Thursday, 12 February 2015

A BLESSED START

On the first day of our academic year, we started with a visit from Father Norayr Patanian. During the morning visit, he welcomed all the children who had assembled in the school hall and led a special prayer with a blessing for the start of the new school year. Following his address, the students recited the Lord’s Prayer and after receiving his personal blessings moved to their classrooms.

On Monday, we were visited by His Grace Bishop Vardan Navasardyan from Armenia, accompanied by Diocese and Church Council representatives.

Bishop Navasardyan is currently visiting the Australian Armenian community in an official capacity, representing the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin at the Gala Banquet that will be held this evening to honour the Primate of the Diocese, His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian’s 40th anniversary into the holy priesthood. We join with the rest of the community in congratulating the Primate.

Bishop Navasardyan had a close association with our school as the former parish priest of the Church of Holy Resurrection (2005-2008). He was very happy to be back and be updated with the life of the school, including the advancements that have taken place over the last few years in terms of capital works and classroom innovations. Last year, it was through his efforts that our school was able to establish a ‘sister school’ relationship with a school in Armenia. As the current spiritual leader of the Eurnekian School, our ‘sister school’ in Etchmiadzin, we were able to use the opportunity to discuss how the relationship between the two schools can be enhanced for the future benefit of students and staff.



25 YEARS OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

25 years ago, as a result of many years of hard and dedicated work by members of the Armenian
General Benevolent Union Sydney Chapter, AGBU Alexander Primary School opened its doors for the first time to the Armenian community of Sydney. During the initial year, classes were located at Belrose public school, as the school ground was still being built thanks to our beloved benefactors Dr Alex and Mrs Isabelle Alexander. Their vision to preserve the Armenian language, culture and identity was made possible thanks to the support of the AGBU Central Board and the great generosity of its Honorary Life President Mr Alex Manoogian.

Today, as we welcome students for the 25th time, we reflect on our past achievements, successes and challenges and look forward with renewed commitment to our service to the community. Service that has stayed focused on its mission and proudly produced many fine, well rounded and well educated youngsters. It is even more gratifying to see these graduates, now as young adults, are taking an active role in the community. In the true sense of our motto ‘To Grow & Serve’ - they have grown and are ready to serve the larger Australian community as well as being ambassadors for their Armenian heritage.

Over the past quarter of a century AGBU Alexander Primary School has set the foundation in educating future leaders. This is not only evident in the community but also in the current School Board where two of its graduates have already taken leadership and are ready to direct their school to the next generation. With your continued support and dedication, their task and that of the School Board, is to ensure that this magnificent educational institution is able to serve the needs of the Armenian community for the next 25 years.

On behalf of everyone, I would like to wish them the best of success in their endeavours, as we get ready in
Celebrating 25 Years of Academic Excellence!
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This year also marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The first genocide of the 20th Century. The Australian-Armenian community will be holding special events during the year, coordinated by the ‘Armenian Genocide Centenary Commemoration Committee of Australia’. Alexander School will join in the commemoration to honour the fallen martyrs of Armenia and celebrate our triumph as a nation of survivors, by renewing our demands with vigilance towards the full recognition by the international community and by the successor state of the perpetrators, Turkey. As a community and as Armenians, it is our duty to immortalise our fallen brothers and sisters, and achieve justice and recognition to end denial and historical distortion.

30 January, 2015
Manoug Demirjian