ENCINO–Hagop Manjikian was bestowed with a prestigious medal of honor and a Pastoral Letter by His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–at a reception at the Avedisian Hall in Encino–California–on June 8.
In his Pastoral Letter–the Catholicos expressed his happiness about Manjikian’s "long-standing services in the preservation of the Armenian heritage and the promotion of Armenian culture and education in the US–spanning five decades."
His Holiness’ message to Manjikian stated: "You served the Armenian-American community selflessly and tirelessly. As a vanguard in the pursuit of the Armenian Case–you played an important role in proposing and carrying through the idea of building the Armenian Martyrs Monument in Montebello–California–dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Genocide of 1915." That monument was erected in 1968.
The Catholicos’ Letter concluded–"We pray that God preserve your long-standing enthusiasm and vigor to continue your work." In accepting the medal of honor–Manjikian was clearly moved.
Manjikian immigrated to the United States 50 years ago and immediately plunged himself into Armenian community affairs. He was in the forefront of the movement to establish Armenian day schools in the Southland and served as chairman of the Armenian National Committee in the 1960s and 1970s. Under Manjikian’s chairmanship–the ANC worked with Mayors Sam Yorty and Tom Bradley to support the needs of the quickly growing Armenian community and endorsed candidates for local–statewide–congressional and presidential election campaigns.
Manjikian also spearheaded the idea for a monument in memory of the late Armenian hero Soghomon Tehlirian. That monument was built in Fresno’s Massis Cemetery in 1969.
Along with his wife–Knar–and other colleagues–Manjikian edited and broadcast the ANC’s weekly radio program in the late 1970s.
On behalf of His Holiness Aram I–Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian awarded Manjikian the Mesrob Mashdotz Medal on the occasion of the publication of the second volume of a trilogy of Armenian history albums authored by Manjikian and his wife. The new book–Koyamard (The Struggle to Exist)–covers the period between 1914 and 1925–when the efforts of the Armenia’s culminated in the establishment of the first Armenian Republic in 1918.