By Sonig Kradjian
BOCA RATON, Fla. — The founding pastor of the St. David parish, Rev. Dr. Zaven Arzoumanian celebrated the new church edifice and the inauguration of the Mardigian Hall, and dedicated two decades of hard work in organizing the small parish which blossomed in time to become the pride not only of the large parish in Boca Raton with a large number of snowbirds, but also became a magnet for the church dignitaries visiting the Eastern Diocese: Karekin I, Catholicos of all Armenians, Patriarch Shnork Kaloustian, Patriarch Torkom Manoogian, Primate Barkev Mardirosian, and on this occasion, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, the Primate, and Ambassador of Armenia to the United States, Grigor Hovannissian.
A special Banquet committee chaired by philanthropist Marta Batmasian worked tirelessly to prepare the program for the afternoon. Marta was also the M.C. The banquet was held at the Mardigian Hall which was decorated by the hardworking committee members and was not only glowing, but had become a garden of orchids donated by Vartan and Armine Mnatsaganian in memory of their son David. More than 200 guests were in attendance to enjoy the lavish meal and celebrtations.
A booklet for the occasion was prepared by Fr. Paren Galstyan and Marta Batmasian. The booklet included all the Godfathers of the church, the benefactors and supporters, the long list of donors, the long list of individuals who have received recognition for their unique contributions, and the 15 chairpersons of the parish councils. Also included were special messages from the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and Bishop Nareg Berberian, among others religious leaders. The booklet included a special proclamation by Mayor Susan Haynie of Boca Raton.
At the reception, Ani Manvelyan sang the American National Anthem and the children of the Alex and Marie Manoogian School sang the Armenian National Anthem accompanied on the piano by Marieta Mnatsakanian. Kaitlin Kalender recited a special poem to welcome the archbishop.