Bestowing of “Prince of Cilicia” Medal to Mr. & Mrs. Garo & Sosse Eshgian – The Couple Generously Donated $100,000 to the Western Prelacy

On the evening of Thursday, July 8, 2021, under the auspices of H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, the Executive Council organized a special dinner in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Garo and Sosse Eshgian, in recognition of his many years of service to the Western Prelacy, our churches and schools, as well as his philanthropic contributions to the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia, Armenia, Lebanon and other countries.

The ceremony took place at the “Dikran and Zarouhi Der Ghazarian” Hall at the Western Prelacy. In attendance were H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian, clergy, H.E. Dr. Armen Baibourtian, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles, members of the Executive Council, Central Executive Council, benefactors, friends and guests of honor.

The program began with welcoming remarks of Religious Council member Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian. He announced that per to the decision of His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, Mr. & Mrs. Garo and Sosse Eshgian are being granted the “Prince of Cilicia” medal. Archpriest Vassilian then invited the Prelate to conduct the blessing of the tables.

On behalf of the Executive Council, Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian, Chairman of the Executive Council, highlighted the honorary couple’s contributions not only to the activities of the Western Prelacy, but also to the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia, the Church, the Armenian School, the Armenian Cause, Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora.

Remarks were then delivered by H.E. Dr. Armen Baibourtian, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles, who praised the support of the honorees which they have shown towards Armenia. He recalled details from the difficult days in Armenia, and mentioned the warm and philanthropic spirit of Mr. Eshgian, and closed his remarks by calling him a “man who is great.”

The evening was enthralled by the musical talent of Mr. Greg Hosharian.

At the conclusion of the dinner, on behalf of the Religious Council, Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian delivered his heartfelt remarks, emphasizing on Mr. Eshgian’s loyalty, modesty and service towards the nation’s sacred and enduring values. After his heartfelt remarks, Fr. Vassilian invited the Prelate to convey his congratulations and blessings.

The Prelate first praised the couple’s spirit of servitude, and mentioned that the Western Prelacy honors every Armenian who has made a contribution to the life of our community, strengthened their faith in the Armenian Church, as well as shown their unwavering support for the Armenian nation and the Diaspora. In this regard, the Prelate expressed his gratitude to the high-ranking clergymen who took leadership roles in the life of the Western Prelacy and to all the devotees, among them the evenings honoree couple, and mentioned “Together with the joint decision of the Executive and Religious Councils, we are gathered here today to pay homage to the Esghian couple, and remind them that we appreciate you once again for all the services you have rendered. Thanks to which, we also bring our service to our homeland, Church and community. And through the evening’s honorary couple, we also extend our gratitude to all the dedicated people present here tonight.”

The evening reached its zenith with the awarding of the highest order of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia, the “Prince of Cilicia” medal. H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian read H.H. Aram I Catholicos’ Encyclical, then Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian presented the medal to the Prelate, who bestowed it upon Mr. & Mrs. Garo Eshgian.

At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Garo Eshgian on behalf of his wife and his family, thanked H.H. Aram I Catholicos, the Prelate, Archbishop Tabakian, Executive & Religious Councils, the organizing Committee and guests, stating, “This medal belongs to you. This medal belongs to all my friends and colleagues who have worked with me for years and believed in me, because we cannot accomplish anything alone, but through teamwork we can make the impossible possible.” The evening concluded by solo vocal performance of “Cilicia” by Mrs. Anahid Nersisyan.

Over the past decades, Mr. Garo Eshgian has contributed his unwavering service to the prosperity of the life of the Armenians of Los Angeles. He has been Executive Council member, Chairman, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees at St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Glendale, also its Chairman and a National Representative.

Mr. Eshgian and his wife took on the honor of sponsoring the renovation at the Catholicosate’s Cilicia Museum in Antelias and they still serve the community as public figures, volunteers at the Western Prelacy, and as national benefactors.

Rev. Vassilian, also announced that Mr. Garo Eshgian, in honor of the Prelate’s 2022 New Years and Christmas dinner, donated one hundred thousand dollars to the Western Prelacy. Thus, becoming the first sponsor of the 2022 Prelate’s New Years and Christmas dinner.

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