Maria Chrzanowska: Polish Education Takes Root in Edmonton

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Maria Chrzanowska: Polish Education Takes Root in Edmonton

by Andrzej M. Kobos

Maria Chrzanowska (née Agopsowicz, of a polonized Armenian family)
was born in 1913 in Kuty, near Stanislawów, in Galicia. In 1932 she
graduated with honours from the Teachers’ College in Lwów and
taught at a school near Kuty. In 1938 she married Jan Chrzanowski,
also a teacher. In September 1939, when the Second World War broke
out, Jan, who was a reserve officer, was called to active duty. After
Poland’s defeat by the Germans and the Soviets, through Romania and
France he reached Britain where he served in the Polish Army.

When the Soviets occupied the town of Kuty in 1939, Maria’s parents
were deported to a remote area of the Soviet Union where they
perished. She and her infant son were miraculously spared from being
deported because the outbreak of the German-Soviet war in June 1941
prevented the new wave of Soviet deportations. Maria and her small
son lived in Kuty throughout the war, until they were transferred to
western Poland in 1945. A year later, she managed to escape to the
West to join her husband in Scotland. In 1948, the Chrzanowski family
immigrated to Canada and settled permanently in Edmonton, where Jan’s
brother, Czeslaw, had lived since 1927. Their son, Zbigniew, became a
physician and their daughter, Teresa, a nurse. Jan was active in
several Polish organizations including the Canadian Polish Congress
whose Treasurer he was for many years. Maria became the driving force
in Polish education in the city.

After a few abortive efforts to teach Polish children in Edmonton
before, during, and after the Second World War – notably in 1947 by
Józef Kaczmarek and Wladyslaw Zientarski1 – a permanent Polish
school was established in Edmonton in 1954 by Rev. Dr. Tadeusz
Nagengast, Wanda Buska, Zofia Hedinger, Janina Jankowska-Zygiel,
Mieczyslaw Janusz, Zygmunt Majkowski and Jan Sowa. The school was
named after Henryk Sienkiewicz, the 1905 Polish Nobel Prize winner in
literature. Since its inception, the school has had support from the
Polish community. Mieczyslaw Janusz organized many fundraising social

In 1956, Maria Chrzanowska began teaching at the Henryk Sienkiewicz
School. She has always had a passion for teaching. In 1964 she became
the school’s principal, a post she retained until her retirement in
1987. During those years she reorganized the school, which soon became
one of the best Polish schools in Canada and a model for bilingual
ethnic schools. Maria found appropriate accommodation for the school
which operated on Saturdays. She engaged a dedicated and professional
teaching staff, among them several Polish priests and nuns, who have
played a very important spiritual role at the school, and a former
flying instructor, who was an invaluable asset in teaching young
boys. She arranged for a fruitful collaboration with the parents’
committee. She was instrumental in securing government grants for the
school from the Multiculturalism programs. The 1980s brought a large
influx of Polish immigrants related to the “Solidarity”
movement. These were mainly young families and as a result the
enrollment at the Henryk Sienkiewicz School increased
considerably. (In 1987 there were 240 students.) Maria Chrzanowska
managed to find new, well-trained staff members among the new
immigrants. Apart from teaching, Maria Chrzanowska was the key person
organizing extracurricular activities for the students, such as
amateur theatre with Polish repertoire, choir and dance assemblies,
and exhibitions of Polish art and children’s art work. Children’s
activities crossed the school boundaries, e.g. they frequently
performed in Polish folk costumes at different Polish and
multicultural festivals and celebrations, always to great
applause. Her students competed successfully with several thousand
Polish ethnic school students in Canada.

Over the years, about 3,000 children of Polish immigrants have passed
through this school where they were taught Polish language, history,
and culture. Years later they still joyfully remember the school and
“Pani Maria,” their teacher and principal. They also gratefully
acknowledge that this fine school and Pani Maria were crucial to their
maintaining the Polish language and customs. As Maria put it: “Knowing
more than just the local language and retaining one’s heritage gives
life a treasured richness.” Maria once wondered: “Will all that we
wish to pass on to our students – our beautiful language, the basic
knowledge about Poland, that is, her l,000-year-old history, and
culture – will all these strengthen their pride in belonging to the
great Polish nation?” Clearly, Maria’s dream to uphold Polishness
among Polish children has been fulfilled and it was appropriate to
recognize Maria Chrzanowska’s inspiration, dedication, and lasting
contribution to maintaining the Polish heritage by naming the second
Polish school in Edmonton, which opened in November 1991, “The Maria
Chrzanowska Polish School.”

