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Knights and Daughters of Vartan Visit Motherland on Mission Trip

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11/09/2017

Knights of Vartan Grand Commander Dr. Gary Zamanigian Visits Washington, D.C. The newly elected Grand Commander of Knights of Vartan, Dr. Gary Zamanigian gave an official visit to the Ani Lodge and Dickranouhi Otyag of Washington, D.C. on October 10-12.

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Knights of Vartan Grand Commander Dr. Gary Zamanigian Visits Washington, D.C.

Knights of Vartan Grand Commander Dr. Gary Zamanigian Visits Washington, D.C. The newly elected Grand Commander of Knights of Vartan, Dr. Gary Zamanigian gave an official visit to the Ani Lodge and Dickranouhi Otyag of Washington, D.C. on October 10-12.

On the same day, Dr. Zamanigian visited St. Mary’  Armenian Apostolic Church, met with the pastor, Rev. Father Hovsep Karapetian, and discussed with him national and religious affairs of the community. The Daughters of Vartan, led by Matron Araxie Vann organized a dinner reception in honor of the Grand Commander. Members gathered to meet and chat with the new leader. Former commander, ninety-one years old John Kavookian and his wife, former Matron June Kavookian had travelled from West Virginia to meet with the Grand Commander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ani Lodge Commander Kevork Marashlian welcomed the guest and presented Grand Commander’s biography. Dr. Zamanigian was born in Detroit and practiced medicine for 38 years. He has served St. John Armenian Church of Southfield, Michigan, for 47 years, in various capacities, served on the AGBU Central Committee of America, and served twice on the Grand Council of the Knights of Vartan as Grand vice commander.

The Grand Commander in his speech touched upon the priority of the brotherhood, which began in 1916, as a secretive service organization, and eventually became a charitable organization. He mentioned the excellent programs that the brotherhood has initiated in Armenia over the last twenty years. “It is amazing what we are accomplishing with a little budget,” he said.  He then outlined three organizational priorities of the Grand Council for the year 2017-2018. These are for each lodge to appoint a new membership committee to handle recruiting, and also publicity and ritual committees to perform these tasks.

This year is the 64th anniversary of the Dickranouhie  Otyag. Matron Araxie Vann in her speech congratulated the sisters on the happy occasion.  She also mentioned the names of former matrons and gave them commemorative gifts. A long time member, Clara Andonian presented the history of the sisterhood, and the many accomplishments of the Otyag during the last 64 years.

At the end, Southeast Grand District Representative Jake Bournazian, along with the Grand Commander, presented appreciation plaques to the Washington area participants of the First Convocation and establishment of the new Liaison office in Yerevan, Armenia: Vartiter Marashlian, Araxie Vann and Kevork Marashlian.

On October 11 the Grand Commander visited the Armenian Embassy for a two-hour meeting with Ambassador Grigor Hovhannisian. Commander Zamanigian presented to the Ambassador his views regarding the recent Armenia-Diaspora meetings in Yerevan, where the Knights of Vartan participated with a 25 member delegation. He also outlined the charitable work that the brotherhood has accomplished during the last twenty years in Armenia, and possible new programs that will be undertaken after a meeting with Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan.

Ambassador Hovhannisian gave a presentation of the actual political, economical and cultural situation of Armenia and thanked the brotherhood for its humanitarian programs in that country.  Also in attendance were commander Kevork Marashlian and Grand District Representative Jake Bournazian.

In the afternoon, Commander Zamanigian visited the headquarters of the Armenian National Committee of America and met with Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  Dr. Zamanigian congratulated the work of ANC, especially with the young generation and in the congress of the United States. Mr. Hamparian gave details of the recent movie: “Architects of Denial,” which will be presented by the Knights of Vartan in Florida in March of 2018.

On Thursday October 12, Grand Commander Gary Zamanigian travelled to Philadelphia on a similar mission.