RESEDA, CA – The newest Armenian Center in California hosted its official opening ceremony on June 5 in the Western San Fernando Valley. Under the auspices of the ARF Western United States of America Central Committee, and through the joint efforts of the local Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Rosdom, Arshavir Shiragian and Papken Seuni committees, this center has already been transformed into an Armenian beehive.
The evening was opened by Hrayr Sherikian, who welcomed attendees on behalf of the center’s maintenance committee. Attendees then honored the memory of the Artsakh war soldiers and all martyred Armenian freedom fighters, as well as the organization’s members who past away due to Covid, with a moment of silence.
Then, Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian, Pastor of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church in Encino, blessed the Armenian Center and wished those present new and enduring successes. Hrayr Sherikian delivered the evening’s opening speech, during which stressed the importance of “Armenian Centers” and their role in the national life of the Diaspora.
Then, on behalf of the ARF Rosdom, Arshavir Shiragian and Papken Seuni Committees, Unger Raffi Ardhaldjian conveyed his message, emphasizing that Armenian centers around the world have a special place in the national life of the Armenian communities. He also stressed that the Armenian Centers have been places of creativity, gathering places, centers for conceiving ideas and turning those ideas into action. “Furthermore, Armenian centers also create a friendly atmosphere among the people united there. The Armenian Center of San Fernando Valley is the newest center in that line.”
Addressing the audience, Daron Der-Khachadourian, the chairman of the ARF Western United States of America Central Committee, focused on the establishment of Armenian centers after the Armenian Genocide. He stated that for decades, Armenian Centers have been established in different communities throughout the world and through their service have reached the local needs of the Armenian people. The founding of Armenian centers was a period of major awakening for the Armenians. Armenian centers became a means of preserving and developing the Armenian identity. The ARF’s Armenian centers became the main gathering grounds for organizational and social life.
AYF Western United States chairwoman Hasmik Burushyan then gave her remarks, where she spoke about the AYF and its various activities, congratulating the work of the center’s maintenance committee and promising the active participation of young people inside the center.
Hasmik Burushyan Ryan Ahari
Also present were Ryan Ahari, from LA City Councilmember (4th District) Nithya Raman’s. Ahari congratulated the Armenian community on the opening of its center.
The evening’s official portion ended with all participants singing “Mshak Banvor” together, after which a generous reception was held in an intimate and welcoming environment.