“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4:10

On Sunday 29 April 2018 the third annual Primate’s Banquet took place at the beautiful Orso Bayside Reception at The Spit.

The event was attended by Willoughby City Council Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney, Paul Fletcher MP, the Federal Member for Bradfield, Damien Tudehope MP, the State member for Epping as well as guests from all areas of the Armenian Community.

Nora Bastajian, the MC for the evening, introduced the guests to some amazing performances from a wide variety of youth from our community. The evening started with a virtuoso performance from a relative newcomer from Syria, Sako Dermenjian. His impressive skills on the classical guitar left the audience mesmerised.

Stephanie Bastajian followed with a heart felt rendition of “We are few but they call us Armenian” with Isabelle Marcarian next, singing the well loved Komitas song “Sareri Hovin Mernem”. The first part of the program was rounded off with a specially formed choir as part of the Year of the Youth, singing “Hoy Nazan” and “Zinch oo Zinch”. The choir was beautifully led by Lilit Mouradian.

The program continued after dinner with Kevork Mouradian giving a wonderful performance on the saxophone followed by the very talented combination of Natalie Minasian on the Cello with Alex Sahagian accompanying on the piano. Alex then surprised the audience with an expert world first performance of an original composition of “Oror” by Dr Raffi Qasabian who is a vascular surgeon. Dr Qasabian travels twice a year to Armenia to perform lifesaving endovascular surgeries pro bono.  The piece was composed by Dr. Qasabian during his many trips to the hospital in Armenia.   As you hear the music you can hear the unmistakable influence of Armenian church hymns and folk music.

The local talent was completed by the teenage sensation, Meghry Awnjian on the Canon, accompanied by the equally talented Hovsep Emirzayan on the Dhol.

Greek Soprano Georgia Kokkoris wowed the audience with performances of Armenian classics “Groong” and “Chinar es” followed by the beautiful “O mio bambino caro”.

His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian concluded the evening by thanking all the participants as well as the organising committee consisting of Laura Artinian, Nishan Basmajian, Taleen Marcarian, Nora Bastajian, Klar Haroutiounian, Maral Simonian, Zepur Mouradian and Karyne Kerkysharian.

He also extended his sincere appreciation to all those in the community that contributed to the dream of building the Arachnortaran, which is at its final stages of construction.