On Sunday, March 5, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon.
Following Badarak, Archbishop Anoushavan presided over a luncheon hosted by the Armenian Relief Society’s “Mayr” chapter of New York in celebration of International Women’s Day at Pashalian Hall.
The program focused on the celebration and importance of women in history and in the present. ARS “Mayr” chapter chairperson and MC, Maria Ebrimian, and vice-chairperson, Talene Nigdelian, welcomed guests in Armenian and English respectively. Cindy Ohanian-Aledjian sang the Armenian and American national anthems, followed by the ARS anthem. Archbishop Anoushavan spoke in depth about the importance of Armenian women, wives and mothers. The Prelate presented the “Mayr” Chapter with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Armenian Prelacy.
The program continued with a presentation organized by longtime ARS member Valentine Berberian, titled “Armenian Women: Rights & Role Throughout History.” Four young adults who previously interned at the United Nations through ARS assisted her: Talene Nigdelian (“Armenian Women in Ancient Times”); Nory Boiatchian (“Armenian Women’s Rights before the first Republic of Armenia”); Talar Hovsepian (“Women’s Role in Armenian Traditional Family”), and Arev Ebrimian (“Social Activism and Education”). Mrs. Berberian presented the final chapter, “Armenian Women in Soviet Times.”
The second half of the program included a presentation by ARS member Sossi Boladian, of the National Commission of Lebanese Women, on the importance of gender equality around the world. Afterwards, Cindy Ohanian-Aledjian performed “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady and “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof. The most significant part of the luncheon was the ceremony to honor members who have devoted 25 and more years of service to the ARS “Mayr” Chapter. Both Maria Ebrimian and Margaret Babikian, member of the ARS Eastern Regional, presented plaques to eleven members.
The luncheon concluded with closing remarks by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, an honorary ARS member himself. He praised the “Mayr” chapter for its continued work and dedication, and showed his support towards the organization. All proceeds from this luncheon will be donated to Armenians who have been affected by the deadly earthquakes in Syria.