By David Medzorian
LAS VEGAS — The Knights of Vartan’s 101st Grand Convocation and Daughters of Vartan’s 79th Grand Convocation were celebrated with more than 230 members and their families, July 10-13th, at Harrah’s Hotel and Resort.
This year’s Grand Convocation was hosted by Fresno, California’s Yeprad Lodge No. 9 and Alidz Chapter No. 8 with help from other California lodges as well as those from Chicago and Washington D.C. One purpose of the Grand Convocation was for delegates from each Lodge and Chapter to discuss and vote on proposals and measures that will affect the Knights and Daughters of Vartan in the coming year. Another was to install the new leaders of both organizations and pay tribute to the outgoing leadership. The Grand Convocation brought together Knights and Daughters of Vartan from across the country in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.
That spirit began for many on Wednesday, July 10 when past and present leaders of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan met in a series of meetings to discuss topics to be addressed during the next 12 months. While meetings were getting underway, the registration desk was a flurry of activity as the staff led by then Past Commander Steve Adams and his wife Past Matron Salpy Adams, welcomed guests and handed them materials they would need for their meetings.
Thursday morning was a time for workshops for both Knights and Daughters. The Daughters of Vartan heard from Past Matron Dr. Lisa Vartanian from California, who interacted with her fellow Daughters in an inspirational discussion about sisterhood. The Knights of Vartan workshop featured Southeastern Grand District Representative Past Commander Jacob Bournazian, who provided real life examples on how members could become more active participants and better leaders in their respective lodges. During the afternoon, the men and woman came together for a presentation on the plans for the Armenian Genocide Museum to be constructed in Glendale. They came together once again early that evening for a reception hosted by Grand Commander Dr. Gary Zamanigian and Grand Matron Diana Tookmanian.
Both groups got down to work on Friday, July 12, as their respective Business Sessions began at 9 a.m. Delegates representing the attending Lodges discussed and at times debated various proposals before voting on them. During the mid-day break, The Daughters of Vartan hosted a luncheon honoring Tookmanian which gave her the opportunity to thank her fellow Daughters for their dedication and support throughout her two-year term. Luncheon organizers also prepared some fun for their guests in the form of a room sized version of Monopoly which they cleverly named DOVOPOLY.