On the evening of Wednesday, July 31, the Western Prelacy family and community gathered at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall to bid farewell to Consul General Grigor Hovhannissian who will soon embark on his new mission as the first Ambassador of Armenia to Mexico, Asbarez reports.
The reception was held under the auspices of Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and was organized by the Prelacy Ladies Auxiliary. Among the guests in attendance were clergy, Central Executive member Khajag Dikijian, ARF Central Committee Chair Dr. Viken Hovsepian and member Dr. Viken Yacoubian, representatives from the Board of Regents, Homenetmen and ARS Central and Regional Executives Hamazkayin Regional Executive, ANC, Armenia Fund, United Armenia Fund, Armenian Bar Association, Armenian American Medical Society, Armenian Society of Los Angeles, Friends of New Julfa, benefactors who have assisted Armenia, Prelacy Committees, and Consular staff.
The evening began with welcoming remarks delivered by Ladies Auxiliary member Mrs. Alisa Konanyan, who thanked the guests for joining the Prelacy in honoring the Consul General, then invited the Prelate for the invocation.
The Prelate thanked the guests for joining in bidding farewell to the Consul General and his wife. He echoed the sentiments and commendations expressed throughout the evening towards the Consul General, stating that there are surely others who would have liked to express their feelings as well, however Dr. Hovsepian’s remarks on behalf of the sister organizations certainly encompassed the thoughts of all. Throughout his tenure as Prelate, Hovhannissian was the sixth Consul General, with whom he established a strong professional and personal relationship as a diplomat and a dear friend. He thanked the Ladies Auxiliary for their efforts and Haig Bagerjian, a close friend of his as well as the Consul General, for hosting the evening. On behalf of the Prelacy family and friends, the Prelate wished the Consul General and his wife the best of luck and great successes in their future endeavors, especially given that they are leaving behind a place like Los Angeles with its dense population of Armenians.
The Consul General conveyed his thanks for the moving remarks and well wishes expressed by all, and his gratitude to the Prelate and supporters. Considered the capital of the Diaspora, he stated that his service within this community had special meaning, and here he served not only as a government representative, but as a member of the community, and he was proud of the great support and collaboration he received. He stated that his diplomatic mission has afforded him the opportunity to become better acquainted with the Diaspora, and if he arrived here as a Consul, he returns to Armenia as an Ambassador, the Ambassador of the Diaspora.
The Consul General took the opportunity to stress two important points. He noted that we live in a fast-paced and ever-changing world, giving the example that at the time that he began his service, Turkey was presenting itself as a peace-loving nation with no issues with its neighbors. Today though, its role in Syria tells a different story. Therefore, stated the Consul General, we must keep pace with new developments and changes in the world, especially in regions surrounding Armenia, given that we stand before important milestones and challenges such as the Genocide centennial and the continued safeguarding of Artsakh. Armenia and Diaspora must adopt contemporary measures and maintain open dialogue to collectively overcome new challenges. Second, he stated that taking into consideration current world events and developments, some may say the vision for a united and independent Armenia is fading. However, this course is unacceptable for the Armenian people. The Armenian people will recoup its losses. It is crucial that the bond with Armenia remain strong and that we staunchly defend our nation and our ties with our homeland, otherwise we risk losing everything. The Consul General concluded by confidently stating that periods of gloom and dismay will give way to a bright dawn.
In commendation for his meritorious service and leadership, the Prelate presented the Consul General with a plaque of appreciation on behalf of the Prelacy Councils, and a book on rescued treasures from Cilicia to the couple. The Ladies Auxiliary presented his wife Victoria with a bouquet.
The reception also included musical selections performed by singer Anahit Nersesyan, accompanied on the piano by Professor Levon Aprahamian.
The evening concluded with the benediction and the Armenian national anthem.