Maria Chrzanowska was also active in the Alberta Ethnic Language
Teachers’ Association (later named the Northern Alberta Heritage
Language Association) and in its Board of Directors. Within this
organization she shared her experience with other teachers and helped
them with their problems. For all her years of service, Maria
Chrzanowska, The First Lady of Polish Education in Edmonton, received
the Alberta Achievement Award from the Alberta government in 1974, and
the Heritage Language Development Award in 1986, for her service in
preserving and developing language education. In 1990, she was
presented with a Special Recognition from the Northern Alberta
Heritage Language Association.

Since 1956, Maria Chrzanowska has participated in several Polish
organizations in Edmonton. Maria was also an active member of the
Polish Scouting movement in Edmonton. For a long time she was
responsible for youths’ affairs in the Canadian Polish Congress,
Alberta Branch. From 1961 to 1995, Maria Chrzanowska directed the
Polish radio program at Edmonton’s CKUA.2
=.=passage omitted =.=.=.


Information provided by Maria Chrzanowska; Maria Chrzanowska; ,
“Nieznana karta z dziejów polskiej szkoly,” in Towarzystwo
Polsko-Kanadyjskie (Edmonton) 1927-1987 [Polish-Canadian Society,
1927-1987], Maria Carlton ed. (Edmonton: TPK, 1987); Maria Chrzanowska
“Wspólpraca parafii Matki Boskiej Rózancowej ze szkola polska
im. H. Sienkiewicza,” in History of the Holy Rosary Parish in Edmonton
1913-1988, ed. John Huculak (Edmonton: Holy Rosary Parish, 1988);
Maria Chrzanowska, “Zakonczenie roku szkolnego w szkole im. Henryka
Sienkiewicza,” Dialogi, no. 8, Edmonton 1986.

Reprinted from Polonia in Alberta 1895 -1995: The Polish Centennial in
Alberta (Edmonton: Polish Centennial Society, 1995) eds. Andrzej
M. Kobos and Jolanta T. Pekacz, with permission of the Canadian Polish
Congress Alberta Branch.
Note: there is a considerable number of AGOPSOWICZ and AGOPYANS now
accross Canada

ANC-EM Sponsors Fundraiser for State Rep. Koutoujian

Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts
47 Nichols Avenue
Watertown, MA 02472
[email protected]

April 19, 2004

Contact: Suzan Ekizian
[email protected]; 617-926-1918


WATERTOWN, MA–The Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Eastern
Massachusetts recently held a fundraiser-reception in honor of State
Representative Peter Koutoujian. The event was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Bedros
and Arev Der-Vartanian at their Belmont residence.

During the evening reception, members of the Armenian American community had
an opportunity to discuss various issues with the fourth-term State
Representative. Among the topics discussed were the November Presidential
elections, Rep. Kotoujian’s upcoming trip to Armenia, and the 2004
Homenetmen summer athletic games being held in Greater Boston.

“Rep. Koutoujian has been a champion and longtime advocate of many issues of
particular concern to the Massachusetts Armenian American community. We are
extremely grateful for his leadership and organized this event to honor his
efforts,” remarked ANC of Eastern Massachusetts representative Ivan

During the gathering, Rep. Koutoujian addressed the audience on a number of
local and state issues, the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, and the
importance to introduce non-Armenians to our rich heritage and culture.
Koutoujian underscored that he would continue to do everything in his power
to positively contribute to Armenia’s rebuilding process.

The Massachusetts State Representative represents the tenth Middlesex
district, which includes parts of Newton, Waltham, and Watertown. Rep.
Koutoujian currently holds the position of House Chairman of the Joint
Committee on Health Care. He holds a Masters degree in Public Affairs from
the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Throughout his tenure in office, Rep. Koutoujian has pursued a number of
issues to help benefit Armenia. In the field of democracy, he was selected
by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to observe
the May 2003 Parliamentary elections in Armenia.

In the field of health care, he hosted a forum at the Massachusetts State
House with Armenian Health Minister Dr. Norayr Davidian and Massachusetts
Department of Public Health Commissioner Christine Ferguson. During the
forum, Rep. Koutoujian pledged to further cooperation between Massachusetts
and Armenia in the healthcare sector. He also recently offered to share
smoke reduction programs, which have been successfully implemented in
Massachusetts, with Armenia.

Additionally, Rep. Koutoujian is an annual host of the Massachusetts State
House commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian National Committee is the largest Armenian American grassroots
political organization in Massachusetts and nationwide. The ANC actively
advances a broad range of issues of concern to the Armenian American


New word to replace Holocaust wins favor

New word to replace Holocaust wins favor

Palm Beach Post (Florida)
Sunday, April 18, 2004

By Charles Passy ([email protected]), Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

When George Lucius Salton tells of his experience as a survivor of the Nazi
concentration camps, there’s no confusion about the details. The fear of
being executed at any moment. The joy of being liberated. The making of a
new life in America.

