YEREVAN — The Knights of Vartan Inc., currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, has extended its base of operations in the United States to Yerevan, Armenia by opening its Communications Office in Yerevan on September 19, 2016, in a newly renovated office in the Tigran Metz Publishing building in central Yerevan.
Established in Philadelphia in 1916, during the Armenian Genocide, the Knights of Vartan in July of this year declared “Veradardz Hayrenik” (“Back to the Homeland”) as the focus of its 2nd century of service.
Knights of Vartan Grand Commander Steven Kradjian, accompanied by Daughters of Vartan Grand Matron Sona Manuelian, led a delegation of 31 members of the Knights to Armenia, representing a majority of the lodges in North America, and 12 members of the Daughters of Vartan, to launch the Knights of Vartan Communications Office and conduct site visits to partners in service to the people of Armenia.
The Communications Office in Tigran Metz will be staffed by a full-time Knights of Vartan Liaison, who will manage in-country communications on multiple media platforms, reporting to Grand Commander Kradjian. The Liaison in the Communications Office will facilitate and monitor collaborations of the Knights with its partners, manage Knights of Vartan publications, and will facilitate program planning and supervise implementation. Formal policies and written procedures enable the Communications Office to maintain continuity throughout the initial 5-year term, with up to three extension options as authorized by the Knights of Vartan supreme body in July 2016.
When Grand Commander Kradjian visited Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II in October 2015 at Holy Etchmiadzin to present a commissioned painting commemorating the Centennial of the Sainted Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, the Knights of Vartan was contacted by the office of Hon. Hranush Hakobyan, Minister to the Diaspora, who invited the Knights national leadership to make an official visit to the Ministry. At that official visit on October 2, 2015, Hakobyan encouraged that in its Centennial year, the Knights of Vartan should convene a meeting in Yerevan and increase its presence in Armenia. Kradjian pledged to the Catholicos and to Hakobyan that the Knights would return to Armenia in 2016 to convene a special meeting during its 100th anniversary year.
On July 9, 2016, the Knights of Vartan supreme body delivered and funded a mandate to establish the Knights of Vartan Communications Office and a permanent presence in Yerevan.