His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians made a short visit to UK to meet with the Parish Councils and discuss the future of the United Kingdom and Ireland Dioceses. St Yeghiche Armenian Church Parish Council representatives Viken Haladjian and Keghvart Vartanian together with Very Rev Fr Aren Shaheenian attended this meeting which was arranged by HG Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian. The meeting was held on 21st January 2015 at HAY DOON to discuss various subjects relevant to the future of the UK Diocese and the various parishes within its jurisdiction. All churches, in UK and Ireland attended the meeting and His Holiness gave his fatherly advice and blessed all present members for their dedication to the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and wished them all the success in their endeavour to make the transition a smooth one.
1956 – 2014
Vahan Hovanesian, a long-time ARF Bureau member and most recently, Armenia’s Ambassador to Germany passed away on Sunday 28th December after a long illness.
Vahan Hovanesian was born on August 16, 1956 in Yerevan.
He graduated with degrees in history and archaeology from the Moscow Pedagogical Institute in 1978 and received his Ph.D in history. From 1978-1980 he served in the Soviet army.
From 1980 to 1989 he worked as a research assistant and later as a head of the scientific research division in the Erebuni Museum. In 1989 he worked as a research assistant in the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography under the Academy of Sciences.
From 1990 to 1992 he was an active member of the Artsakh liberation movement.
From 1990 to 1992 he was a member of the ARF Central Committee of Armenia, becoming one of the first leaders of the organization in Armenia when it resurfaced during the latter days of the Soviet Union. In 1992 he became a member of the ARF Bureau, but in 1994 he was arrested after then president Levon Ter-Petrosian started a campaign of persecution against the ARF and shut down the party’s activities in the homeland.
After Ter-Petrosian’s resignation in 1997, Hovanessian served as adviser to Armenia’s new president Robert Kocharian and headed the Commission on issues of Local Self-Government until 1999.
In 1999, he was elected a member of Armenia’s Parliament, becoming chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and National Security and Internal Affairs, and served until 2003 in the ARF’s parliamentary caucus.
On May 25, 2003 he was re-elected by the proportional system from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and elected Vice-President of the National Assembly on June 12.
He was also a member of both the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Faction and its bureau.
On May 12, 2007 he was elected as a deputy of the National Assembly by the proportional system from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
On June 7, 2007 he was elected Vice-President of the National Assembly and on February 28, 2008 he resigned, after the ARF left the governing coalition in objection to the state’s plans to sign the Armenia-Turkey Protocols.
On 28 December 2013, Hovanesian was appointed as Armenia’s Ambassador to Germany.
A 7th day memorial service will be offered for his soul at St Yeghiche Armenian Church on Sunday 4th January 2015 after Divine Liturgy.