And so Salton, a retired electrical engineer who lives in Palm Beach
Gardens, says there should be no confusion about how to refer to this
seminal event in modern Jewish history, the systematic murder of an
estimated 6 million Jews by a ruthless German regime.

“‘Holocaust’ is understood as the term referring to the destruction of the
Jews,” he says.

Or is it?

In recent years, many Jewish and non-Jewish leaders in the religious,
academic and cultural communities have begun embracing “Shoah,” a Hebrew
word for “destruction,” as the term for the Nazi-led genocide of 1933-1945.
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg chose it as the name for his foundation that
documents the stories of survivors. The Vatican used it in its report, We
Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, recounting the Roman Catholic Church’s
response to the mass slaughter.

And locally, Rabbi David Goldstein, who heads Temple Beth David in Palm
Beach Gardens, goes so far as to remove most references to “Holocaust” in
synagogue literature.

“We’re trying to substitute ‘Shoah’ across the board,” he says.

The result is nothing short of a linguistic quagmire, particularly as Jews
throughout the world gather today, designated on the Jewish calendar as Yom
Hashoah, or Day of the Destruction, to remember the tragedy of the World War
II era.

But what is it they’re remembering — the Holocaust or the Shoah?

The knock against “Holocaust” is twofold. Many object to the word, derived
from ancient Greek, because it translates as “burnt offering” — in the
sacrificial religious sense, according to select scholars. And that leads to
a horrific connotation when speaking of the atrocities committed against the
Jews, who were often driven to the gas chambers, then cremated. How could
their fiery end be considered a sacrifice?

“If it’s a burnt offering to God, then I don’t want to know the God at the
other end,” says Michael Berenbaum, a leading scholar based at the
University of Judaism in Los Angeles.

But the linguistic issues go deeper. As “Holocaust” seeps into the
vernacular, the term has become attached not only to other genocides and
mass slaughters — in Armenia, Cambodia and elsewhere — but also to a range
of other events and movements. In an article for a Jewish publication, Diana
Cole cited such examples as a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’
“Holocaust on Your Plate” exhibit and, a Web site for
“breast implant victims.”

Maybe better, but realistic?
In the process, many argue, all sense of meaning is lost.

“It has been trivialized so much,” says Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, the
Jewish author and concentration-camp survivor who popularized the term
‘Holocaust’ in the early ’60s through his writings.

By contrast, “Shoah” is a word without negative connotations. And its Hebrew
connection gives it a special significance, some contend.

“The way in which you can keep the particularity of the Shoah as a Jewish
event is to use a Jewish word,” says Zev Garber, a Jewish scholar based at
Los Angeles Valley College who co-wrote a paper, Why Do We Call the
Holocaust ‘the Holocaust,’ which helped spark the pro-“Shoah” movement.

Garber envisions a day when “Shoah” will be as universal as “Holocaust” is
today. “Give it a quarter of a century,” he says.

To which others say: Be realistic.

“With all due respect, it’s not going to happen,” says Berenbaum, who helped
found the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

It’s not that Berenbaum and others don’t recognize the problems with
“Holocaust.” It’s that it’s simply too late to alter the linguistic
landscape, they say.

Consider all the “Holocaust” institutions and groups already in existence,
including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and countless state and
regional Holocaust museums. Even Alan Berger, a leading Jewish scholar at
Florida Atlantic University who says he’s troubled by the term, occupies a
chair in — what else? — “Holocaust studies.”

In other words, there may be too many nameplates to change.

Imperfect but understood
“‘Holocaust’ has been the accepted word,” says Rabbi Alan Sherman, community
chaplain with the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. “It’s not perfect,
but when it’s used everyone knows what it refers to, which is the important

That’s a point echoed by survivor Salton, who wrote a book, The 23rd Psalm,
about his experience in the concentration camps. “If somebody opened a
‘Shoah’ museum, it wouldn’t be understood,” he says.

And Rositta Kenigsberg, who heads the North Miami Beach-based Holocaust
Documentation and Education Center and is leading the effort to establish a
South Florida Holocaust museum, goes one step further: If the Jewish
community gets too caught up in this linguistic fracas, they risk losing
sight of the real issue — the memory and lessons of the event itself.

“I think we’re making more of this than there should be,” she says.

But as far as Rabbi Goldstein is concerned, “when you continue to make a
mistake, you compound the problem from that mistake.”

“To continue using the word ‘Holocaust,’ we let stand those who want to see
it as a punishment for the Jews,” Goldstein says. “When we take away the
burnt offering concept, we’re left with man’s inhumanity to man.”

