The Coordinating Committee of Armenian Social Welfare Organizations organized a New Year and Christmas party for 200 elderly who are abandoned or have no one to take care of them, on January 13, 2011, in the “Yertcho Samouelian Yerakouyn” hall of the Armenian Prelacy.
The event was attended by the heads of the three Armenian Churches and representatives of various community organizations.
The opening speech was made by Maral Harboyan, a member of the regional committee of the Armenian Relief Cross of Lebanon, who wished everyone a Happy New Year.
The program included songs, poetry readings and dance by students from the AGBU Tarouhi Hovagimian School, Armenian Catholic Mesrobian High School, Armenian Evangelical Shamlian Tatigian Secondary School, and Levon and Sofia Hagopian College.
Singer Hratch Gaydzagian, accompanied by Seto Baghdasarian on the keyboard, also entertained the attendees.
Rev. Soghomon Kilaghbian, chairman of the Central Committee of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, said grace before the meal. Then, the parish priest of St. Savior Church, Father Sarkis Tavitian, delivered a speech, urging attendees to love each other in the Christian spirit and remain loyal to their Armenian roots and to their homeland.
Then, the elderly participants had lunch, danced and sang. Santa Claus distributed gifts to everyone. The gifts were offered by the Municipality of Bourj Hammoud.
The event’s closing speech was delivered by the primate of the Diocese of Lebanon, Archbishop Kegham
Khatcherian. He said that the elderly are the treasure of our people. “You have the experience and wisdom that our youth need,” said Archbishop Khatcherian, adding that despite the hardships many of the elderly have been through, they have been able to triumph over all kinds of difficulties. He said: “The new generation should not be overpowered by the difficulties that life brings. It has to overcome them following the example set by you.” He added that the elderly are not alone, as all the organizations of the community work to help them and think about them.
The event ended with a cake-cutting ceremony.