IRVINE–Almost 50 Armenian-Americans from the City of Irvine and community leaders from Orange County gathered at Mr. & Mrs. Vahak and Seda Hambarsumian’s home on November 6, 2007 to meet with City of Irvine Mayor Beth Krom, Mayor Pro Tem Larry Agran, Councilmember Sukhee Kang and Chair of the Irvine Planning Commission, Mary Ann Gaido.
Welcoming remarks were made by Dikran Sassounian, Chairman of the Armenian Cultural Foundation of Orange County, who thanked the hosts and introduced Honorable Armen Liloyan, the Consul General of the Republic of Armenia. Liloyan described the uniqueness of the Republic of Armenia, commended the integration and contributions of the Armenian Diaspora communities as a show of the diligence and hard working character of Armenia’s, and offered his office’s assistance to help in the development of business opportunities in Armenia.
Armenian National Committee, Orange County Chapter Chair, Ara Malazian presented the development, diversity and vibrancy of the Armenian-American communities in Southern California, and the roles of the organizations working through the Orange County Armenian Center in Santa Ana. Among other guests, in attendance were Rev. Hrant Yeretsian, representing His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian; Western Prelacy Executive Council Chair, Dr. Garo Agopian; Armenia Fund Western U.S. Region Chair, Maria Mehranian; and local chapter representatives of the Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Relief Society, Hamazkayin, and Homenetmen.
The hostess, Seda Yaghoubian-Hambarsumian, dutifully introduced the Mayor Pro Tem and Chair of the Orange County Great Park Corporation Board of Directors, Larry Agran, and the Chair of the Planning Commission Mary Ann Gaido, commended their past connections to Armenia and the Armenian community, and described her admiration of their pioneering leadership in the early days of the city, through the current leaps forward with the Great Park idea. Hambarsumian envisioned the Great Park to become a multi-cultural and multi-generational public amenity, and asked the audience to be actively become part of it.
Commissioner Gaido had the distinction of having visited Yerevan, and shared the endearing stories of Armenian experiences. As the guest of honor, Larry Agran, shared his pride in the City of Irvine for its cultural and ethnic diversity and thorough integration, and his disappointment in the national leadership to stand up for human rights and justice, to correct the record for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide (H. Res. 106).
Dr. Garo Agopian, Chair of the Prelacy Executive Council, expressed the feelings of the audience as he thanked the Irvine officials and articulated his appreciation of their efforts.
Mayor Beth Krom and Councilmember Sukhee Kang also joined the reception, after attending an official City of Irvine meeting. The introductions and conversations continued in a friendly atmosphere.