Edward Kazanjian

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Kazanjians Give Pilgrimage Presentations in Florida

Posted by Weekly Staff on March 20, 2012

Edward and Mary Ann Kazanjian of Belmont, Mass., this month continued to bring their “Journey to Historic Armenia: There IsSomething There” multi-media presentation to Armenians throughout the country with two stops in Florida.

On March 1, at the Vineyards Country Club in Naples, Fla., and with the sponsorship of the Armenian American Cultural Society of Southwest Florida, 70 members and guests enjoyed the presentation of the Kazanjian’s first pilgrimage in 2009. Several “snowbirds from Massachusetts” were in attendance, including Paul and Priscilla DerAnanian (who traveled with the Kazanjians in 2009), Vartkes and Elissa Karaian, and Jack and Audrey Pilibosian. Greg Najarian from the Bronx, N.Y., was thrilled not only with the pictures of Chungush, his grandfather’s village, but of the promise to receive a copy of a booklet on Chungush from the Kazanjians on their return home. Virginia Melidosian, originally from Detroit, whose ancestors came from Keghi, presented Mary Ann Kazanjian with a small gift, saying, “I give gifts to roses that I meet, who touch my life, which you did today with your pictures of Keghi and our family’s village of Darvan.”

A week later, on March 7, the Kazanjians repeated the program at St. Hagop Armenian Apostolic Church in Pinellas Park, Fla. Der Hovnan Demerjian, the priest at St. Hagop, is the son of Kenneth and Karen Demerjian of Waltham, Mass., who grew up at St. James in Watertown with the Kazanjians. Der Hovnan, his lovely Yeretsgin Anna, and 35 enthusiastic parishioners enjoyed the presentation and asked many questions during the coffee hour that followed. St. Hagop was constructed only five years ago. At the base of the palm trees that line the front driveway are plaques that list not only the parishioners’ ancestors’ names but their Armenian villages, including Palu, Yozgat, Govdun, Dickranagerd, and Kharpert—villages that became even more meaningful to the attendees as they saw the images on the screen.

Parishioner Chuck Begian approached the Kazanjians to report that his great grandfather was the priest at the Armenian church in Govdun, which was shown in the presentation. The Kazanjians provided him with the name and e-mail of one of their fellow pilgrims, Harutiune Keossian from California, whose ancestors were also from Govdun.

“We gain so much from the feedback we get at these presentations and look forward to continuing to share our collective experience with those who are eager to learn more of their ancestral homelands and villages,” said Mary Ann Kazanjian.

A presentation of their second pilgrimage in May 2010 has only been given once, in November 2010 at the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) in Watertown, Mass. Arrangements to repeat this second program are being finalized for September 2012, and will be sponsored by the Women’s Guild at the Sahag Mesrob Armenian Church in Providence, R.I., and the Knights of Vartan at the Memorial Hall Library in Andover, Mass.

For more information and details as they become available, visit www.HyeTravelers.com.

Or contact the Kazanjians about a presentation for your organization or community by e-mailing HyeTravelers@yahoo.com.