Foundation

The pompous inauguration of Levon and Sopia Hagopian College took place on October 25, 1964.

On that day  Bourj Hammoud was living one of its unique Festive days. New Marash area was decorated with flags and with rectangular triumph archs.

 

A GATHERING AT ST. FORTY MARTYRED CHILDREN CHURCH

The church service was performed by the Metropolitan Father, Archbishop Dajad Ourfalian with the performance of four parts chorus.

An enthusiastic congregation welcomed the Catholicos Khoren I and his decorated clergymen, members of Parliament, a delegate from the Armenian Education Foundation, and participants in assemblies and led them to church.

The Reverend Father preached a sermon related to the occaion. After the holy sermon, the pastoral letter of the majestic Catholicos was read. It was addressed to the Armenian Education Foundation and to the benefactress Mrs. Sophia Hagopian.

After holy service, the formal procession he headed to the college. It included the Catholicos, the Holy Father, the Metropolitan, the delegate of the Lebanese President, the governor of Mount Lebanon, Mr. Fawzi Bardawil, members of parliament, members of the National Body, representatives of other religious and secular sects, teachers, and a public crowd.

On the way to the college, sheep were slaughtered, military salutes were given by a detachment from the police department, and the celebration was inaugurated by the national anthem played by the musical band of H.M.E.M.

The chairman of the newly elected Board of Trustees, the mayor of Bourj Hammoud, Mr. Hagop Ashjian, read a thorough speech about the role of the educational institution and about its mission and addressed sincerely the benefactress and the Armenian Educational Foundation.

On behalf of the benefactors, the executive secretary of the Armenian Educational Foundation, Mr. P. Granian in his turn addressed a speech thanking everyone and read a letter sent by Mrs. Hagopian for the success of the foundation.

The member of Parliament, Mr. Khatchig Babigian, delivered a speech in Arabic in which he interpreted the loveliest feelings of the Armenian people toward Lebanon, its president, and its government, and he appreciated the most valuable benevolence that has been accomplished for the welfare of Lebanon and Armenians.

Afterwards, and after appreciating this unique accomplishment of establishing a secondary school, the governor of El-Metn area, Mr. Fawzi Bardawil, addressed the presence and on behalf of the president of Lebanon, Charl Helou decorated the benefactress Mrs. Sophia Hagopian (in her absence) and Mr. Hovsep Diroumian, the president of the Armenian Educational Foundation with a first degree decoration of the cedars.

Finally, the Holy Catholicos blessed the benefactors, the Lebanese Republic, and the governor and wished success to the principal, the Board of Trustees, and the teaching staff.

The traditional ribbon on behalf of the minister of education was cut by Mr. Fawzi Bardawil and the formal inauguration took place.

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A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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