PASADENA- CA After over a year of planning, an official California delegation from the City of Pasadena, led by members of the Pasadena Chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America, City of Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Pasadena City Councilmember and Vice Mayor John J. Kennedy, Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education President Vruyr Boulghourjian and other local elected officials from the cities of Pasadena, Sierra Madre, and Glendale, along with several members of the Pasadena Sister Cities Committee and other prominent community leaders, residents, supporters and friends, are set to embark on their official visit to the Republic of Armenia.
During their 11 day trip, the delegation will participate on a 8 day in-depth visit to Armenia, followed by a 3 day visit to Pasadena’s Sister City, Vanadzor, Armenia. This will be the second such Pasadena City delegation to visit the Republic of Armenia, the first of which was hosted, also by the ANCA Pasadena, back in July 2004 and will include a special visit to Pasadena’s Sister City of Vanadzor. The Pasadena delegation will begin their tour of Armenia on August 31st and will return September 10th.
Accompanying the Pasadena Mayor and the Councilman are: ANCA Pasadena Chairman Boghos (Bo) Patatian, ANCA Pasadena Advisory Board Member and City of Pasadena Treasurer & Deputy of Finance Director, Vicken Erganian and David Gevorkyan, along with other officials from the cities of Pasadena, Sierra Madre, and Glendale. The trip, initiated under the stewardship of Mayor Tornek and will be the Mayor’s and many others first trip to Armenia.
Established by the Pasadena City Council in August of 1960, the Pasadena Sister City Committee (PSCC) is an official committee of the City of Pasadena. This cross-cultural linking enriches each city with cultural, social, and economic benefits. Pasadena and its five sister cities of Mishima, Japan (established in 1957), Ludwigshafe, Germany (established in 1948 predates SCI), Jarvenpaa, Finland (established in 1983), Xicheng City of Beijing, China (established in 1999), and Vanadzor, Armenia (established in 1991).
Vanadzor was established as Pasadena’s fourth Sister City in 1991. Previously known and Kirovakan, Gharak’ilisa, it is located in the northwestern region of Armenia, about 80 miles north of Yerevan. With a population of about 175,000, it is the third largest city in Armenia and the capital of the Lori Province. Known for its rich natural beauty and mineral springs, Vanadzor is undergoing a rebirth and revitalization after it was nearly destroyed in the 1988 that rocked Armenia. The City of Pasadena, in collaboration with the Pasadena Sister City Commission, has even erected on the City Hall grounds the ‘Sister City Trees’ with two plaques which mark a small orchard of trees across Garfield Street from City Hall, south of Holly Street and it is one of those plaques which commemorates the sister-city relationship between Pasadena and Vanadzor, Armenia.
Upon their arrival to Armenia, the Mayor, Vice Mayor and others will be received by and met with the Mayor of Yerevan and later visit the American University of Armenia, Dzidzernagapert – the Armenian Genocide Monument, Yerablur – the national military cemetery and burial place where bodies of Armenian liberators, military officers and soldiers who lost their lives during the Nagorno-Karabakh war are laid to rest, the U.S Embassy in Armenia and Etchmiadzin, the Holy See of the Armenian Church.
Upon its arrival to Vanadzor, the Delegation will be received with an official Reception by the Governor of the Lori Region, will visit Vanadzor Technology Center (VTC), the Gloria Sewing Factory, ride the famous Ropeway, and visit the Prelacy of Diocese of Gougark. Also, while in Vanadzor, the Delegation will attend an Official reception in the Municipality of Vanadzor.
The delegation will also include several other distinguished local elected officials and other prominent community leaders namely: Councilmember John Harabedian of the City of Sierra Madre, Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan of the City of Glendale. and Pasadena Sister Cities Committee Board Members: President Fred Alcantar, Secretary Ofelia Cavazos Edmonson, Vanadzor Chairperson Joan Marie Reyes, Student Exchange coordinator, Margaret Gihanian and former President of the Pasadena Sister Cities Committee, Michael Warner.