aradippou and as he remembers, until 1986 were the following:
1845-1880 (35 years)
Commune during that period was Hatzimpeis. He was born in 1815 and his grandfather who was a priest, taught him some things. For this reason, he was elected as a commune. His term elapsed almost the total period of the Turkish since English undertook the governing of Cyprus in 1878. His daughter was Katina Kapnistou.
Hatzimpei’s office was situated at the old shop of Nikou Fournari near the church of Saint Loucas.
1880-1890 (10 years)
During that period the commune was Zacharias Konomou, the grandfather of Zachari Konomou, of Hampi and Andrea Lytra. He was born in 1855.
1890-1910 (20 years)
The commune of Aradippou during that period was Stylianos the grand-grandfather of Evangelis Paraskeva of Theori. Sometime during his service something happened to him (maybe an illness) and for two years (around 1900) his son Theoris was replacing him, the father of Costis Theori, named as Koutsonouri.
1910-1913 (3 years)
The commune was Panais of Pantelourkou, the uncle of Panteli Pantelouri, the next commune. Panais had to quit because of an illness.
But the newspaper, ‘Neon Ethnos’ in the publication of 28th January 1911 denies what Mr Papaeleftheriou said. Particularly, he issues between others:
‘’Mukhtar of Aradippou was elected and during that period, the active Mr Erotokritos Eleftheriou.
This means that not only during the 1911 but at least and during the 1910, commune of Aradippou was Erotokritos Eleftheriou, otherwise, Rotoklis.
Possibly Panais Pantelourkou was a commune for only one year, in 1913.
1913-1915 (2 years)
The commune during that short period was Minas of Annettous, labelled as Mplakkos, who was old when he undertook this position and he was forced to quit early.
1915-1920 (5 years)
The commune was again Erotokritos Eleftheriou, Rotoklis, coming from the Tterallidon family.
1920-1960 (40 years)
In 1920, community elections were conducted. Opponents for the position of the commune were Rotoklis, the previous commune and Christodoulos Mouskos. Christodoulos Mouskos won the elections and remained a commune for 40 years without elections, until the independence. He had a huge validity and impact on the colonialism of the English administration, something which was beneficial enough for the village (‘’epospaze plasma pou tin kremmalla’’) Mr Papaeleftheriou said characteristically. He was awarded for the good services he provided with a medal from the English government. He had a good time at the village under this position. He was a butcher in his profession.
In the book written by Christaki A. Lytra ‘’A journey to the past of Aradippou –Aradippou 1878-1934’’ there are three testimonies regarding the fact that during that period the commune of Aradippou was Christodoulos Mouskos.
The first case deals with the election of the residents of Aradippou who asked for the union of Cyprus with Greece. The resolution date, 25th of March 1921, anniversary of the centennial from the beginning of the liberation struggle of the Greeks from the Turks asks for the union of Cyprus with Greece. The resolution was signed from factors of Aradippou who were representing the village. Between them and the member of the ‘’village committee’’ who were the following:
Christodoulos Mouskos, Mukhtar
Savvas L. Hatzisavva
The three of them who signed with Mr Mousko do not mention their profession. Apparently, they were the Azans.
The second case deals with a similar resolution of the residents of Aradippou who asked for the union of Cyprus with Greece. The resolution date, 25th of March 1930 asks another time for the union of Cyprus with Greece . Like the previous time, the resolution was signed by the main factors of Aradippou who represented the village. Between them and the members of ‘Village Board’ were the following:
Christodoulos Mouskos, Mukhtar
Savvas (Unknown Surname)
The four people who signed for Mr Mousko did not mentioned their profession. Apparently, they were the Azans.
The third case has to do with the issue of the newspaper ‘Neon Ethnos’ on the 21st of March 1931.
Greek Mukhtars were appointed in the county of Larnaca.
Christodoulos Mouskos, Aradippou
1960-1985 (25 years)
With the beginning of the function of the Cypriot democracy, Pantelis Pantelouris was elected as the commune of Aradippou who remained in that position until the nomination of Aradippou as a municipality, therefore, its role significantly changed.
He was upright and a loyal man. He had the chance to manage and fit in in different ways, administrator of different sums, but he did not. He was not collecting the remuneration of 1 coin that he could collect for certificates which he edited for animals who were for sale.