Towards the end of 1952, through the efforts of Zenon D. Pierides, a known businessman and later a mayor of Larnaca, a group of twenty two prominent citizens of Larnaca formed the Rotary Club of Larnaca, under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Nicosia. The Charter of our club was presented on 28th April 1953 by Mr. Pierre Uvert, a Director of Rotary International representing the President of Rotary International, Mr. Frank Spain. At that time Zenon D. Pierides was unanimously elected as the first President of our club. The Rotary Club of Larnaca is the third oldest club of Cyprus, the oldest being the Rotary Club of Nicosia.
The Rotary Club of Larnaca has excelled both in Rotary International, and in the district, and also in the Larnaca and Cyprus society. It has given one Director on the board of Rotary International (Zenon D. Pierides), three District Governors (Zenon D. Pierides, N. G. Demetriou and Ph. Zachariades), one Deputy District Governor (Dr. Christos A. Theodoulou) and four Assistant Governors (A. Louroutziatis, G. Souroullas, Sozos-Christos Theodoulou and Dr. Christos A. Theodoulou). It has 38 Paul Harris Fellows.
The members of the Rotary Club of Larnaca, according also to the regulations of Rotary International, are prominent in the community and their professions. We had one Minister of the Republic of Cyprus (N. G. Demetriou), 5 mayors of Larnaca (Z. D. Pierides, Hannibal Francis, Leonidas Kioupis, G. LycourgoS, A. Louroutziatis), two Members in the House of Representatives (Andreas Mouscos and Nicos Kleanthous) and one Representative of the Armenian Community in the House of Representatives (Bedros Kalaydjian). Members of the Club are, and have been Honorary Consuls of foreign countries, like Sweden (Z. D. Pierides), Denmark (N. G. Demetriou), Italy (Peter Mantovani), Portugal (SteliosDemetriou and IacovosDemetriou), Morocco (Demetrakis Haholiades), Tunisia (Dr. Christos A. Theodoulou) and France (Sozos-Christos Theodoulou).
Further, the club won the Attalla Shield for the highest rate of attendance in the District for four consecutive years, 1967-1971 (Presidents: Costakis Christofides, Kallis Lefkaritis, Costakis Alkidas and Demetrios Lambrou). Our club was the first to win after its inception.
In 1974, when Turkish troops invaded Cyprus and some 200.000 people (one third of the population) were displaced, including the Rotarians of Famagusta and Kyrenia, concerted efforts by all Cyprus Rotary Clubs were made to alleviate their plight. Our club among other measures addressing this need, initiated the Christmas Basket project, adhered to every year since then. Our club offers baskets containing a range of foodstuffs or supermarket vouchers to some 10 families in need during Christmas time. In 2006-2007 our club introduced an annual Easter Basket in a similar way (President: Panayiotis Olympios).
In 1983, the District Conference for the old District 2450 was organised by our club in Larnaca (President Andreas Mouscos). Everybody acknowledged this conference at the time as one of the most successful conferences held in our District. In 1985-1986 our club was twinned with the Rotary Club of Glyfada Greece and in 1995-1996 with the Rotary Club of Amman Petra in Jordan. It has also sponsored the establishment of another Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Larnaca-Kition in 1991-1992 (President: George Papantoniou) which is functioning very successfully since then and in friendly collaboration with us.
The constant dedication and active participation of all members of our club make us proud to have been able to offer our local community of Larnaca District a significant project every year without fail. Amongst them was the creation of an open-air theatre in the courtyard of the Medieval Fort of Larnaca, the supply of a minibus for the needs of the Larnaca Child Care Centre, the Supply of a blood processor and an ambulance to Larnaca Hospital, the forestation of a barren hill outside our town and the creation of “The Rotarians Wood of Peace and Friendship” that is enriched annually with the planting of new trees in cooperation with the Forestry Department. In 1995-1996 the club donated three dosimeter pumps to the Larnaca General Hospital and donated to a home of the elderly, to children with special needs and for air conditioners for the needs of the National Guard.
Furthermore, our club organised the International Service Project of selling by auction mementos sent by foreign Rotary Clubs and the proceeds were used for donating books to the Community Centre and to the Municipal Library of Larnaca. During Rotary year 1997-1998 our club donated a mini estate car to the Larnaca Branch of the Anti-Cancer Society for its needs. True to the Rotary Foundation philosophy of moving into humanitarian projects across different Districts, our club successfully completed two Matching Grant projects with our twinned Club of Glyfada Greece District 2470. In the Year 1999 after the earthquake in Greece the two clubs and Rotary International provided kitchen equipment for the Hadjikyriakion Orphanage in Piraeus. In Rotary year 2000-2001 the two clubs and Rotary International again supplied a mini bus for the needs of the elderly and children with special needs, cared for by the Welfare Office of Larnaca, thus extending Rotary Service to the community on an International basis as well. Also, in 2000-2001 the club donated two dosimeter pumps to Larnaca General Hospital. On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the club in April 2003 the club donated a small train with three wagons to the Municipality of Larnaca to serve the community and visitors to our town on sight-seeing tours.
To honour Zenon of Kitium, the founder of Stoic philosophy, the Rotary Club of Larnaca donated to the town, for Rotary years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 a life size statue, which was placed in a prominent position on the sea-front, in Europe square. During the year 2009-2010 the club donated a multifunctional monitor and two blood pressure holders to the Larnaca General Hospital Cardiology Department. It also organised an Essay Competition with the theme “Service above self” and proceeded with various other smaller scale donations (including aid to earthquake victims in Haiti).
Our club decided to upgrade the projects offered to the community, so in the year 2010-2011 the Major Project was the full installation of central heating system and other equipment, at the Agios Georgios – Christakis Hassapis Centre, a specialist centre for 24-hour care of severely handicapped children.
The Rotary Club of Larnaca in all years has had a lot of activities many of which were published in the press and other media. The Club invited many distinguished speakers to its weekly meeting including Ambassadors and Ministers. In Rotary year 1995-1996, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafkos Clerides, was invited in the club to hand over certificates to the wives of the past Presidents.
The Rotary Club of Larnaca continues its life and philanthropic activities. It celebrated its 65th Anniversary in 2018, while in 2019 it has been awarded the Club Citation with Presidential Distinction at the Gold Level.