GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America –Western Region announced that it will pay special tribute to the memory of lifelong activists, Hacob and Mina Shirvanian, at the ANCA-WR Annual Gala to be held on October 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
“The loss in the last year of both Mina and Hacob Shirvanian has been devastating for our community, as they were pillars for many organizations, including the ANCA Western Region. Our Board of Directors decided to honor their memory by recognizing their decades of service to the advancement of the Armenian Cause and to publicly express gratitude to their family for their dedication and commitment to issues which are important to all of us. For this reason, we will pay a special tribute to them at our most prestigious event of the year,” stated ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian.
Since arriving to the U.S. in 1956, the Shirvanians, whose philanthropy and leadership has largely shaped the Armenian-American community in Los Angeles, were lifelong active members and supporters of numerous community organizations including the Armenian National Committee, the Armenian Cultural Foundation, and the Armenian Educational Foundation among others. Mina Shirvanian helped establish the Armenian Society of Los Angeles (Iranahye Mioutyun) and was one of its first presidents. Hacob Shirvanian served several years as the Vice President of the Ferrahian High School Board of Governors. Mina also co-founded the AYF Soghomon Tehlirian Hollywood Junior chapter – the first AYF Junior chapter in California – and was an active member and President of the Ferrahian Armenian School PTA.
For their service to the community, the Shirvanians were previously recognized by Catholicos Karekin II with the Knight of Cilicia Award and by Catholicos Aram I with the Prince of Cilicia Award. The Shirvanians were presented with the Republic of Artsakh’s highest civilian medal by Former Karabakh President, Arkady Ghukasian. Hacob Shirvanian was also one of the first recipients of ANCA-WR’s Legacy Award, which was bestowed upon him in 2007. In addition, the couple were also honored by the Armenian Relief Society Western USA and the Adventist Hospital Foundation’s Philanthropy Award.
The Shirvanians were also active in U.S. politics. Hacob Shirvanian had the distinction of being the only Armenian who was appointed by five consecutive governors – Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis – to various state boards and commissions. Meanwhile, Mina was appointed by LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich to the Los Angeles County Lanterman Regional Center Board.
Together, Hacob and Mina supported many Armenian organizations. Through the AEF, they sponsored numerous student scholarships and multiple school renovations in Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk. They also helped finance the ACF Shirvanian Youth Center in Gyumri. After multiple trips to Armenia over the past 40 years, Hacob and Mina made a final visit for the opening of the youth center in the summer of 2016.
The couple was also married for 71 years. They had two children, Alice Petrossian who continues her parents’ legacy by currently serving as the Chair of the ANCA-WR Education Committee, and Armen Shirvanian. The Shirvanians were blessed with two grandsons, Chris and Shant, a grand-daughter-in-law, Melody, and three great grandchildren, Christopher, Sebastian, and Katherine Mina.
Mina passed away on December 1, 2017, followed by Hacob who passed away on August 23, 2018.
The 2018 ANCA-WR Gala will begin at 4:30p.m. with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. A three-course dinner will follow at 6:00 p.m. accompanied by a powerful program and presentation of awards.
As already announced, this year’s honorees include Serj Tankian with the “People’s Champion” Award, British House of Lords Member Baroness Caroline Cox will be receiving the “Advocate for Justice” Award, and David McKenzie, Dean Cain, Montel Williams, Laura McKenzie, and Elizabeth Stanton, as the team behind “Architects of Denial” and several other television and film productions which promote the Armenian Cause. will be awarded with the “Excellence in Media” Award.
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