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National Assembly of Wales hosts exhibition titled "The Genocide of Armenian Culture" by Vardan Levoni Tadevosyan.

 

This exhibition involving the cultural impact of genocide of the Armenians though neglect and wilful destruction was the first held in a government building of such prominence. It covered both the period of the physical massacres and deportation, the aftermath up to the end of the last century as well as the obliteration of a medieval graveyard in Nakhichevan as late as 2007, erasing any evidence of the rich Armenian heritage in that area.

A 16 page booklet on the exhibition has been handed to every assembly member.
(email the above address for an electronic copy) 


Over the five days there was huge sustained interest from the public.
 
Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly when interviewed on the Welsh-language religious programme BBC Radio Cymru, was asked "Is this art or is it propaganda? To which he replied that it was important to show the exhibition, and while a supporter of Turkey EU membership, it showed that there is a requirement for Turkey to face up to European human rights and political issues. 


Mr. Dai Lloyd Assembly Member - " One of the most professional exhibitions we have hosted"
 
Martin Shipton of Western Mail  
"The exhibition is the first of its kind to be held at any legislature in the world, and is being hailed by the Armenian diaspora as a major step forward in their campaign to get international recognition for the genocide claim. However, many Turks bitterly resent the suggestion"

 

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/09/25/security-tightened-at-senedd-for-armenian-exhibition-91466-27338824/#ixzz10cnp5YCS

 

On the opening day 25th Sept. Very Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Great Britain & Canon Patrick Thomas from St David's visited the exhibition after Badarak (Mass) at Ararat Baptist Church in Cardiff.  Accompanying him were Father Shnork, the St Yegishe Armenian Church Choir with the three deacons who assisted in the service.

 

We were also honoured by a visit from the Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan without whose support in 2007 we could not have errected the Armenian Genocide Memorial the only one

in the UK on public land. 

 

 

This exhibition was supported by:

Wales Armenian Friendship Society

Wales Armenian Solidarity

Armenian Legal Initiative

Launch of the Book by Canon Patrick Thomas

 
 

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9TH MAY 2014 - CAERNARFON, GWYNEDD TOWN HALL

The Plac Armenia is a message of thanks for the vote taken by the council in recognising the Armenian genocide

Prompted by Eilian Williams on the 5th March 2004 under the direction of the then Chairman Mr. Wynne Jones & later Mr. RH Williams took the unprecedented decision to put the
issue of the recognition to the vote in the Council Chamber.

The vote was carried unanimously and Gwynedd became the first Council in the UK to have voted for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

On March 30 th 2012 Eilian Williams, Ara Margarian and myself went to see the the Council members to see how we could further the relations between Armenia and Gwynedd.

A memorial was proposed to commemorate this historic decision and I am very pleased to say that two years on we have been granted permission to put the Plac Armenia in the
Gwynedd Council Offices

We met both with Alun Fred Jones (former Culture Minister in the Welsh Government) who was a local Assembly member and the former Chairman Mr. Wynne Jones.

We thanked Mr. Wynne Jones not only for the initiative of 2004 but also for the signing the (then current) Statement of Opinion in recognition the Armenian Genocide

Pilgrimage to Ireland

 

 

Bellow you can view the video's of the recent pilgrimage to Dublin by members of the Mission Parish Cardiff accompanied by Canon Patrick and Fr Garegin.

 

The services were both in English (Canon Roberts) and Armenian Fr. Garekin (which included hymns and prayers for the victims of the genocide) 

 

Without the support and encouragement and inspiration of our Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian and Fr. Garegin this landmark event would not have been possible.

 

 

You will find a link to a Sermon bellow by Canon Patrick.

 

I would urge you all to take the time and listen to the Sermon.

 

The Sermon that was actually read out in two separate Church of Ireland Church's on the day. It was aimed at the Irish congregation.

 

Rarely have I know Sermons that can move both the Irish & Armenian communities.

 

This Sermon has changed the perception of the Armenian's & the struggle for the recognition of the genocide in the Republic of Ireland.

 

We are eternally in debt to Canon Patrick not just for the Sermon but also for his meetings with Archbishop Michael Jackson and Canon Warren Roberts the evening before.

 

Due to the love of Armenia and the Armenian people that Canon Patrick has he has made this joint service in to a LANDMARK.

