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Mr Vartan Ouzounian, a prominent benefactor, a member of the Armenian community in the UK, has been awarded the Komitas medal by the RA Ministry of Diaspora for many years of service to the Armenian nation and for promoting Armenian culture in the Diaspora.

The award took place at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in London on February 12, 2017 in the presence of the Right Revd Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate and Pontifical Legate, and Mr Armen Liloyan, Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the UK and Northern Ireland, as well as extensive number of Armenian and British honourary guests.

Miss Seza Ouzounian, the Master of ceremony, opened the function with a brief welcoming speech, and then the national anthems of Armenia and Great Britain were performed.

The official ceremony continued with the Chairman of the Tekeyan Trust London Mrs Sylva Krikorian-Aharonian’s heartfelt congratulations to Mr V. Ouzounian on the occasion the honourary medal. On behalf of the TTL Trustees, the chairman praised all the efforts and the contribution that Mr Ouzounian had made to the forty-year cultural and charitable activities of the Trust.

Dr Garen Arevian, Vice Chairman of the Tekeyan Cultural Association London Branch, was the next speaker at the function. Wishing Mr Ouzounian great success in future endeavours, he referred to his fruitful activity in the TCA, aimed at preserving and promoting Armenian cultural heritage.

The Primate’s dinner prayer was followed with a reception for more than 130 guests present who could enjoy the songs performed by the Komitas Choir and then see a film dedicated to the official opening of one of the major projects of the TTL, the Tekeyan Centre in Yerevan, with the address from His Holiness Karekin I. The project of Tekeyan Centre was realized due to the devotion and great efforts of Mr Ouzounian within six years.

Then Miss Maral Pocock and Mr Bernard Nazarian, a Trustee of the TTL, briefly presented Mr V. Ouzounian’s 55-year activity in Lebanon, Ethiopia, the UK and Armenia.

Vartan Ouzounian was born in Syria, in the family that had survived the Armenian Genocide and later settled in Beirut, Lebanon. He attended the Catholicosate of Cilicia primary school, then the AGBU’s Hovagimian Manougian secondary school, and he got his higher education in London. Since his childhood, he was brought up and educated with Armenian spirit, patriotism and love to the national culture. At an early age he realized the importance of preserving the national identity, and since his student years he has been actively involved in the national and spiritual life of the Armenian communities in Lebanon, Ethiopia and the UK.

V. Ouzounian is one of the founders of the Tekeyan Trust London (along with Mr Garo Krikorian, Garabed Arevian and others), Tekeyan Centre (Yerevan) and the Komitas Choir (London). He was actively involved with the Ararat Club in Ethiopia, the London Armenian House Youth Society, AGBU, TCA, TTL, ADLP, the Tekeyan Centre Fund and with some other national organizations which contributed to the development of Armenia-Diaspora partnership. Thanks to his tireless work cultural activities expanded in Armenian communities and many significant projects came to life: cultural youth festival in Lebanon; social, cultural and sporting events in Ethiopia; painting exhibitions, lectures, Erebouni newspaper, Araks dance group and the Komitas choir in the UK, as well as performances of many prominent artists, musicians, theatrical groups, folk song and dance ensembles invited from Armenia to the UK; and finally the charity work of the Tekeyan Cente Fund which mainly focuses on schools in Armenia and Karabakh.

Vartan Ouzounian remains a very active member of the social and cultural life of the UK Armenian community as well as in the homeland. He is currently Chairman of Board of Trustees of Yerevan Tekeyan Centre Fund, Honourary Secretary and Treasurer of the Tekeyan Trust London, Chairman of the Komitas Choir, Chairman of the ADLP UK branch as well as Treasurer and Central Board member of ADLP.

In 2011 V. Ouzounian was honoured with the Nerses Shnorhali Medal by the Catholicos Karekin II in recognition of his services to the worldwide Armenian communities.

The solemn function at the Copthorne Tara hotel continued; Deputy Ambassador Mr Armen Liloyan delivered the congratulatory address from Ambassador Dr Armen Sarkissian and presented Mr Vartan Ouzounian with the honourary Komitas Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora. In his address Dr A. Sargsyan highly appreciated V.Ouzounian’s considerable contribution to the development of Armenia-Diaspora partnership, which could be a good example to the younger generation for preserving the national identity while living far from the homeland. The Komitas Medal was a good proof of the fact that Armenia, Armenian culture and history would be everlasting thanks to devoted individuals like Vartan Ouzounian.

The official ceremony was concluded with Mr Ouzounian’s words of gratitude to the Minister of Diaspora Ms Hranush Hakobyan for recognizing his services to the Armenian communities and honouring him the Komitas Medal. He also thanked his family, co-founders (mainly Garo Krikorian and Garabed Arevian) and friends who supported his national activities over many years.

The celebration continued with cultural programme which featured the impressive performances of the British Armenian mezzo-soprano Ms Anais Heghoyan (who performed “Aria of Parandzem” from opera Arshak II by T.Chukhadjian and “Ardyoq ur es” by N. Kalenteryan) and soprano Mrs Tereza Gevorgyan (“Kaqavik” by Komitas and “Akh, inch lav en sari vra…” by E.Abrahamyan), accompanied by pianist Ms Hao Zi Yoh. Next were the performances of Lim Armenian dance group.

At the end of the function Bishop Hovakim Manukian congratulated Mr Vartan Ouzounian on the great occasion of receiving the honourable medal and donated him a valuable book-catalogue “Khatchkar” in recognition of his services to the Armenian Church and the Armenian communities.

  The Tekeyan Centre Fund warmly congratulates Mr Vartan Ouzounian on this great occasion!



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