Still, others say the “burnt offering” religious concept isn’t necessarily
the correct interpretation. True, “holocaust” appears in the Greek
translation of the Old Testament (or, as some now prefer to call it, the
Hebrew scriptures). But “holocaust” was also employed before that to denote
pagan sacrifices, removing it from the Judeo-Christian framework, researcher
Jon Petrie has noted.

And in the 20th century, “holocaust” took on variety of meanings before it
became forever wedded to the crimes of the Nazi era. Often, it simply
signified a great fire. In his writings, Petrie goes so far as to quote a
1940 advertisement in the pre-state of Israel Palestine Post for a show by
one Mandrake the Magician, promising “a flaming holocaust of thrills.”

Right word may not exist
In the early years of the Cold War, “holocaust” was far more likely to be
used in conjunction with the threat of nuclear disaster. Petrie has argued
that it was such usage that prompted Jewish writers, including Wiesel, to
co-opt the term when referring to Hitler’s dreaded “Final Solution.”

“American Jewish writers probably abandoned such words as ‘disaster,’
‘catastrophe’ and ‘massacre’ in favor of ‘holocaust’ in the 1960s because
‘holocaust,’ with its evocation of the then actively feared nuclear mass
death, effectively conveyed something of the horror of the Jewish experience
during World War II.”

For his part, Wiesel says he used the word for its poetic effect. And while
he says he was fully aware of the connection with religious sacrifice, he
thought of it more in metaphysical terms. “This might have been a huge
cosmic burnt offering,” he says.

In any case, by the ’70s, “Holocaust” fully entered into the American
lexicon, especially after a TV miniseries of the same name drew 120 million
viewers. In the same year, President Jimmy Carter established a Commission
on the Holocaust, which led to the creation of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial

In the end, Wiesel says, we may have to accept that when talking about death
on such a massive scale, words ultimately fail us. He recognizes the issues
surrounding “Holocaust,” but he says that “Shoah” isn’t a perfect fit,
either, noting the word was in use before the death camps. (It was often
employed in reference to the feared demise of Europe’s Jewish population.)

So how does Wiesel speak of the unspeakable? He thinks back to the most
infamous of the camps.

“I use the word, ‘Auschwitz,’ ” Wiesel says. “It is something singular
and specific.”

EUCOM leaders meet with Black Sea officials

EUCOM leaders meet with Black Sea officials

Stars and Stripes (European edition)
Sunday, April 18, 2004

By Ward Sanderson

Officials from several Black Sea nations met with military leaders at
U.S. European Command headquarters Friday as part of an annual defense
brain trust tour.

They discussed their region, America’s role there and the weave of
treaties and security agreements the United States maintains with
countries whose coasts are lapped by the Black Sea.

The program – sponsored by Harvard University and paid for by the
Carnegie Foundation and the Defense Department – brought together some
30 generals,
diplomats, intelligence experts and scholars from Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.

Despite tensions in the region, participants in the annual Black Sea
Security Program typically don’t hash out their differences right then
and there, though officials admit regional conflicts do tweak
perspectives. Nonetheless, the sessions tend to be more an academic
series of briefings than debates.

“This isn’t the forum where anyone is going to air any dirty laundry,”
said Air Force Capt. Sarah Kerwin, spokeswoman for the U.S. headquarters
in Stuttgart, Germany.

The program visited the headquarters for the first time last year.

“Obviously it went well, because they’re here again,” Kerwin said.

According to Harvard, the group visited Bulgaria’s capital of Sofia
earlier in the week and was to fly to Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
There, they will speak with security specialists from the Pentagon,
Congress and the National Security Council.

In Stuttgart, the entourage listened to briefings on just what the
European Command is and does. Some tend toward astonishment at the sorts
of programs in which the United States is engaged in their countries,
such as humanitarian demining.

“They are not necessarily the same individuals we have regular contact
with,” said Army Lt. Col. Rosemarie Warner, the headquarters’ branch
chief for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. “Oftentimes, the programs even
come as a surprise to them.”

Relations between the Black Sea players and the United States have been
boosted by a heavy American effort to develop and modernize the
militaries there since the Berlin Wall fell.

“We have a good relationship with all of these countries,” Warner said,
“and I think they see EUCOM as a major player in the region and a
representative of the United States.”

The tweedy university feel of the program doesn’t preclude politics

“We try to be very clear about the types of activities that we do in the
region and in our overall focus we have a couple of things that are
primary, and one of them is the war on terror,” Warner said. “We’re
trying to get everyone in the region together to have the same focus.”

The other big issue is the broad topic of security cooperation among the
Black Sea neighbors and the United States. The American headquarters
would prefer that all the players plug into the same sort of security
cooperation framework. The Harvard visit could help, U.S. officials hope.

