KALAMARIA, Greece – A final farewell was held on May 25 for beloved Greek comedian Vasilis Triantafyllidis, known as Harry Klynn. The funeral took place in Kalamaria, Greece, for one of the “irreplaceable,” as many in attendance at the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior noted. Among those present were Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, government ministers, deputy ministers, MPs, party representatives, local government officials, local authorities, well-known artists, and a crowd of mourners including many fans.
“Vasilis Triantafyllidis, our beloved Harry Klynn, always referred to his love for the homeland and his origins, in Greece, Thessaloniki, and the Pontus. And with his great presence in all spheres of society, he honored it all to the utmost,” said Deputy Interior Minister (Macedonia - Thrace) Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha.
She continued, “Vasilis Triantafyllidis, Harry Klynn, we want you to know that we are trying to leave behind us, all that you, with such humor and with so much sensitivity, condemned. We want to be a worthy people and a people you will look on from above with pride along with the great men you so satirized, but I'm sure they received you among them with respect. Vasilis Triantafyllidis, Harry Klynn we say goodbye to you. May your memory be eternal.”
“We praise our own man, a modern Aristophanes,” said the Mayor of Kalamaria, Theodosis Bakoglidis, among other things, after making a brief reference to the past and the contributions of the deceased artist, adding that “his works and actions are a guide to the survival of the democratic values ??and culture, which must distinguish us as a people because this is the quintessence of social collectivity that we will incorporate in our path to a modern Greece, a Greece that seems to have a steady pace and is ready for a new start.”
He also welcomed the representative of the Athletic Club of Apollo Pontos and the Pontian pilgrimage Panagia Soumela while the service was led by the Metropolitan of Kalamaria and Nea Krinis, Ioustinos.
The pallbearers were members of Pontian associations, dressed in traditional costume. They carried the casket out of the church to the sound of the Pontian lyre for the final journey to Kalamaria’s municipal cemetery according to the last wish of the beloved artist.
“It turns out over time that he was the most apt man who could satirize a reality that we laughed at then and eventually it became reality. For only a few people you can say that they are irreplaceable, but the loss will be difficult to make up for,” said Paraskevi (Voula) Patoulidou, Vice Governor of the Metropolitan Area of Thessaloniki.
“Harry Klynn was a teacher for all of us, and we all copied from Harry Klynn - who would deny this - because he was a leader in his art, in comedy,” said Lakis Lazopoulos, playwright, actor, and songwriter.
He continued, “I had the pleasure to share these experiences firsthand, I had the chance to get to know him closely, and I think we all owe him today for what gave to the world, love. He gave love and left precious memories behind for everyone. He is gone but we keep him well within our hearts. "
Haris Alexiou, Markos Seferlis, Elena Tsavalia, as well as close friends from Kalamaria, and former collaborators in the fields of art, sport and culture, made statements about the deceased and the moments they shared with Harry Klynn,
“We wish a bon voyage to the great master, the great artist,” said Seferlis.
“He was a great man,” Tsavalia added.
Klynn, who passed away at age 78 on May 21, was badly affected by the 2016 death of the eldest of his three children, filmmaker Nicholas Triantafyllidis, the Associated Press reported.
The funeral was attended by his family, including his wife Harikleia, their two children, and their grandchildren. Also present were State Secretary Christoforos Vernardakis, Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis, Head of the Prime Minister's Office in Thessaloniki K. Notopoulou, MPs Alexandros Triantafyllidis, Markos Bolaris, Stavros Kalafatis, Kostas Gkoulekas, and the president and members of the city council, actors, singers, artists, people from the field of culture and sports, among them Yannis Parios, Giorgos Koudas, the "Erato" Singers' Rights Organization, representatives of sports clubs and Pontian clubs, and fans who wished to say farewell to the artist who brought joy to so many with his unique talent. He will be missed.
Wreaths were sent by his family, his sister and his nephews, Prime Minister Tsipras and House Speaker Nikos Voutsis, Mayor of Kalamaria Theodosis Bakoglidis, SYRIZA, Federation of Pontian Associations of Europe and many others.
From the sports clubs, the Football League President Leonidas Leoutsakos, AEK, Doxa Dramas, Club Rossoneri fans and, of course, the friends group, the president and the NSSC administration Apollon Pontos (Apollo Kalamarias), of which Klynn had served as president.
Material from ANA-MPA was used in this report.