Konstantinow Theofylaktos (standing left) with his wife and son.
Born in Trapezunta (Trk: Trabzon) Konstantinos Theofylaktos owned and ran one of the four biggest banking and merchant houses of Trabzon and Pontus as a whole. He was a benefactor of the Trabzon community and Mayor of the city during the Russian occupation (1916-1918).
In January 1883 the Trabzon Tuition Center was formally opened following an official ceremony. On the 16th of February 1883, he and Fokianos Kousis were both mentioned as financial donors to the inauguration of the Center in the Patriarchate's Newspaper, ‘Εκκλησιαστική Αλήθεια' (Ecclesiastical Truth).
The House of Theofylaktos along with three others, dominated the economy of Pontus from Sinope to as far as Batumi and Erzerum. The Turks feared the economic strength of the Greek merchants and bankers while at the same time they respected them. According to the Metropolite of Trapezunta, Chrysanthos, local Turkish businessmen ignored the local boycott which was imposed on Pontian Greek businesses in 1914 by the Young Turks, for fear of reprisals from the local banking and merchant houses.
A portrait of Theofylaktos was hung in a prominent position on the walls of the palace of the Metropolis of Trapezunta alongside others who donated money. With his own funds, a kindergarten was built and operated in the parish of Saint Gregory, and was named after him.
During the Russian occupation of Trapezunta, the Diocese of Trapezunta considered the formation of an autonomous state, co-inhabited by Greeks and Muslims. They recommended an autonomous municipality in Trabzon and the first Greek mayor to be Konstantinos Theofylaktos. It was to be made up of Greeks and Muslims, and to comprise courts that would judge according to the customs of the municipality with a local garrison.
In 1907 Theofylaktos, along with G.Fostiropoulos, contributed funds towards a four-year course at the universities of Lausanne and Liepzig for the then Deacon and later Metropolitan of Trabzon Chrysanthos.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Pontian Hellenism
See also: The Trabzon Museum