Official banquet held in honour of His Holiness Aram I in Montreal

An official banquet was organized in honour of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, at Plaza Volare in Montreal on the evening of June 4, 2023.
The successful event was attended by Her Excellency, Ms. Anahit Harutyunyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to Canada, Mr. Levon Afeyan, Honorary Consul of Armenia in Quebec, Mr. Krikor Mahseredjian, co-chair of the Central Council of the Holy See of Cilicia, Mr. Hagop Der Khatchadourian, ARF Bureau Chairman, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of the Eastern United States, Mrs. Zovig Terzian, Armenian Prelacy of Canada Executive Chairperson, clergy members from across Canada, members from the Prelacy Executive Council and Church Board of Trustees, representatives of sister organizations as well as representatives from AGBU.
Master of ceremonies, Mrs. Araz Yaghjian, opened the banquet with words of welcome and gratitude to His Holiness for His dedication and servitude to His communities across the world.
As the evening progressed, guests were entertained with a musical interlude by singer Hasmik Gasparyan and pianist Khachatur Ghazaryan.
Her Excellency, Ms. Anahit Harutyunyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to Canada, took the podium to share words of unity for a true and communal journey of transformation.
His Eminence, Archbishop Papken Tcharian, Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Canada, also took a few moments to welcome His Holiness and all those present and expressed his gratitude to all those involved in making the banquet a success: “You all came together as one family to welcome His Holiness with open arms.”
Archbishop Tcharian also extended his gratitude to His Holiness for all the work He has undertaken over the years to help our communities across the Diaspora thrive and flourish, noting how His Holiness had appointed the last couple of years, as years of the Diaspora.
“If our Diaspora is strong, Armenia stands strong. If our Diaspora is strong, Artsakh can stand strong,” emphasized the Prelate.
The banquet was also an occasion for special honours to be bestowed to community members for their long-time service and dedication to our communities.
His Holiness presented honorary Cilician Princess medal to Mrs. Chaké Gunjian and the Cilician Princ medal to Mr. Manoug Choukhajian.
The honorary Cilician Knight medal were awarded by the Pontiff to: Mr. Jean Meguerditchian, Mr. Viken Sarkissian, Mr. Levon Bengian, Mrs. Herminé Manoukian and Mr. Hagop Lakhoyan.
Mr. Mher Karakashian, Mr. Toros Babikian and Mrs. Dikie Torikian were gifted with the distinctive ‘Mesrob Mashdots’ medal for their commitment and dedication as teachers.
His Holiness expressed His gratitude to all the honour recipients for their long and continuous years of service, noting how “He looked forward to His next visit with the hopes that the number of the honour recipients will have increased.”
“Everything that takes place in Antelias is for the sole purpose of serving our communities and thanks to all our organizations and institutions, our mission is the same: to serve our communities,” noted the Catholicos.
The Pontiff also expressed his concerns about the new challenges our communities are currently facing, stating that “our institutions through self-observation and reflection need to adapt and change.” He also stressed the importance of our youth and how “Our youth is not just our future; our youth is our present.”
His Holiness closed the evening with words of unity, especially between the entire Diaspora, Armenia and Artsakh, prior to singing the Cilicia hymn with the attendants.

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