On January 12, 2019, at the Avetis Aharonian Hall of the Armenian Centre in Montreal, some 200 Hamazkayin members and supporters gathered in a warm atmosphere to celebrate the arrival of the new year.
Chapter Executive Board chairwoman Tamar Chahinian, speaking for the board, welcomed the guests and opened the program. She thanked everyone—employees or committee members, members of the choir, dance ensemble, theatre company, book program, the M. Ishkhan library, the chidren’s story hour, or the Hamazkayin Clubs—for the support they provided over the past year to all Hamazkayin initiatives. She noted that Hamazkayin lives and transmits Armenian culture and education thanks to the public, thanks to dedicated people who take on responsibility voluntarily. Ms. Chahinian awarded the person responsible for the book program, Rakel Demirjian, with a certificate of appreciation. After reading Ms. Demirjian’s biography, Ms. Chahinian reflected on her fruitful activity and said, “Hamazkayin is proud to have Rakel and other members like her in its family; they embody our mission to keep Armenian literature alive as well as the spirit of voluntarism. It would be hard to find a member of the Hamazkayin family quite as dedicated, quite as faithful and self-sacrificing; for over twenty years, every Sunday, without fail, at the entrance of the Aharonian hall, she sets up our little bookstore. This is an expression of her priorities and her sense of duty.”
The celebration was well attended by young people. Karekin Gyuryunlian and Arpi Soghomonian recited poetry. Laura Berberian, Anita Tobi, and Flora Artinian sang solos. Two games organized by Adom Malkhasian generated much excitement: the best snowperson and racing with balloons. During the evening, a group sharing a table created an impromptu chorus and performed the Santa Claus song under the baton of Adom Malkhasian. Then the Knar Choir performed Yerevan-Erebuni. A cake was cut to celebrate two performances, over the past year: the Knar Choir’s recital and the staging of The Tower of Babel by the Bedros Atamian theatre company.
Then Levon Kaprielian shared his talent in comedy and theater, presenting a monologue titled “Old and New Cuisine.”
The two Ani dance ensembles performed. Raffle tickets were sold and many people made donations to help cover the expenses for the event.
The evening continued in the warm spirit of fellowship, with laughter and games, kef and dance. The Armenian new year, according to tradition, is to be greeted like this. Attendees left the hall in good cheer and with a sense of gratitude for their membership in the great Hamazkayin family.
Hamazkayin Montreal Sanahin Chapter Executive Board