OTTAWA —Scientist and Canadian and diasporan Armenian community leader, Dr. Arshavir Gundjian C.M. has been invested Member of the Order of Canada, together with a few other prominent Canadian personalities, at an official investiture ceremony held at Rideau Hall, the official residency of the Governor General of Canada Mary Simon, in Ottawa on October 20.
According to the official ceremony citation, “Over the course of fifty years, scientist and social leader Arshavir Gundjian laid the blocks on which today’s Canadian Armenian community continues to build. Relentless in his effort to help newcomers integrate into Quebec’s society while continuing to cherish their unique culture, he spearheaded the creation of the École Alex Manoogian, the Tekeyan Association of Montreal, and the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Canada. Committed to supporting Armenian diaspora communities internationally, he also served as vice president of the Armenian General Benevolent Union for a decade.”
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Order of Canada is “the highest level of distinction in the Canadian Honours System, established on July 1, 1967, the 100th anniversary of Confederation. Any Canadian may be appointed a Member (CM), in recognition of outstanding achievements or exemplary contributions in any sector of Canadian society.”
Appointments to the Order of Canada are made by the governor general of Canada. The recipients of this exceptional honor are nominated only after a long and meticulous process of validation conducted by a special advisory board chaired by the chief justice of Canada, currently, Richard Wagner.
Gundjian, while an inventor, scientist, and McGill University professor in quantum electronics, is well known for his exceptional contributions to Armenian culture, education and pioneering work in the creation of the Canadian community infrastructure. His services have already been recognized over the years by Armenian national organizations that he served with exceptional dedication and ability. He has been named honorary president of the Canadian Armenian Church Diocesan Council, the Montreal Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA), and emeritus Central Board Member of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). Over the years, he has been granted honors at the highest levels by Catholicos of All Armenians Vazken I, at the Mother See of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Echmiadzin, the government of Armenia, and the iconic late Life-President of the AGBU Alex Manoogian. He serves at present as vice president of the Central Board of TCA of the United States and Canada.
The October 20 investiture ceremony, delayed almost three years due to the pandemic, was originally meant to take place right after the nomination in December 2019.