Three non-Christians yogis lived in Kyrenia, in Agios Demetrios during the 1940s: the Indian Sushil Dutt, Geoffrey de Selincourt, and Miss Black who was the only one with some kind of income for paying the bills. Selincourt was the son of a wealthy businessman and chairman of the company Bourne and Hollingsworth, but ever since he decided to become an artist and not work in the family business he was disinherited. He lived for some time in India as an itinerant yogi and ended up in Cyprus penniless.
When Miss Black died in 1944, Sushil Dutt returned to India and Selincourt went to live in Nicosia with two sisters known as the “Egyptians”. They taught English and he taught art. He was also commissioned to make portraits. But he was not happy in Nicosia so, in 1947 he returned to Kyrenia and lived with Colonel and Ms Pain. They were a strange and vain couple who decided to become artists in their old age and were pleased to have a happy soul wondering in their house. For some time all three of them lived in a caravan which they baptised the “Trojan Horse”.
Selincourt was known as The Hatter (from Alice in Wonderland). The nickname was given to him by Dr Pemberton who lived in Karakoumi after having travelled in India, France and Capri. He was a medical doctor. When the Pains eventually got bored with Selincourt he was put back on the list for adoption. He died from tuberculosis after having left Cyprus in 1949.
The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and Active Citizens Fund.