23 October 2005

170th Anniversary Celebrations Of The Armenian Church In Singapore

Armenian pilgrims from all over the world will make their way to Singapore
for the weekend of 11-13 November to celebrate the 170th Anniversary of the
Armenian Apostolic Church of St Gregory the Illuminator, the very first
Christian church in Singapore. With over 100 pilgrims already registered,
the Board of Trustees is extending the invitation to interested Armenians in
the Diaspora to register by 4 November, 2005.

With fewer than 830 Armenians ever having lived in Singapore and Malaysia,
it is said that Armenians impacted the social, civic and economic life of
the early British trading settlements in both countries. Author Nadia H.
Wright explores the significant contribution of Armenians in her book
entitled "Respected Citizens: the History of Armenians in Singapore and
Malaysia" and traces the existence of four Singaporean icons to Armenians:
the Church of St Gregory, the Raffles Hotel, the Straits Times newspaper and
the "Vanda Miss Joaquim" orchid ~ popularly known as the Singapore orchid
that is the national flower of Singapore.

To mark the 170th anniversary of Singapore's Armenian Apostolic Church of St
Gregory the Illuminator, the Trustees of the Church and Armenians living in
Asia have planned a weekend of celebration from 11-13 November and extend an
invitation to Armenians around the globe to partake in this very special

A special website has been created to serve as a guide to the celebrations
in Singapore with information on the history of the Church, program of
planned events, recommended accommodation and tours/excursions of Singapore
and the surrounding region.

The website address is www.armeniansinasia.org

The schedule of events for the weekend celebration is planned as follows:

Friday 11 November 2005 - Evening welcome reception at the Church

Saturday 12 November 2005 - Evening prayers followed by a cultural dinner

Sunday 13 November 2005 - Divine Liturgy followed by a reception in the
Church gardens

For the convenience of participants, special prices have been negotiated
with two hotels located in the vicinity of the Armenian Church.

Participants however register their attendance and accommodation venue with
the Church Committee at 170years@armeniansinasia.org

The Church is currently funded by the sole support of generous Armenians
living in the region and abroad. To date, the majority of these funds have
been deployed for the careful maintenance and repair of this historical
monument, the surrounding gardens and parsonage. To help recover costs for
the events, inclusive of meals and beverages, the Trustees kindly ask each
participant donate a minimum of $550 Singapore Dollars (~$330USD) to the
Church. The attached reservation form outlines the required details and
methods of payment. Early confirmation and remittance by participants is
greatly appreciated.

This will be an unsurpassable opportunity for Armenians all over the world
to gather and honour an international Armenian treasure, a landmark of
Singapore that is connected to our ancestral heritage and to share a spirit
of unity in Christian faith that has kept Armenians bonded for more than
1700 years.

Press Release issued on 21 October 2005 by:
Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia & New Zealand
10 Macquarie Street, Chatswood NSW 2067
Contact: Laura Artinian
Tel: (02) 9419-8056
Fax: (02) 9904-8446
Email: armenian@idx.com.au

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