By Florence Avakian
BAYSIDE, N.Y. — The great American writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, “The purpose of life if to be useful, honorable, compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” This has been, and is the history of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS) during its 45 years. This special anniversary was celebrated with many notable events during 2012, culminating with its 30th commencement exercises on Friday, June 15.
Attending were special guests Ambassador Garen Nazarian and Armenian Foreign Ministry representative Tigran Sarkissian, as well as a number of HMADS current benefactors, including Barbara Peters, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Dadourian, Mr. and Mrs. Noubar Mahdessian, Mr. and Mrs. Vahan Tanal and Mr. and Mrs. Hratch Arukian.
As the parade of teachers and graduates marched into the Holy Martyrs Kalustyan Hall, the overflow crowd of parents, friends and supporters gave them a standing ovation. The dedicated principal of the school since 1987, Zarmine Boghosian, welcomed all present with her well known enthusiasm and beaming smile, and declared, “It takes a whole village to raise a child. This school is a small diamond with 45 years of life, with 240 graduates in these 45 years. We are here, we prospered and our children are talented.”
The five graduates, Shushan Agavian, Vartkes Arakelian, Melissa Ashbahian, Sarkis Galstian and Nicole Mark started the program by singing the American, Armenian and HMADS anthems, after which they presented a series of Armenian and English poems dedicated to the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing, which is also being celebrated this year. These included works by Hagop Meghabard’s first Armenian book published in Venice, Italy in 1512, and poetry written by David Kherdian. The fifth- and sixth-grade students delighted the audience with several Armenian and American songs and recitations.
The HMADS 45th anniversary was emphasized through the creative writings of the graduating class as it paid tribute to the founding fathers of the school — Suren D. Allelemjian, George G. Bashian, Dadour Dadourian, Suren D. Fesjian, Edward Peters, as well as the bene- factor of the HMADS Endowment Fund Irwin Wayne Uran.