 

At Taney Church after the reception I could not count the numbers that came to talk to us who had said they were oblivious to our history.

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtxklC8sP8A

Commemoration of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocoide

April 2015

Western Mail & Echo 

A boy pauses in front of a wall-sized poster in Yerevan, Armenia, depicting the faces of 90 survivors of the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire

Perhaps it’s not so strange that the Turkish Government is so reluctant to describe what happened on its territory 100 years ago as genocide.

After all, there remain plenty of people who to this day deny the Jewish Holocaust during World War Two, despite the overwhelming evidence that it happened.

And it’s no surprise that Hitler himself said weeks before the outbreak of war in 1939: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

In his new book – the second he has written about Armenia – Canon Patrick Thomas, the Vicar of Carmarthen, clearly sets out the facts of what happened to the Armenian community in Turkey in 1915.

Earlier this month Pope Francis acknowledged the killing of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide, but despite promising to do so during his presidency, Barack Obama will not do so for fear up upsetting Turkey at a time of continuing tension in the Middle East.

Using a huge amount of source material, Dr Thomas tells the often gruesome story of how a whole community was targeted for extermination by those who took control of Turkey as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

What had been a multicultural society where people of different faiths lived harmoniously together was turned within a short space of time into one where a significant ethnic minority was seen as fair game for slaughter.

Brutal torture

In his book, Dr Thomas writes: “April 24, 1915 is remembered as the date on which the genocide began to be implemented.

The Armenian community in Constantinople was effectively “beheaded” by the sudden arrest of its cultural, political and intellectual leaders, who were deported into the interior.

Only a tiny handful of them survived.

In many other centres leading Armenians were rounded up, brutally tortured and killed.

“A ‘special organisation’ of criminals (including many convicted murderers) had been recruited from the prisons.

"They were sent to the provinces to enforce the deportation of Armenians, with the assistance of Kurdish irregulars.

"In the Armenian heartland these deportations usually followed a set pattern.

"The remaining men would be rounded up, taken away and massacred.

Ashes sifted

"The women and children were sent on death marches towards the Syrian desert. Many were gang-raped, some were abducted or trafficked, while others were left to die of exhaustion or starvation at the side of the road.

“Pregnant women had the babies ripped from their wombs.

"Those suspected of swallowing gold coins were sometimes set on fire.

"Their ashes were later sifted by those looking for loot.

RELATED: Wales' Armenians are still campaigning for recognition of the genocide suffered by their people in 1915

"In Trebizond boatloads of Armenians were taken out and drowned in the Black Sea. Few survived the death marches.

"A later phase was of deportation by rail of Armenians from western Turkey, crammed into cattle trucks. Insanitary transit camps were set up, where many perished from disease.

"Those who reached the concentration camps in northern Syria were later brutally eliminated.

'Overwhelming' evidence

"In a few places Armenians refused to hand in their arms and attempted resistance, only to be overwhelmed and slaughtered.

“At Musa Dagh on the Mediterranean coast, however, a courageous band of Armenian villagers held off a Turkish attack during a lengthy siege, and were eventually rescued by French naval vessels.

"The penalty for a Turk found sheltering an Armenian was death by hanging. Nevertheless some Turks and Kurds did take the risk of helping their Armenian neighbours.

"Those brave officials who refused to implement their government’s genocidal plans were almost all either removed or assassinated.”

Dr Thomas asserts that evidence for the Armenian genocide is overwhelming.

It comes from eye-witness accounts by survivors, accounts of the trials of some of the perpetrators that took place immediately after the end of the war, reports by missionaries, diplomats and foreign soldiers and railway officials working alongside the Turks.

Parallels with Jews of Germany

Although attempts were made to ensure that no photographic evidence would survive, horrified observers like the German medical orderly Armin Wegner managed to smuggle out pictures of some of the atrocities.

Perhaps the most damning evidence of all is the fact that those areas of western Turkey which were the homeland of Armenians for thousands of years now form an Armenia without Armenians.

Seeking to explain why Armenians became the object of such hatred, Dr Thomas explains how resentment had developed against their material and professional success.

By the late 18th century a group of wealthy Armenian magnates were regarded as valuable servants of the Sultan. In the century that followed they often fulfilled state functions as financiers, large-scale manufacturers and administrators.

A middle class of Armenian merchants and entrepreneurs developed, not only in the capital, but also in many other urban centres. Armenians became teachers, doctors, dentists and pharmacists.