“It encourages open dialog where they can talk to one another,” said
Navy Cmdr. Denise Newell, EUCOM’s Russia desk officer.

Cooperation can take work in the ancient neighborhood: Armenia and
Azerbaijan still are trying to stitch the wounds of an ethnically
charged territorial war during the 1990s. Moldova grapples with
separatists in Transnistria. The new Georgian government faces tension
with Russia over semi-autonomous regions with strong ties to Moscow.
Turkey and Greece long have stared at one another across the Aegean,
both distrustful of the other over the final status of disputed Cyprus.

Warner said these broilers affect participants’ views but are largely
shelved for the sake of exchange.

“For the most part, it’s a very jovial, congenial group of folks.”

Confession Extracted

A1 Plus | 20:08:29 | 19-04-2004 | Politics |


Edgar Arakelyan, a young man from Armenian town of Lusakert, who
participated in the peaceful demonstration the last week Monday and resisted
police’s ominous assault on innocent demonstrators by throwing a plastic
bottle at armed policeman, as it was shown on Armenian state-owned H1 TV, is
charged with one count of seizing power by force.

Procecutor’s Office says he has already pleaded guilty.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Retarded Reaction to Past Week Incident

A1 Plus | 19:46:47 | 19-04-2004 | Politics |


Defense of Liberated Territories organization issued a statement condemning
violence committed by the police against peaceful marchers saying those
having beaten their compatriots, women and the elderly can’t be considered
men and Armenians.

“We’d like to pay special attention to the fact of harassment of disabled
Artak Zaynalyan and former defense minister General-Lieutenant Vagharshak
Harutyunyan. We are convinced all those responsible for the action as well
as direct perpetrators won’t remain unpunished”, the statement says.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Vardan Oskanyan Speaking on Political Situation in Armenia

A1 Plus | 21:34:19 | 19-04-2004 | Politics |


Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan, speaking at a news conference on
Monday, said the opposition had a right to stage rallies. At the same time,
he says the right is not in force if the opposition activity contradicts
Armenian Constitution and the law.

It means if people are unhappy about the president’s work, they can do
little but let him hang on until his presidential term expires.

“There can’t be any change in our attitude toward political situation in the
republic, our stance is grounded on national interests”, Oskanyan said.
However, our home situation can prompt something to our foreign opponents:
they may take more uncompromising stance on certain issues.

Yerevan Municipality to Crack Down on Illegal Construction

A1 Plus | 14:02:24 | 19-04-2004 | Social |


On Monday, Yerevan’s Architect General Narek Sargssyan, speaking at a news
conference, said Ancient Rome, the restaurant complex built in the center of
Armenian capital, was illegal construction.

He said Yerevan’s municipality intended to impose fines on all illegal
constructions or destroy them.

Sargssyan says the government’s second building and House of Artists’ Union
and Sevan hotel construction is under way now.

He also said pedestrian subways would be built in Baghramyan Avenue soon.

News From Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese

Contact; Deacon Hagop Arslanian, Assistant to the Primate
615 Stuart Avenue, Outremont Quebec H2V 3H2
Tel; 514-276-9479, Fax; 514-276-9960
Email; [email protected]


A) Bishop Bagrat Galstanian attended an Interfaith luncheon hosted by
His Eminence Abp Joseph Khoury

On Wednesday, April 14, 2004 His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian,
Primate of the Armenian Church Canadian Diocese attended an interfaith
luncheon hosted by the Primate and the Archbishop of the Maronite
Church of Canada His Eminence Joseph Khoury. During the cordial
reception, discussions focused on ecumenical relations, the role of
Christian Churches in Canada, Interfaith Dialogues as well as the
current situation in the Middle East.

In his word, Bishop Galstanian conveyed the greetings of the
Catholicos of All Armenians His Holiness Karekin II and thanked the
Maronite Primate for the “warm reception”, he highly appreciated
Abp. Khoury’s efforts in “bringing spiritual brothers
together”. Bishop Galstanian also emphasized the necessity and
importance of Interfaith and multicultural Dialogue in today’s
World. His Eminence expressed his gratitude and invited the religious
leaders to visit the Diocesan headquarter for a similar
meetings. Accompanying the Primate were the Vicar General Very Rev Fr
Ararat Kaltakjian and Deacon Hagop Arslanian, Assistant to the

B) Armenian Art Exhibition visits Vancouver, British Columbia

It was with great pride and anticipation that three parishes of The
Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese, under the auspices of
His Grace Bishop Bagrad Galstanyan, had the honour to host exhibitions
in their respective parishes during the month of April from the 1st to
the 22nd.

