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Syllouris receives award of appreciation from ’44 Melkonian graduate

Demetris Syllouris receives the award from Dr Daniel Abdoulian as the organisers and Aghlandjia deputy mayor Evgenia Aletra look on

DEMETRIS Syllouris, President of the House of Representatives, was the guest of honour at a special event in Nicosia to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Melkonian orphanage, which later became the Armenian school which hosted more than 3,000 students and graduates before it closed in 2005.

Syllouris received a commemorative plaque dedicated to “All the governments and the people of Cyprus” from Dr Daniel Abdoulian, one of the oldest surviving graduates from 1944, who came especially for the event from the U.S.

Syllouris expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the award and said that it will be placed at the Presidential Palace because of its dedication “to the entire nation of Cyprus” that has always had brotherly relations with the island’s Armenian community.

The organisers praised Syllouris “and all his colleagues in the House of Representatives” who supported the initial campaigns in 2004 and 2005 to keep the school open and preserve the buildings and the forest (planted by the first orphans who escaped from the Genocide) as a ‘protected national heritage site’.

A special commemorative plaque was also presented to the Armenian Representative in the House of Representatives, Vartkes Mahdessian, for his efforts to secure the national heritage site protection order (diatagma diatirisis) in 2007 and for conceiving the idea for a joint stamp issued last year by the Postal Services of Cyprus and Armenia to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, both of which depicted images from the Melkonian orphanage.

Also present at the ceremony was Evgenia Aletra, Deputy Mayor of Aghlandjia, former Principal Dr Akabie Ekmekdjian-Nassibian, and former Nareg Schools Principal, Vartan Tashdjian, as well as former teachers Eleni Neophytou, Demetris Aristidou and Panicos Hadjikos.

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