Baghdassarian Brothers Awarded “Knight of Cilicia” Medals
More than $1 million was raised for the expansion of the Vahan and Anoush Chamlian School and the opening of the new Hacop and Hilda Baghdassarian preschool during a gala banquet on November 3 presided over by Western Prelate Bishop Torkom Donoyan.
During the event Chamlian benefactor Gevik and Peter Baghdassarian were awarded the Cilician Catholicosate’s “Knight of Cilicia” medals.
Attending the Chamlian School gala, which took place at the Landmark Banquet Hall in Mission Hills, were members of the Prelacy Executive Council; the Dean, pastors, and Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church; Board of Regents of Prelacy Armenian Schools; and Board of Trustees of Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley.
Also attending the gala was the school’s founding benefactor Anoush Chamlian and her family, as well as Hilda Baghdassarian, the benefactor of the Hacop and Hilda Baghdassarian Preschool, the plans for which were announced earlier this year.
They were joined by the larger Chamlian family, led by Head of the School Dr. Talin Kargodorian, the school board, teachers, staff, committee members, as well as past and present benefactors.
Following the opening prayer delivered by Bishop Donoyan, the Master of Ceremonies, well-know entertained Kev Orkian kicked off the evening’s program, which included welcoming remarks by Dr. Kargodorian and school board chair Artin Ghazarian. In their messages they thanked Prelate Donoyan, the Preclacy Executive Council, and all the volunteers and benefactors for their time and generous contributions, both large and small.
They acknowledged that the idea and initiative behind the future Hacop and Hilda Baghdassarian Preschool, was Bishop Donoyan’s visionary thinking. They also credited the fruition of the new preschool to the support of the gymnasium benefactors, Mr. & Mrs. Hacop and Hilda Baghdassarian’s children Peter and Ruby Baghdassarian and Gevik and Paola Baghdassarian whose recent contribution will make the preschool bearing their parents’ name a reality.
Bishop Donoyan then invited the Baghdassarian brothers and their families to the stage and presented the “Knight of Cilicia” medals to Peter and Gevik Baghdassarian, whose wives also received special pins.
The medals are bestowed by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and include an encyclical, which was read by Very Rev. Zareh Sarkissian.
In his message, Prelate Donoyan commended the founding benefactors of Vahan and Anoush Chamlian Armenian School as well as new benefactors, donors, and all those who support the expansion of our schools. He also expressed appreciation for those who passionately believe in the mission of Armenian churches and Prelacy Armenian Schools under the auspices of the Western Prelacy. Bishop Donoyan also acknowledged the generous contribution of benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Varant and Houri Melkonian, who made it possible to establish the Church of Archangels on the recently acquired property, which is already operational.
Bishop Donoyan and Prelacy Executive Council chair Vahe Hovaguimian presented a check for $100,000 to the school board chairperson and the Head of School for the new preschool.
Prelate Donoyan led a candlelight ceremony expressing wishes for future successes.