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HAROUTIUN SHMAVONIAN, was a native of Persia, founder of Armenian journalism and editor of the [Azdarar] journal in Madras, India. Azdarar was published for a period of two years, from 1794-1796. It printed articles of interest not only to the Indian Armenian community but also to Armenians everywhere, including a number of important article that advocated for a free and independent Armenia.
A bust of Shmavonian was unveiled in the yard of Surb Nazaret Armenian Church of Calcutta on December 12, 200?.
Between 1794 and 1863, at least 11 Armenian-language journals were published in Madras, Calcutta and Bombay, including the Patriot Armenian, the official newspaper of the Araratian Society, which was formed in 1845.
BUST OF SENIOR PRIEST HAROUTIUN SHMAVONIAN, FOUNDER OF ARMENIAN JOURNALISM OPENS IN YARD OF SURB NAZARET ARMENIAN CHURCH OF CALCUTTA
CALCUTTA, DECEMBER 12, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. The bust of Senior Priest Haroutiun Shmavonian, the founder of the Armenian journalism and the editor of the "Azdarar" journal, officially opened in the yard of the Surb Nazaret Armenian Church of Calcutta on December 11. Sergey Yeritsian, the RA Minister of Education and Science being on an official visit to the Republic of India, and members of the delegation accompanying him as well as Ashot Kocharian, the RA Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to India arrived in Calcutta to participate in the ceremony.
After the liturgy celebrated by Bishop Oshakan Gyulgulian, the Indian Armenian spiritual pastor and the Manager of the Philantropic Academy, those present went into the church yard where a requiem was implemented for rest of the spirit of the deserving churchman and Armenian at the bust of the Senior Priest Haroutiun Shmavonian. The bust was prepared with the assistance and means of the Calcutta Church Council, the sculptor is Levon Tokmajian. The latter was also present at the opening ceremony. Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians addressed his blessing speech on that occasions. This was read by Deacon Tigran Baghumian, the Administrative Director of the Philantropic Academy.
"Placing of the bust of Senior Priest Haroutiun Shmavonian is a deserved tribute of respect towards the famous churchman and patriot as well as all his collegues. Our wish is that this patriotic and religious spirit, which sprang in the Indian Armenian colony giving birth to numerous patriotic implementations, always remain in souls of sons of the Armenian people.
As Noyan Tapan was informed by the Information Services of the Mother See, in the afternoon, the RA Minister of Education and Science, members of the delegation accompanying him and Ashot Kocharian, the RA Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of India visited the Armenian Philantropic Academy. Academy staff and students greated the quests with traditional bread and salt. Bishop Oshakan Gyulgyulian, the head of the academy, presented briefly the present state of the academy and all those challenges which this historic institution faces today. Events envisaged on the 185th anniversary of the academy the next year were touched upon as well.
The academy students presented an artistic performance at the ceremonial hall of the academy.
Then, in honour of to the RA Minister of Education and Science and reprected guests, an official dinner was served at the canteen of the Philantropic Academy. Besides the academy students, members of the Calcutta Church Council participated in this as well. Deacon Tigran Baghumian, the Administrative Director of the academy, James Dais, the academy Director, and Bishop Oshakan Gyulgyulian, the academy Administrator welcame the guests during the dinner. Holy Father mentioned in his speech that this was a really historical day for the Armenian Philanthropic Acedemy as for the first time during the 185-years history of the academy, the Minister of Education and Science of Armenia visited the academy.
At the end RA Minister of Education and Science Sergo Yeritsian sent his precept to students. The Minister mentioned in his speech that the Philanthropic Academy is under every-day attention of the Armenian Catholicos, and the RA Ministry of Education and Science jointly with the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin will do everything to raise the education level of the Philathropical Academy and make them corresponding to present standards.
The guests were also presented the living conditions of boys and girls by speaking friendly with the academy pupils.
The RA Minister of Education and Science, the delegation members, the RA Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of India accompanied by Bishop Oshakan Gyulguilian and Deacon Tigran Baghumian visited the Calcutta Surb Grigor Lusavorich and the Tengra Surb Yerordutiun Church as well.
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