OTTAWA–The Armenian National Committee of Canada celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of its national office in Ottawa with a cocktail-reception at the Canadian House of Commons, at which time Mr. and Mrs. Mardig Jorjezian pledged their $115,000 annual contribution to the ANCC.
More than 25 members of Parliament, among them Hon. Jason Kenney, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity; Hon. Randy Kamp, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans; MP Gary Goodyear, chairperson of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group; MPs Jim Karygiannis, Nicole Demers, Keven Sorenson, Bill Blaikie, and former MP’s Madeleine Dalphoned-Guiral and Eleni Bakopanos joined Canadian-Armenian community members from Montreal, Laval, Toronto, Ottawa Vancouver, and Cambridge to celebrate the momentous occasion.
Archbishop Khajak Hagopian, Very Reverend Meghrig Parikian, Father Hrair Nicolian, the Holy See representative Father Thomas Cassidy, members of the diplomatic corps, civil servants, journalists, various NGOs and ethnic group representatives were also present to mark the first anniversary.
During the celebration, Mardig Jorjezian, an ANCC friend and benefactor from Vancouver, was honoured as the ANCC’s “2007 Man of the Year,” for his generous annual contribution of $115, 000. Dr. Vagharch Ehramdjian, ANCC Chairman, presented Mr. and Mrs. Jorjezian the Gomidas Award as a token of appreciation for Jorjezian family’s commitment and dedication to the Armenian Cause. In attendance were also Talin and Michael, daughter and son of Mr. and Mrs. Jorjezian. The Gomidas statue is the work of internationally renowned Armenian sculptor Yevkin? De Greef.
Paul Douzjian, a long-serving member of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, was also honoured with a citation. “It is our sincerest wish that you continue to work with us for many long years,” said Jean Meguerditchian, president of the ANCC when he presented the citation to Douzjian.
“Let’s not kid ourselves,” said Kenney on the Canadian government’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide. “It’s clear that it’s you who did all the work. You were the ones who came to Parliament Hill for such a long time. And I’m sorry it had to be for such a long time.”
In addition to Kenney, Arman Akopian, charg? d’affaires of the Republic of Armenia, members of parliament Karygiannis, Nicole Demers, and Gary Goodyear congratulated the ANCC and its hundreds of volunteers for their unwavering commitment and dedication for the cause of human rights and justice. They also highlighted the non-partisan nature of the Armenian Cause and genocide recognition.
Excerpts from a documentary highlighting the history of the Armenian National Committee of Canada and the work of the national office were screened.
The evening concluded with the ANCC executive director Aris Babikian thanking participants. “Our office in Ottawa and my colleagues across the country will do our utmost to reach out to any and every Canadian needing our support, to try to build bridges, and sensitize our future generations against the scourge of hatred, intolerance and xenophobia. We are confident that with your understanding, support, assistance, and generous donations, such as that of the Jorjezian family, we will help make Canada the envy of the world,” concluded Babikian.