Holy Martyrs Church 50th Anniversary Banquet

Saturday, November 9, 2013, will forever be remembered as an unforgettable evening for the Holy Martyrs Church of Encino family as over five hundred faithful, guests, and friends, gathered at “Avedissian” Hall for the Church 50th anniversary banquet presided over by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate.

Among the guests in attendance were H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian, Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, Rev. Fr. Ardak Demirjian, Central Executive member Mr. Khajag Dikijian, Executive Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian and members, past and present Delegates, Board of Trustees, Ladies Auxiliary, and Sunday School members, altar servers and choir members, Ferrahian School principal and school board, representatives of sister organizations.  Among the official guests were Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz and California State Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian.

The banquet’s honorary president was Mr. and Mr. Ghazaros and Betty Ghazarossian, and the hosts were Mr. George Titizian and Sarkis and Ruzanna Trmryan.

The official program began with the American and Armenian national anthems sung by Deacon Toukhman Khatchadourian, accompanied on the piano by Gomidas Keshishian.

Master of Ceremonies Mr. Nigol Manoukian asked the guests to remain standing for a moment of silence in memory of all departed church servants, after which he invited the Prelate to read the Pontifical message of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.  Accompanied by Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian and Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, the Prelate then conducted the blessing of tables.

The MC delivered his welcoming remarks, then invited up Councilmember Paul Koretz and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, who addressed the gathering and presented proclamations to Fr. Razmig and Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Zeron Titizian.

Successive messages were then delivered by Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian, Mrs. Rima Boghossian on behalf of the Executive Council, and Mrs. Maral Tarpinian in Armenian and Mr. Ara Papazian in English on behalf the Board of Trustees.

Three long-time servants of the Church were then presented with certificates of appreciation by the Board of Trustees in recognition and thanks for their hard work.  They were; Sunday School Director Mrs. Seta Kejejian, choir conductor and organist Mr. Gomidas Keshishian, and Church secretary Mr. Mardig Keushgerian.

Guests then enjoyed a video chronicling the Church history, which was beautifully prepared by Deacon Rafi Garabedian and his sons Vahe and Vatche.

The candle-lighting ceremony followed.  The nearly 60 sponsors stood as their names were read; the Master of Ceremonies invited Fr. Razmig to light the ceremonial first candle, followed by the lighting of the candles by the sponsors.

The official program came to a close with the Prelate’s message.

His Eminence began by greeting and congratulating the Holy Martyrs Church family on their 50th anniversary, noting that it is a day of tremendous joy and pride not only for the parish community but for the Prelacy as well since we are all members of the same family.  As such, it is the duty of each individual to contribute his part to the advancement of the family, to pledge on this occasion our commitment to serving unwaveringly towards another five decades of success and beyond.  Quoting the following words of St. Paul from Romans Chapter 12, “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them,” His Eminence stated that this knowledge and this spirit is what led to the founding of Holy Martyrs Church; members of the founding generation, recognizing that they each had unique talents and resources to offer but were ultimately members of one family, united their individual gifts for a greater collective good, and today we continue to reap the benefits of their efforts, said the Prelate.  Even more importantly, in the message of St. Paul, they served “with brotherly love, with kindly affection to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, and rejoicing in hope.  They served with dedication and humility, not for their own individual interests, but for the best interests of the community and for generations to come for whom this Church has become a beacon of faith and a bastion of our spiritual and national heritage.  They worked together in harmony towards a common vision, their teamwork being the fuel that allowed them to accomplish their great vision,” stressed the Prelate and called on the members of the community to continue the vision and mission of the founding fathers by working together harmoniously, humbly, perseveringly, in the spirit of brotherly love, so that Holy Martyrs Church Church can remain the lighthouse of this community for generations more to come.

The MC then announced a special surprise, asking the evening’s main sponsors to approach the stage to receive a gift from the Board of Trustees in appreciation for their generosity.  The gifts, beautiful works of Cilician art, were presented to Mr. and Mrs. Ghazarossian, Mr. George Titizian, and Mr. and Mrs. John and Marine and Mr. and Mrs. Greg and Sylva Martayan, who had sponsored the banquet keepsake booklet in memory of their father and grandfather Krikor Martayan.

With the cutting of the anniversary cake by the Prelate, Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian, Executive Council Chairlady, honorary president, hosts, and Board of Trustees, dinner was served and the banquet continued with entertainment by Koko Hayitian.

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