By Kevork Keushkerian
LOS ANGELES — Editor, author, educator and community activist Vatche Semerdjian received the St. Sahag-St. Mesrob Medal bestowed upon him with an Encyclical by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of all the Armenians.
Vatche Semerdjian was honored for dedicating more than 50 years of his life to the service of the Armenian communities in Lebanon, Cyprus, Ethiopia, England and the United States of America.
The ceremony began on Sunday morning, April 7, at the St. Leon Cathedral in Burbank. During the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, decorated his chest with the medal, after the reading of the Encyclical. He then praised the recipient for a life long dedication to the Armenian community.
The Primate compared Semerdjian to the moon, which captures the light from the sun and reflects it onto the earth at night. Metaphorically, he continued, Semerdjian uses his God-given talents to the service of his community. In that way, the Primate added, he is a good role model not only for his immediate family, but for the entire community.
After the church services, Semerdjian’s family, friends and colleagues were invited to the Phoenicia Restaurant in Glendale. Parsegh Kartalian served as the Master of Ceremonies. He first invited Rev. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian to bless the food. Present were Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, the former Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, Very Rev. Baret Yeretsian, Edmond Y. Azadian from Detroit, Hagop Vartivarian from New Jersey and Frank Quintero, the mayor of Glendale, who gave the honoree a commendation from the City of Glendale.