Now in its sixth year, our annual festivity to bring together the community was by far the biggest and most successful this year. From the traditional church bazaar in 2013-14, the Armenian Kermesse has now evolved into a major community celebration on our church calendar.
As crowds made their way onto the church lawns following Holy Mass on Sunday 11 November, chairs quickly filled up and plenty of onlookers fixed their eyes onto centre stage for the afternoon program that was packed with back to back entertainment. The event commenced with Parish Council Vice-Chairman Avo Karageuzian welcoming everyone and acknowledging the presence of guests which included Willoughby City Councillors. His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian opened the program with his blessing and address accompanied by the Sunday school children reciting prayer. Deputy Mayor of Willoughby, Councillor Judith Rutherford spoke of her delight to be present with her co-councilors to enjoy the rich culture of the Armenian community that made up the fabric of Willoughby.
In this Year of the Youth in the Armenian Church, masters of ceremony, ACYA members George Najarian and Alex Artinian, set the mood for an afternoon of sheer enjoyment with a smoothly-run program in their confident presentations and cheerful bantering to engage the audience.
It was indeed a very special day that brought together the various sectors of our community which is the unifying force of the Armenian Church. Our faith, our traditions and our culture bind us together and it is with this purpose that we hold the Armenian Kermesse each year, also raising funds for projects and upkeep.
Two true marks of our Kermesse are the volunteering and willing spirit, to give of our time, our skills and our gifts for the church. With more than 150 volunteers, contributors and sponsors, our food stalls showcased the best of home-made Armenian and continental cuisine with the wide variety of sweets and meals on offer and the hype of activity both indoors and out created the buzzing atmosphere of the event.
“We all do this for the love of our church, community and ultimately for God.” This is the selfless dedication that was on the lips of all our volunteers demonstrating their faith in service.
Children and youth were the focus of this year’s Kermesse with students from our mainstream and Saturday community schools as well dance groups performing in colourfully designed Armenian costumes. Joining them on the program was a mix of young adults of Tamzara dance ensemble and Church Youth choir.
Sako Mkhmeljian and his band entertained with lively and loud Armenian music, bountiful hamper raffle draws kept the afternoon energised and the games area was a constant buzz of activity all day long.
Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the day which showcased our Community at its very best!