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Boston –June 20, 2019.  A brand-new Armenian Church in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley now has a brand-new Armenian cross to adorn its steeple. The cross was consecrated on Thursday, June 20, the gift of the Boston, Massachusetts based Knights of Vartan Ararat Tahlij No. 1 and its Arpie Otyag No. 9. Many of the lodge and Otyag members were on hand with their families as Bishop Daniel Findikyan consecrated the large gold cross which now stands proudly atop the Haverhill, Massachusetts area church. This was Bishop Findikyan’s first visit to the church since recently being elected Primate of the Armenian Church of America’s Eastern Diocese. Also participating in the consecration service were Armenian Church Pastors from across Massachusetts as well as the Dean of the Saint Nersess Armenian Seminary in New York.

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Knights and Daughters of Vartan Program on Armenian Heritage Cruise 2019

This year the Armenian Heritage Cruise (AHC) took place January 20 to January 27, 2019 aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Allure of the Seas”.  The AHC Committee honored the Knights and Daughters of Vartan by providing time to present a program during the cruise.  Members of the Knights and Daughters leadership in attendance were Grand Commander Dr. Gary Zamanigian, Grand Matron Diana Tookmanian, Past Grand Commander Bob Barsam and Past Grand Matron Sona Manuelian.  Special guests included Archbishop Khoren Toghramadjian, Prelate of Cypress and Prof. Taner Akcam, author of “The Killing Orders – Talaat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide”.

AHC Cruise Committee Member Past Matron Barbara Haroutunian introduced Past Grand Commander Bob Barsam who served as Master of Ceremonies (MC) in his usual superior grand style.  The program began with a prayer offered by Abp. Toghramadjian.  MC Barsam first introduced Prof. Taner Akcam who thanked the Knights of Vartan by stating, “My book which provides undeniable proof that the intent of the Young Turks was to exterminate the Armenian people could not have been published without the financial support of the Knights of Vartan”.  Next to speak was Grand Commander Dr. Zamanigian who began by reminding the audience of the principles and values of the Knights of Vartan and he articulated the three major periods over its 103 years of existence.  Zamanigian proceeded to give an animated Power Point Presentation about the Knights of Vartan “Mission III Veratarts Hayrenik Trip to Armenia” September 16 to September 23, 2018 which was prepared by the Knights of Vartan Communications Office Liaison in Armenia Gohar Palyan.  Grand Commander Dr. Zamanigian concluded his remarks by saying, “With the past as our teacher, we Armenians learned quickly that we have to defend ourselves, our land, our cherished Christian Faith and our treasured traditions”.

Following the Grand Commander, MC Past Grand Commander Barsam asked Grand Matron Diana Tookmanian to say a few words.  She presented a detailed history of the Daughters of Vartan and informed everyone about all of the projects supported by Otyags throughout the United States and Armenia.  Members of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan were then invited by MC Barsam to introduce themselves and talk about their Tahlij’s or Otyag’s projects.

Immediately following the program, the AHC Committee invited everyone to a private elegant ocean view luncheon which ended of course with the group singing beautiful Armenian songs!