Mrs. Hasmik Ginoyan and Mr. Karen Matevosyan from the “Momik Cultural
Centre and Armenian Art Magazine” arrived in Vancouver on the 8th
along with a vast collection of art, both paintings and artifacts. The
exhibition was arranged in a small boutique gallery in downtown
Vancouver for showing all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The
exhibit was a great success both from the artistic point of view and
financially, when one considers the size of the Vancouver Armenian
Community of approximately 2,000.

The Pastor and Parish Council wish to thank Mr. Arto Tavukciyan a
member of St. Vartan parish council who organized the rental of the
hall and publicity in the media both print and audio. We also wish to
thank Mrs. Araxie Evrensel for her tireless effort in running the
exhibition and Mr. Hagop Evrensel who supplied the refreshments for
the closing of the exposition Sunday evening. The total sale for
Vancouver was almost $15,000, which will help support the continuation
of the work Mrs. Hasmik Ginoyan and Mr. Karen Matevosyan are doing to
promote and financially support The Art Centre and Armenian Art
Magazine in Yerevan, Armenia.

C) Holy Week Celebrations in the St. Gregory Armenian Cathedral of

As in all Armenian Holy Apostolic Churches around the world, the
St. Gregory Illuminator Armenian Cathedral of Montreal was the site of
traditional and symbolic ceremonies of the Holy Week preceding Easter.

On Maundy Thursday Rev. Fr. Vazken Boyadjian, pastor of the church,
celebrated the Divine Liturgy in commemoration of the Last Supper of
Christ. Hundreds of faithful received the Holy Communion. H.E. Bishop
Bagrat Galstanian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of
Canada, explained the sacrament of communion of receiving God by
taking part in the Last Supper of Christ. Following the Liturgy, a
reception was held in the Marie Manoogian Hall by the Committee of

At 7 pm traditional ceremonies of “washing the feet” was held. The
primate knelt before the Altar and symbolically washed the feet of 12
individuals, including chairmen of the community’s cultural
associations, the clergy and deacons serving the church, as a sign of
humility and service. In his sermon Bishop Galstanian related the
Lord’s message of love, devotion and servitude towards humanity. A
Lent meal that excludes all animal food products was then served to
the faithful.

Ceremonies were resumed dedicated to Christ’s betrayal, torture and
crucifixion. Readings from the Bible and hymns relating the events
were carried on till midnight. Rev. Fr. Hayrik Hovannisian, who had
recently arrived from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, presided the

In the evening of Good Friday the ceremonies symbolizing Christ’s
burial were conducted as four youth carried the flower laden Tomb of
Christ to four corners of the church, while the faithful eagerly
traversed under the Tomb to be blessed. The Primate talked briefly
about the meanings and the messages of this traditional service of
Good Friday.

At 5 pm on Holy Saturday, deacons and students from AGBU Armen-Quebec
Alex Manoogian School presented passages from the Old Testament,
before the Altar’s curtains opened for the celebration of the Divine
Liturgy by Fr. Vazken Boyadjian and the declaration of Christ’s
Resurrection. Rev. Fr. Boyadjian, thanked the children of the
Armenian school for their authentic readings and read the Easter
Message of HH Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. Following the
ceremonies, the faithful were led by a procession of the clergy, the
deacons and the choir to the church’s hall where the traditional
service of “Blessing of Homes” (Dnorhnek) was held.

D) Easter Celebrations in the Canadian Diocese

The feast of Our Lord’s glorious Resurrection was celebrated in all of
the churches of the Canadian Armenian Church Diocese from Montreal to
Toronto and Vancouver. His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate
through weekly telephone communication with all pastors of the Diocese
was informed that Holy Week and the Feast of Resurrection of our Lord
Jesus Christ was celebrated with appropriate Holy Liturgy and Blessing
of Water in presence of thousands of our faithful all across
Canada. Bishop Galstanian commended the pastors’ dedicated services to
their parishes and wished them to continue their missions with renewed

Over one and half thousand faithful attended Easter Liturgy held in
St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral of Montreal, where His Eminence
Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Primate of the Diocese, celebrated the
Divine Liturgy, assisted by Rev. Fr. Hayrig Hovhannisian and
Rev. Fr. Vazgen Boyadjian (Pastor of St. Gregory the
Illuminator). “Gomidas” choir of the Cathedral was conducted by
Mr. Ara Toshigian, accompanied by Mr. Arto Muhendissian on the
organ. Serving on the altar were the deacons and the sub-deacons of
the church.

According to an ancient Christian tradition when the faithful brought
their Easter food to be blessed, during the Holy Mass a procession of
children carrying food baskets and their blessing was held. In his
sermon the Primate exalted the Lord’s glorious Resurrection and said,
“2004 years have transpired since then, and faced with the luminous
feast of Resurrection once again, we should ask ourselves, what has
changed in us and what significance does the Resurrection of Jesus
have for us?. This is not only a feast but the feast of feats, for it
brings us light, hope, victory, and confidence. That is our God is
living God and He has concurred the world so we may do”. On behalf of
Canadian Armenians the Primate expressed love and faithfulness to His
Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and prayed that God
keeps Motherland Armenia safe, in a state of brotherly love,
solidarity and prosperity.