Armenian artisans played a crucial role in the life of virtually every community. Their increasing prosperity made Armenians the subject of suspicion and envy from some other sections of Ottoman society. The parallels with the Jews of Germany are obvious.

Today 100 candles will be lit in Cardiff in memory of the Armenians who died in their genocide.

Remembering The Armenian Genocide by Patrick Thomas is published by Carreg Gwalch at £8.50

                                                                                                           By Martin Shipton

Unveiling of the Armenian Genocide Memorial St Davids Pembrokeshire

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THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MEMORIAL AT ST DAVIDS CATHEDRAL

 

THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

The present-day Armenian Republic is a land-locked country, bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Azerbaijan. Historic Armenia also included a substantial area of Eastern Turkey. In 301 Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion. Over the centuries Armenians have preserved their faith, their language and its unique alphabet in the face of numerous invasions, deportations, persecutions and massacres. These culminated in a state organised genocide in Turkish Armenia, which began in 1915.  It is estimated that up to a million and a half Armenians died as a result of the brutal actions taken by the Ottoman Turkish government. The victims of the Armenian Genocide were canonized as martyrs by the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in a ceremony at Holy Etchmiadzin in 1915.

THE CHURCH IN WALES AND THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

In 2002 the Welsh Assembly recognised the Armenian Genocide as an undeniable historical fact. Five years later the first public memorial to the victims of the Genocide was unveiled at a ceremony in the garden of the Temple of Peace in Cardiff. Among the speakers was Dr Patrick Thomas, a Canon of St Davids Cathedral with a deep interest in Armenian Christianity, culture and history. During a meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales in 2013, Dr Thomas asked the Bishops if they would be willing to designate 24 April as Armenian Genocide Day. The Bishops agreed and a booklet of prayers in Welsh and English was authorised for use on that day. In gratitude the Welsh Armenian community gave a memorial statue to St Davids Cathedral. It was jointly dedicated by the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Primate of Britain and Ireland and the Bishop of St Davids on 19 December 2015.

THE MEMORIAL

The bronze statue is the work of the highly gifted Cardiff-based Armenian artist Mariam Torosyan. It shows the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ-child, echoing the icons which stand on Armenian altars throughout the world. The Mother and Child have an additional symbolic significance. During the Armenian Genocide the men were usually taken away to be slaughtered, while the women and children were sent on death marches towards the Syrian Desert. The Blessed Virgin Mary therefore becomes the symbol of those courageous Armenian women, while her Child is a reminder of their suffering and traumatized children. The statue also includes the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, the centre of Armenian Christianity. A Victorian traveller compared Holy Etchmiadzin and St Davids as two of the great centres of pilgrimage in Christendom. The memorial to the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, with its inscription in Armenian, Welsh and English, is now a focus for quiet contemplation in the Cathedral cloister. It is also an important reminder that we should continue to pray for the Christians of the Middle East, facing renewed threats and dangers.

 

For further reading: Two books by Patrick Thomas: From Carmarthen to Karabagh: a Welsh discovery of Armenia and Remembering the Armenian Genocide 1915. Both are published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, and are available from the Cathedral bookshop.    

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE FACULTY APPLICATION

The proposed statue is the gift of the Armenian community in Wales to St Davids Cathedral (as the mother church of Wales) in gratitude for the recognition of April 24th as Armenian Genocide Day by the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales. 2015 is the centenary of the Armenian Genocide during which approximately a million and half Turkish Armenians died.

The statue is the work of Mariam Torosyan, a Cardiff-based Armenian artist. It portrays the Virgin Mary and the Christ-child (the subject of the icon traditionally placed on the altar of Armenian churches). During the Armenian Genocide the men were normally separated from their families and killed, while the women and children were sent on death marches towards the Syrian Desert, during which they underwent appalling suffering. The archetypal Mother and Child thus have a particularly appropriate significance as the subject of the memorial. Many Welsh Armenians are descended from the small percentage of women and children who survived the death marches.

The memorial also includes a representation of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, the focus of Armenian Christianity. This is a reminder both that Armenia was the first officially declared Christian nation (in the year 301), and that both Holy Etchmiadzin and St Davids are centres of pilgrimage for their respective peoples (the two were bracketed together by a nineteenth century visitor to Armenia). It also symbolizes the growing friendship and understanding between the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and the Church in Wales, which have been pioneered by the Dean and Chancellor of St Davids Cathedral.

