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Californians Celebrate Hamazkayin's 80th Anniversary
October 28, 2008
Left to right: Dr. Viken Yacoubian, Mgo Yapoujian, Carmen Der Garabedian, Vatsche Barsoumian, Edward Misserlian

Montebello, California - On October 26, 2008, more than 400 Armenian American community members and leaders from throughout Southern California gathered in Montebello to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society.

The banquet, hosted in "Baghramian Hall" of Montebello's Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral, featured a moving medal and commendation ceremony during which Hamazkayin Central Executive U.S. Representative Edward Misserlian recounted the decades of selfless contributions to Armenian culture made by beloved teacher and actress Carmen Der Garabedian and inspirational Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian. Both honorees delivered sentimental acceptance speeches, reflecting on pivotal stages of their life, decades of community service and leadership, and the evolution of their professional and personal involvements alongside the very growth and development of Hamazkayin.

Mistress of Ceremonies Dr. Talar Chahinian-Mahroukian

The mistress of ceremonies for the evening was Dr. Talar Chahinian-Mahroukian. To reflect on the passing of 80 years of Hamazkayin service, guests viewed a video presentation documenting recent Hamazkayin involvements in the Diaspora and Armenia.

The main speaker was Hamazkayin Western USA Regional Executive Chairman Dr. Viken Yacoubian, who also presented a commemorative plaque to banquet sponsors Drs. Vicken and Aline Sahagian. The 80th anniversary program also included energetic performances by Hamazkayin Ani Dance Group, Lark Musical Society Choir, and Razmig Mansourian.

Anita Hawatian, Myrna Douzjian, Dr. Viken Yacoubian

In addition to the program, Hamazkayin Western USA Regional Executive Member Anita Hawatian announced the recipients of the 2008 Hamazkayin Scholarships, Myrna Douzjian in Literature and Raffi Barsoumian in Theater. Hawatian stated that Hamazkayin is proud to be setting a new tradition to support Armenian American graduate students who actively demonstrate a passionate connection to Armenian culture.

Special guests and community leaders joined the celebration, including Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Armenia Mesrob Shaboyan, ARF Bureau Member Vicken Hovsepian, Hamazkayin Central Executive Member Mgo Yapoujian from Lebanon, ARF Western Region Central Committee Chairman Avedik Izmirlian, Rev. Father Arshag Khatchadourian and Very Rev. Fr. Barthev Gulumian.

Mgo Yapoujian, Hamazkayin Medal of Honor recipient Carmen Der Garabedian
Edward Misserlian, Hamazkayin Medal of Honor recipient Vatsche Barsoumian
Click here to view event pictures

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