Following the Holy Liturgy a reception was held in the Diocesan hall
for exchanges of Easter felicitations and to receive from the Primate,
for the first time this year, the blessed bread (Neshkhar) to be taken
home by the faithful.

An Easter luncheon was then served in the Marie Manoogian hall, where
following the invocation, Rev. Fr. Vazken Boyadjian, Pastor, welcomed
the faithful and expressed good wishes of success to the Primate on
the occasion of the Holy Resurrection. A brief cultural program was
staged by the newly formed children’s choir of the church conducted by
Varoujan Markarian. Miss Nayiri Tankarian played Aram Khatchaturian’s
Tokkata on the piano with a tremendous gusto, that prompted Mr. and
Mrs. Meguerditch and Shake Malkhassian to donate 500 dollars towards
the purchase of a new piano.

In his concluding remarks the Primate expressed appreciation to the
pastor, the Parish Council, the children’s choir and Nairy Tankarian
as well to Mr. and Mrs. Malkhassian for a heart rendering communal
celebration of Easter. That was a truly and deeply spiritual joyous
day to remember for a long time.

E) Holy Easter Liturgies in North Western Communities and Ottawa

Upon the directive and with the blessing of His Eminence Bishop Bagrat
Galstanian, Primate of the Canadian Armenian Diocese, Very Reverend Fr
Ararat Kaltakjian visited the North Western communities of the
Armenian Church Canadian Diocese.

Very Rev Fr Ararat celebrated Divine Liturgy in Winnipeg on 15th April
and in Edmonton on the 16th, Calgary on the 17th and Yellowknife on
the 18th of April.

On Sunday April 18, 2004 on the occasion of Holy Resurrection of our
Lord Jesus Christ Rev Fr Hayrik Hovhannisian officiated the Divine
Liturgy at Ottawa’s St Mesrob Armenian Church. The Mission Choir,
recently founded by the Primate, accompanied Rev Fr Hayrik


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Eastern Prelacy: Musical Armenia Performs To Sold-Out Audience

Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
138 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7810
Fax: 212-689-7168
e-mail: [email protected]
Contact: Iris Papazian