The year of 2016 was also marked by the cooperation between Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable NGO and the Parish Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Wales.

Trusting in the activities of Aleppo CCO, the Parish Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Wales had its own contribution to the “Save a Life” program of the organization. With joint efforts, the Parish Council organized a charitable sale in the city of Cardiff, donating all the proceeds from the sale to the “Save a Life” program of Aleppo CCO.

 

Thanks to their efforts, one more Syrian Armenian family that was in a desperate situation was able to move to Armenia. The Bulbulyan family was relocated from Syria to Armenia ahead of the New Year’s, on December 28, 2016, leaving the zone of insecurity.

Today, the family, which consists of 3 adults and 2 minors, is undertaking its first steps to build a prosperous future in Armenia.

Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable NGO expresses its deepest gratitude to the Parish Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Wales for their trust in the activities of the organization and for giving a vital support to the Syrian Armenian family of Bulbulyans.

Sunrise Service at Llandaff Cathedral

Exhibition Held in Gulbenkian Hall London December 2016

2017 Armenian exhibition in St David's Cathedral

Armenian famous artists

Divine Liturgy Celebrated in Christ Church Carmarthen

Bishop Hovakim Manukyan Celebrates Divine Liturgy in Cardiff

On 15th January, the Primate Bishop Hovakim Manukyan visited Wales and celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Armenian Community in Christ Church, Carmarthen. After the Eucharistic celebration the Primate preached and congratulated the congregation on the occasion of Christmas. He explained the meaning of Christmas and spoke about how it is important that each Christian keeps the commandments of Jesus doing by doing small things with great love.

He then thanked the Anglican pastors of Christ Church in Camarthen who were present during the Liturgy, as well as thanking Canon Patrick Thomas and John Torosyan for the valuable and hard work they have done for the Church and community, describing their exemplary deeds as small but important works carried out with great love.

Canon Patrick Thomas was presented with wooden miniatures of two Armenian monuments in Wales; namely the wooden cross that was used as a prototype for the Armenian stone Khachkar in the Temple of Peace in Cardiff, as well as the statue of Holy Etchmiadzin with the Madonna and Child, the original of which is in St. Davids Cathedral. Both monuments are dedicated to the Armenian Genocide.

At the end of the Liturgy there was a special prayer service for the loving memory of departed members of the community requested by the Torosyan, Garapedian, Ozsvadjian, Shernazian and Silderian families.

The Primate and congregation had a wonderful time after Liturgy, enjoying the hospitality of the community as well as discussing upcoming eve

10th Anniversary of the Cardiff Temple of Peace Memorial Celebrated in St Davids

St. Davids, the monument dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. It is the 3rd monument in the UK public grounds. The monument was erected and dedicated on December 19, 2015. St. Davids is one of the best-known places in Wales and has around 300 thousand annually. They read the inscription on the foot of monument in 3 languages: Welsh, Armenian and English. The brochure explaining the history of the monument is distributed to the visitors. 

This project was possible thanks to the efforts and generosity of John Torosyan, a faithful member of Our Church and ardent advocate of the Armenian cause. Canon Patrick Who is the honorary pastor of Armenians in Wales had a significant role. Mariam Torosyan is the artist who designed it. Thank you all. We will continue to present new and old Armenian traces in the United Kingdom.

Սուրբ Դեւիս, սա Ուելսի ամենահայտնի սրբատեղերից են: Այստեղ յուրաքանչյուր տարի այցելում է շուրջ 300 մարդ: Այս համալիրում է տեղադրված Հայոց Ցեաղսպանության հուշարձան՝ Սուրբ Մարիամ Աստուածածնի եւ Սուրբ Էջմիածնի մանրակերտով: Տակը արձանագրություն կա՝ հայերեն, անգլերեն եւ Ուելշ:

St. Davids, the monument dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. It is the 3rd monument in the UK public grounds. The monument was erected and dedicated on December 19, 2015. St. Davids is one of the best-known places in Wales and has around 300 thousand annually. They read the inscription on the foot of monument in 3 languages: Welsh, Armenian and English. The brochure explaining the history of the monument is distributed to the visitors. 

