In memory of Fr Pigol (1935 – 2020)
Ahmes Pahor Labib
The first time I met Anba Demetrious, brother of Fr Pigol, was when I accompanied my father Dr Pahor Labib on a visit to St Mar-Mina Monastery in Dairout. My father and the then Fr Archiledis spoke all the time exclusively in fluent Coptic. I also met Tassoni Angele during a visit to Abu Seifein Convent in Old Cairo to take the blessings of Mother Erine. So, I was looking forward to meet their brother, Fr Bigol.
In England we started the Coptic Culture Society (CCS) and, being the Secretary, I was involved in organising the meetings. Fr Pigol was one of the founders and he attended nearly all our meetings. He would travel from Frankfurt to England specifically to attend the CCS meetings. In every meeting he would give a presentation, answer questions and join in the discussions. Outside the lectures he would explain and discuss any subject which any member cares to raise. His knowledge was a beacon and his mastery of the Coptic language was refreshing, educating and exemplary. With his usual smile he would meet everybody and with sincerity and love would discuss any subject even sometimes difficult topics. His presence spread warmth during the lectures and outside. His characteristic humbleness and soft mellow voice and demur and saintly smiling face compelled one to listen and attentively follow his discourses and arguments with great interest.
He was very keen on the revival of the Coptic language as a living everyday language. He come from a family known to keep such tradition. His wife Hatasso shared these honorable views and they practiced it in their own family. Their children and grandchildren speak Coptic at home. Fr Pigol and Tassoni Hataso were keen on adding new words to the Coptic language necessitated by modern life i.e. Coptic Neologism, to enrich the Coptic language. I joined in this endeavor in a very humble way being encouraged by a mutual friend, Dr Nabil Sabry Isshak. Fr Pigol and his wife were vital pillars in this quest of Coptic Neologism and this could be shown by the multiple references to both in the only book published so far on Coptic Neologism by Dr Nabil, to which I wrote one of the two Forwards. Tassoni Hataso was also interested in Hieroglyphs and contributed to Coptic Neologism through this knowledge.
Fr Pigol will be greatly missed by family and friends and especially in any and every future meeting of the Coptic Culture Society. We ask his blessings from his present dwelling in the higher abode.
Ahmes Pahor Labib
Dip.ICS(Egypt), PhD.Hist.Med.(Netherlands) has special interest in History and Coptic Language. He is member of IACS (International Association Of Coptic Studies) and has many publications in History of Medicine especially Pharaonic Medicine, and in Coptic History; he published in 2018 English Coptic Lexicon for Every Day Conversations In memory of his grandfather eminent Coptologist Cladius Bey Labib Pahor, and in 2009 a book on his father Dr Pahor Labib, also eminent Coptologist.