BY RITA HINTLIAN
GLENDALE, CA—Over 200 people were present on November 12 for the unveiling of the Armenian Relief Society’s Centennial Logo at the ARS Western USA headquarters, marking the beginning of a year of celebration of the organization’s century long devotion to the Armenian nation.
In attendance were: clergy, public officials, representative from Armenian organizations and media, board of trustee members, school principals, ARS supporters and ARS members. ARS Central Executive Chairwoman Vicky Marashlian, and Board Members Rosie Bedrossian and Nova Hindoyan were also present for the unveiling, which was streamed live through webcast for ARS members and supporters from across the US and 26 countries to follow.
ARS Western US Vice Chair Arous Melkonian delivered the welcoming remarks to this historic day and invited Mary Melkonian to sing the US, Armenia and ARS anthems.
Sossie Poladian, Chair of the ARS Western US, began her message by saying that “It is an honor and a privilege to serve an organization that prides itself with a Century of Service.”
She was pleased that the Western USA region of the ARS was hosting the logo-unveiling event adding, “We ponder on how the logo is with us when our members give their oath, when our members work for decades with tireless conviction and determination, and when our members leave this world. In effect, our logo signifies our life in service of others.” She completed her remarks by saying, “Those who came before us left a legacy that we admire, as the new century is upon us, we will embark on new paths for the next century.”
Vicky Marashlian, Chair of the ARS Central Executive Board, explained that, “cognizant of the historic importance of this first Centenary, the Central Executive Board felt the need of a special Centennial logo.” She added, that the ARS “stands with the same faith as its legendary founders exhibited a century ago. It stands with the same commitment and devotion, and its worldwide entities exhibited during their countless humanitarian endeavors… It stands tall with the clear vision and determination of accomplishments yet to come, with an unshakeable resolve to serve the Armenian people, wherever they may be – whether in the free or still occupied regions of our millennial Homeland, or the globally scattered communities of the Diaspora.”
Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and Rev. Father Ardag Demirdjian blessed the logo with “Oorakh Ler” (Rejoice). The three ARS Central Executive Board members Marashlian, Bedrossian and Hindoyan, and Poladian participated in the ceremony and the new logo was revealed, followed by a video presentation, which had the following slogan, “100 Years of Devoted Service”.
Central Executive member Nova Hindoyan explained that designers from Javakhk, Australia, Canada and Western USA, participated in the logo contest and Ara Ter Harutiunian of Toronto, Canada submitted the winning entry. The computerized animation was created by a Florida-based Producer Bared Maronian. She added that, “the most symbolic feature of the logo is the rising flow of the 100-year service of the ARS, flowing like a life-giving river springing from the slopes of Ararat and flowing towards our countless communities linking the two segments of our nation – Homeland to Diaspora, and Diaspora to Homeland.”
Poladian and Marashlian accepted Certificates of Recognition from Talin Mangioglu, Field Representative for State Senator Carol Liu (21st District), and Suzy Jacobs, Field Representative for Assistant Majority Leader, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (43rd District). Jacobs also delivered a California Assembly Resolution by Krekorian for the 25th anniversary of the ARS of Western USA.
ARF Central Committee member, Hovan Tashjian, congratulated the ARS on the Centennial logo and praised the ARS for being a source of inspiration and strength wherever the Armenian people have endured hardships and won victories. Tashjian noted his anticipation for the ARS to continue its leading role in the community during the next Century and promised that all the ARS projects would get the needed encouragement and support.
The ceremony ended with the blessings and a congratulatory message by Archbishop Mardirossian. The Prelate noted that this was a historic day and added, “I join you in the unveiling ceremony. Service and relentless work, dedication and devotion, virtue and mission, care and love characterize the ARS. This logo symbolizes the centennial legacy and service of the ARS.” He too reminded the audience of the ARS founders and those who followed them, who are no longer with us, who must be rejoicing today. The Prelate also congratulated the worldwide membership of the ARS, the chapters and the Regional and Central Executives for the ARS Centenary, wished the ARS success in all upcoming events, and gave his blessings.
Additional information about the ARS of Western USA is available on www.arswestusa.org .