Sir Edward du Cann died on 31st August aged 93. He had been the President of the Cyprus Branch of the Oxford University Society for many years.
There have been long obituaries in the English newspapers recalling some of Sir Edward’s achievements as a senior politician and as a businessman before his retirement to Cyprus sixteen years ago. Until his health began to fail, he attended every meeting of the Society, travelling from his home near Paphos to Limassol or Nicosia, always happy to give a spontaneous vote of thanks or to delight a rapt audience with humour and casually censored reminiscence.
When he arrived at an event, he would glide into a room, attended by a shoal of companions. Then, with a mischievous look, he would head for someone who caught his eye, perhaps to offer a complimentary word about a tie, but in a way which was calculated to leave the wearer unsure whether the tie was a sartorial marvel or a grotesque aberration. Sir Edward had an urbane impishness. Unerringly considerate and polite, however insignificant one’s own contribution to an occasion, he would always telephone his thanks and congratulations the next day.
When the Society held a party each year for students about to go up to Oxford, he would join in with enthusiasm. I remember one such occasion in a taverna in the old part of Nicosia with Edward holding court and eight or nine Freshers taking in every word. He was a charmer to the end.
(Charles Dodd, Chairman, Oxford University Society in Cyprus)