April 19, 2004

Musical Armenia Artists
Perform to sold-out Audience

NEW YORK, NY-The twenty-first Musical Armenia Concert took place in front of
an enthusiastic and sold-out audience at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
on Sunday afternoon, March 28, 2004. This year’s concert featured the
outstanding talents of the pianist Karine Poghosyan and the cellist Ani
Kalayjian. Ms. Kalayjian was accompanied by the gifted pianist Barbara
The Musical Armenia concert series was established in 1982 by the
Armenian Prelacy and the Prelacy Ladies Guild, under the leadership of the
late Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, who passed away suddenly in December 2003.
Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, the Ladies Guild, and the Musical Armenia
Committee dedicated this year’s concert to Archbishop Mesrob’s memory, in
recognition of the many cultural programs that he conceived, and for his
dedication to Armenian culture and to young artists. Archbishop Mesrob was
very proud of the Musical Armenia program’s longevity and of the consistent
virtuosity of its artists.
Karine Poghosyan led off the concert with a spirited performance of
Beethoven’s Sonata No. 27. She followed that work with two short pieces by
Arno Babajanian, “Elegie” and “Dance of Vagarshapat.” The audience responded
warmly as Ms. Poghosyan captured the emotional depth of these two familiar
Armenian compositions. Her section of the program concluded with the Sonata
No. 2 by Rachmaninoff, which gave her the opportunity to showcase her
technical command and her interpretive approach to the Romantic repertoire.
Ani Kalayjian, accompanied by Barbara Podgurski, led off the second half
of the concert with a confident performance of Robert Schumann’s lyrical
“Stucke im Volkston.” They continued with two Armenian compositions, a
charming “Impromptu” by Aram Arutunian and the familiar “Krunk” by Komitas.
The communication between the performers was apparent in their command of
these pieces. The concert concluded with the Sonata No. 2 by the Czech
composer Bohuslav Martinu, a challenging composition that the performers
addressed with clarity and enthusiasm. Their efforts generated a strong
audience reaction. The three artists appeared together on stage at the end
of the concert and were once more saluted for their excellence.
Twenty-three-year-old Karine Poghosyan was born in Yerevan and began her
musical instruction at the Yerevan School of Fine Arts. Her studies at the
School culminated with a concert performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto
No. 1. She graduated with distinction in 1994 and entered the Romanos
Melikian Musical College to began studies with the renowned Vatche Umrshat.
In 1998, she graduated with high honors from the Melikian College and, that
same year, was awarded Second Prize (no First Prize was earned) at the Arno
Babajanian Second State Piano Competition. At that competition, Ms.
Poghosyan also received special recognition for “Best Concert Etude.”
Ms. Poghosyan relocated to the United States in October 1998 and, in
1999, began the bachelor of music program at California State University,
Northridge under Françoise Regnat. During her studies, she won the CSUN
Symphony Concerto Competition, was a semifinalist in the Hilton Head
International Piano Competition, received scholarship awards from the
Glendale Symphony Orchestra and the Etude Music Club, and, in October 2000,
performed the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 with the CSUN Symphony Orchestra.
In 2001, Ms. Poghosyan won the New West Symphony Discovery Artist
competition and auditions for the Beverly Hills “Sundays at Two” Recital
Series, received the Jakob and Bronislaw Gimpel Memorial Award, and was
awarded a scholarship from the National Academy of Recording Arts and
Sciences. That same year, Ms. Poghosyan performed in the “Sundays at Two”
series in Beverly Hills, “Sundays at Two Previews” at Manhattan Beach, as
well as at a commemorative concert in recognition of September 11th tragedy.
In November 2002, she won Fourth Prize at the Los Angeles International
Liszt Piano Competition. Her 2003 performances included the Los Angeles
Liszt Competition “Winners’ Concert” at the Nixon Library, and the
International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City. In fall
2003, Ms. Poghosyan moved to New York City as a scholarship student in the
masters program at the Manhattan School of Music, under the direction of
Arkady Aronov.
Cellist Ani Kalayjian has appeared in concert both as a soloist and
chamber musician in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Her recent
performances include appearances at Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, St.
Paul’s Chapel, Scandinavia House, and at Casalmaggiore and Mantova in Italy.
In April 2003, Ms. Kalayjian made her debut at Columbia University’s Miller
Theatre, where she performed the Saint-Saens cello concerto. She was also
selected to participate in Michael Tilson Thomas’ Aaron Copland workshop at
Carnegie Hall where she performed at Zankel and Weill Recital Halls in
November 2003.
Ms. Kalayjian is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, where she
was a student of Timothy Eddy. She has also studied with Orlando Cole, Aldo
Parisot, and Eleonore Schoenfeld, and has participated in master classes
with Steven Isserlis, Peter Wiley and other notable artists. In addition,
Ms. Kalayjian has studied chamber music with Pamela Frank, Carter Brey,
Colin Carr, Ida Kavafian, Michael Tree, Isidore Cohen, Laurence Lesser,
Jeffrey Kahane, Gilbert Kalish, and the Orion and Emerson string quartets.
Her festival appearances include concerts at Banff, Sarasota, International
Musician’s Seminar at Prussia Cove, Encore, Brevard, Oberlin at
Casalmaggiore, Quartet Program, Music at Menlo, and the New York String
Seminar. At Prussia Cove, she was featured in a BBC documentary playing in a
master class with Steven Isserlis. Currently, Ms. Kalayjian is pursuing her
masters degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester,
England, where she is a student of Ralph Kirshbaum.
New York native Barbara Podgurski holds a bachelor of music degree in
piano performance and a master of music degree in both piano performance and
theory from the Mannes College of Music. Her performance work has included
instruction with Martin Canin, Thomas Sauer and Fiorella Canin, and she has
studied music theory with Robert Cuckson and Carl Schachter.
Ms. Podgurski has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the
United States, Canada, and Europe. She has been featured in numerous
television and radio broadcasts, including a number of recent appearances on
WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase and on WNYC’s “Soundcheck.” Her collaborators
include Seymour Lipkin, Jacob Lateiner, Steven Isserlis, Pamela Frank, and
members of the Orion, Borromeo, and Brentano String Quartets. Ms. Podgurski’
s festival appearances include the Banff Arts Festival, Bowdoin Summer Music
Festival, and the Academie Franco-Americaine in Provence.
Ms. Podgurski has performed as soloist and collaborative pianist at Merkin
Hall, Steinway Hall, the Caramoor Center for the Arts, and at Yale
University. She is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music, the Music
Conservatory of Westchester, and the Point Counterpoint Summer Chamber Music
Festival. Ms. Podgurski is currently in the DMA program at The CUNY Graduate
Center, where she is pursuing her studies with Martin Canin.
The Armenian Prelacy extends its thanks to Musical Armenia’s many
friends for their continued support of the program. Young artists with an
interest in being considered for future concerts in the series are
encouraged to contact the Prelacy.