Under the presidency of His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia for the Armenian Catholics, and with the organization of the Armenian Catholic Schools Principals’ Committee, on Sunday the 1st of April, 2007 at 7:00 pm, in the “Araradian” theatre of the Armenian Catholic Association in Geitawi, Ashrafieh, Sir Harout Sasounian, the President of the United Armenian Fund, was granted the “St. Mesrob Masdots” Patriarchal badge during a special ceremony held for this purpose.
During this ceremony, Armenia’s Ambassador in Lebanon, Sir Vahan Der-Ghevontian , the Consul of Benin , Sir Ara Vanlian, representative of the Holy See of Cilicia , the Very Rev. Father Nareg Alemezian, thr President of the Armenian Evangelical Church, Rev. Kilaghbian, Director of Haigazian University Rev. Paul Haydostian, High Priest of the Patriarchal Clergy Institute of Bzommar , Father Kevork Yeghiayan, the editor-in-chief of “Massis” weekly, Father Antranig Granian, and many religious, educational representatives of the Armenian Commuinty in Lebanon were present.
After the Lebanese and Armenian national anthems, Mrs. Ani Yepremian invited the Directress of St. Hrimpsimiants School, Sister Armine Magarosian who passed on to the audience the message of the Committee by saying that the Armenian School, which is first and foremost in its struggle to preserve Armenians in the diaspora, is always in need of support, protection and motivation like the one brought by Sir Sasounian. Continuing, Sister Magarosian reflected upon the ten day visit of Sir Sasounian in November, 2006, which was a witness to his deep love and appreciation and belief in the Armenian School, and that by this visit, once again he reevaluated the importance of the Lebanese Armenians for the Armenian Diaspora.
Furthermore, the Virtuous Sister expressed sincere sentiments of respect and appreciation to Sasounian, and requested that he be the authentic representative to Great Benevolent, Sir Kirk Krikorian on behalf of the Lebanese Armenian.
After that, a brief biographical slide show of Sasounian was shown which was prepared for this occasion under the title of “Harout Sasounian, beloved and unforgettable”.
An artistic program followed the slide show. The Mekhitarian, K.Harboyan, St.Agnes and Mesrobian Catholic School Students took part within the program by singing, dancing and reciting poetry.
After the artistic program, the Patriarchal decree was read by Father Ghevont Kendirjian, and the ceremonial giving of the badge after which His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX passed on His word by saying that all that serves in the preservation of our national, cultural and traditional values deserve immense respect and appreciation. He added that Sir Harout Sasounian, the intellectual. the nationalist, the benevolent, the editor of “California Courier” and the president of the United Armenian Fund, mediated in great donations to help the Armenian Lebanese which were in very difficult conditions after the war in Lebanon. His Beatitude ended His speech by saying that such celebrations are addressed to the likes of Harout Sasounian and they are an expression of gratitude towards such dedication to the Armenian People.
After that,Sir Harout Sasounian was invited to address his word to the audience. He said. “I sincerely think that I haven’t done much but a little share of my responsibility towards my beloved people, and there still remains a lot to accomplish”.
At the end of the ceremony, Sir Harout Sasounian received congratulations in the Patriarchal Hall which was followed by a cocktail.