This project was possible thanks to the efforts and generosity of John Torosyan, a faithful member of Our Church and ardent advocate of the Armenian cause. Canon Patrick Who is the honorary pastor of Armenians in Wales had a significant role. Mariam Torosyan is the artist who designed it. Thank you all. We will continue to present new and old Armenian traces in the United Kingdom.

Սուրբ Դեւիս, սա Ուելսի ամենահայտնի սրբատեղերից են: Այստեղ յուրաքանչյուր տարի այցելում է շուրջ 300 մարդ: Այս համալիրում է տեղադրված Հայոց Ցեաղսպանության հուշարձան՝ Սուրբ Մարիամ Աստուածածնի եւ Սուրբ Էջմիածնի մանրակերտով: Տակը արձանագրություն կա՝ հայերեն, անգլերեն եւ Ուելշ:

Sunday 1st April 2018

 

Our thanks to Canon Patrick who as usual made us feel welcome in Christ Church.

 

In addition our thanks to the parish of Christ Church where our Easter feast began and carried on in Swansea with Melineh and Yuric as our gracious hosts.

 

Thank you all for a wonderful Easter Sunday a most memorable day.

 

 

As we put behind the Joy and hope that Easter brings we must now prepare for the darkest chapter in Armenian History.

 

Genocide remembrance is not just for the one day 24th April. 

 

This year we commence our commemoration on the 22nd April at the Memorial at the Temple of Peace, followed by special 24th April Service in St Davids

and a 3 week exhibition on Armenian Art and Culture in the Senedd commencing 2nd May.

 

Later on in the year we will be at the Cardiff memorial again on Sunday 4th Nov and a further service before the end of the year in St Davids TBC.

 

In between these events we continuously strive to keep the Genocide Remembrance at the forefront of the Welsh/Armenian Cultural agenda.

 

A special announcement. I am delighted to say that my good friend Paul Manook will help lead us with new and novel ideas on genocide remembrance and I look forward to co-operating with him in the coming year.

1st April - Easter Sunday - Christ Church Carmarthen (33-35 Lammas St, Carmarthen SA31 3BD) Service begins 9.15.  (Journey time from Cardiff about 1.0 hour).

Just to confirm we will usual be attending Easter services at Christ Church with Canon Patrick.

As you know Canon Patrick makes us more than welcome.

We would be delighted if you could join us.

22nd April - Remembrance Sunday - Cardiff Temple of Peace - 11.00 AM

Remembrance Sunday as usual we will be holding a flower laying ceremony at the Cardiff memorial followedby Tea/Coffee in the Welsh College of Music & Drama

2nd May - 26th May - Senedd Building (Cardiff Bay) Armenia Art , Church & Culture Exhibition

There will be a display of Armenian Art for about 3 weeks on the mezzanine floor of the main Senedd building.

Paintings by Llinos Thomas, Mariam Torosyan and other Welsh and Armenian artists will be on display as well as books and sculptures.

We seem to be approaching the year end with a flurry of musical events. (See below for latest)

 

To summarise I have listed the diary of future events below that members of the cOmmunity have confirmed they will be attending.

 

SUNDAY Sept 30th - Anoush Hovhannisyan - 3.00 at the Millennium Centre. 

 

FRIDAY Oct. 5th     - Marianna Shirinyan      - 1.15 at RWCMD

 

SUNDAY Oct 7th    - Meeting with Anoush Hovhanissyan - PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW MANY WOULD LIKE TO MEET HER OVER AFTERNOON COFFEE SO I CAN BOOK APPROPRIATE VENUE (15 SO FAR)

 

SUNDAY Nov. 4th -  Flower laying at Memorial followed by Coffee - 11.00 at RWCMD

 

SUNDAY Nov. 4th - Narek Hakhnazaryan - 1.15 at Millennium Centre

 

Speak to Alice or Ani for more information or if you would like to book any tickets in advance. 

 

Regards

 

John

 

 

You may have heard the name Anoush Hovhannisyan (Cardiff Singer of the World) 

 

PLEASE NOTE SHE IS NOT PERFORMING ON EVERY DATE LISTED BELOW SO PLEASE CHECK - BUT DEFINITELY SHE WILL BE THERE ON 30TH.

 

THE TALK BEFORE THE CONCERTS STARTS AT 15.00 - CONCERT AT 16.00!!!!!!!!!

 

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