~ ՊԱՐԲԵՐԱԹԵՐԹ ~
2021 | Issue 7 - 23 April / Ապրիլ
From the Principal
We Remember & Demand!
On 24th April, Armenians around the world respond to Hitler’s question, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’ This day is the 106th Anniversary of the rounding up, imprisonment and eventual deportation and murder of Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul by Ottoman officials, marking the beginning of the ‘First Genocide of the 20th Century’.
By the end of World War I, at least 1.5 million Armenians or two-thirds of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire died in the Armenian Genocide. During World War II, over six million Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust. Many believe that Hitler was encouraged to carry out his plan of exterminating the Jews as he was inspired by Turkey’s near success with its systematic destruction of the country’s indigenous Armenian population. These unpunished perpetrators of genocide were able to repeat their crime of ethnic cleansing last year, by supporting the dictatorship of Azerbaijan, over the Armenian population in the autonomous Republic of Artsakh.
106 years on, Armenians and non-Armenians, world leaders, governments around the world, and more and more Turkish intellectuals condemn this crime against humanity and provide a clear response to Hitler by exclaiming ‘We do!’. ‘We do’ remember the Armenians by recognising their suffering and resolving to commemorate this important and tragic period of history in the City of Ryde, at Memorial Park. ‘We do’ remember the Armenians and also the Genocide of the Assyrians and Greeks in the parliaments of New South Wales and South Australia. We also believe that in the near future our great country with the acknowledgement of Australian Government will rise above international politics and in the true spirit of the ANZACs recognise and condemn the Armenian Genocide. Once again, let us prove Hitler wrong by saying ‘We do’ remember the Armenians.
As Australian-Armenians we are proud and at the same time humbled by the fact that our country’s first major humanitarian relief effort was for the surviving orphans of the Armenian Genocide. There is no Armenian who is not touched by the Armenian Genocide and like most Armenians around the world our family tree stops dead at our grandparents, who were deported from their land, leaving behind their family, homes, properties, memories, history and were forced to march to the desert towards an ambiguous future.
Many people would ask, what’s the purpose of commemoration? Why remember something that occurred a century ago? As educators, we believe that a nation that does not remember its history is doomed forever. We learn from history in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. But the Genocide is much more than a history. It’s in our roots. We lost our land, families... a nation was destroyed, and its people driven to the desert. ‘We do’ remember because our ancestors struggled so that, today, our generation lives. As famous Armenian-American writer William Saroyan said, ‘Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.’ Our ancestors didn’t lose hope. They founded and built new homes, schools and churches around the world and in countries like Australia.
How can we make sure these horrendous crimes never happen again if we do not condemn and raise awareness? Adolf Hitler understood the importance of wide recognition of the past when he asked, in a speech impending the invasion of Poland, ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’ The crimes of our past serve as warnings for our future. More than a century later, we are speaking today of the Genocide of Armenians. No matter how hard one tries to edit history or censor truth, the spirits of our past will haunt us until they are resolved. This is the reason why we continue to remember and commemorate - so that the next generation sees justice and lives in dignity and freedom.
As Australian-Armenians keep the memory and spirit alive for the victims of the Armenian Genocide, we continue to ‘Remember and Demand’!
Australian Relief Effort Exhibited
On Thursday, during our weekly assembly, the students of Alexander School welcomed special guests Mr Noubar Pezikian and Mr Mihran Kessikbachian. Both are not only Founding Members of Alexander School, but are also one of the few collectors in the community who had come to share the history behind their unique collection of badges. The students were given the opportunity to witness and feel over a century old badge, that was used to raise funds for the Australian Relief Effort, for the victims of the Armenian Genocide. From the engaging presentation and the discussion that followed, one could feel the interest among the students, who wanted to learn and find out more on the history. It will certainly be one of the memorable Culture lessons, thanks to our guests and their rare collection.
Once again, we like to thank Mr Kessikbachian and Mr Pezikian, who is also a former parent and AGBU Committee member that helped establish our dear school. We hope to see more of their collections in the near future.
Lest We Forget
On Sunday, 25th of April, Australia remembers the ANZACs and their sacrifice at Gallipoli in the First World War. During this weekend of Remembrance, the Australian-Armenian community joins to honour the ANZAC soldiers who saw the injustice that their ancestors were suffering and stopped to help them. The ANZACs created the first relief for the victims of the Armenian Genocide and provided them with the much needed medical care, and in many instances, kept them safe from the hands of the Turkish soldiers.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.
We like to thank all the families who have reviewed the Student Portfolios and have returned the feedback sheet at the front of the folder, after commenting and signing them.
If you have not already done this, please complete and return the sheet to the office next week.
New Winter Uniforms
Last year, the P&F Committee initiated the project to review the school uniform, in particular the Girls Winter Uniform. As a result, the school has finalised the process and we expect the new winter uniform for the girls to be available from Wednesday, 28 April. Therefore, all the girls in Kindergarten will be required to wear the new uniform. The option to change to the new uniform will also be available for the girls in all the other years.
As a result of the above change, which includes a change in colour from grey to navy/blue, there is also a change in the winter uniform for the boys - from grey to navy pants. Therefore, all the boys in Kindergarten will be required to wear the new navy pants. Similarly, the option to change to the new pants will be available for all the boys in the other years.
We like to thank the P&F and the School Board for their support of this project.
REMINDER: The school will change to Winter Uniforms starting Week 3 of Term 2. During the first two weeks of Term 2 either uniform will be acceptable. Please make sure your children are wearing the correct uniform as outlined in the uniform policy. Thank you for your cooperation.
School Life | Photo Gallery
'Pete The Sheep' @ Glen Street Theater
Emergency Care & CPR Staff Training
P&F Committee - News
Parevner from the P&F!
As part of our ongoing commitment to serve and unite our community we would like the opportunity to introduce ourselves! We have Liana Foudoulian, Melanie Bidois, Aret Elmasian, Lisa Jebian and of course our trusty captain of the ship Mr Manoug Demirjian. We're always available and approachable for fresh ideas and a chat and look forward to working together to better our school for the greater community. We would like to request that these great ideas be also sent to us via an email (PFC@alexander.nsw.edu.au) so that they don't get lost or forgotten and we can always bring them up and discuss how we can implement them with the rest of the committee.
Mothers Day Assembly- Mark your calendars, our beautiful children have organised a Mothers Day special assembly to be held on Wednesday 5th May at 1.30pm with afternoon refreshments served. The Mothers Day raffle will be drawn at this concert with all winners notified via phone call.
Raffle - We have some brilliant gifts to be won as part of our Mothers Day raffle and we would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to our sponsors and donors for their generosity.
Mothers Day Stall - On Thursday 6th and Friday 7th May the children will be able to hand pick and purchase their mum a beautiful Mothers Day present from the heart. The P&F have organised a wide range of small gift ideas and that the children will be able to choose from. Please ensure your child comes to school with $10 spending money!
Ladies Night Out - On Friday 7th May, we have organised a mums night out, an opportunity for mums to mingle over a glass of wine and dinner in a casual and informal setting. We have booked the lower floor of Fatoush Lebanese Restaurant and you're able to BYO.
RSVPs need to be made as soon as possible. Reservation form will be provided.
Our P&F committee has many fresh great idea and creative juices flowing and we're hoping to have a year full of activities and events in the pipeline as long as COVID stays at bay in this ever dynamic environment.
Birthday of the Week
Happy Birthday to…
Armenian Student Fund
Report for Term 2 - Week 1
8 Points - Sevan $9.00
6 Points - Masis $7.00
4 Points - Yerevan $5.40
Week 1 Total: $21.40
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