On Sunday, the 13th of September 2015, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (SDHP) – Australian Executive Committee organized the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of 20 Hunchakian activists known as the “Twenty Gallows” that took place in Sydney’s Zenith Theatre, Chatswood in fornt of an audience of over 300 people.
The commemoration took place in the presence and under the auspices of his Eminence Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, Primate of all Armenians in Australia and New Zealand. In attendance were offshore guests Mr. Hagop Dikranian (Chairman SDHP Central Committee), Mr. Sebouh Kalpakian (Vice Chairman SDHP Central Committee, and Member of the Lebanese Parliament) and Mr. Vasken Kaltakdjian (SDHP Central Committee Member), representatives from the Armenian Apostolic Church Committee, Reverand Fathers Norayr Patanian (Archpriest), Bartev Karakashian and Avedis Hampartsoumian as well as members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, Armenian General Benevolent Union and other Armenian community organisations.
The evening’s Master of Ceremonies Mr. Toros Boyadjian highlighted the purpose of the commemoration to honor the memory of the “Twenty Gallows” who were hanged in Istanbul’s Sultan Bayazid Square on June 15, 1915, a few months after the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. He emphasized that the new generation of Armenian youth need to acquaint themselves with Paramaz and his friends, who have come to realize the goals that are being pursued within present day Turkey and Armenia, were pursued decades ago by the martyred and sacred Armenians.
SDHP Australian Executive Committee Chairman Vatche Topouzian spoke on behalf of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Australian Executive Committee before inviting the evening’s keynote speaker and SDHP Central Committee Chairman, Mr. Hagop Dikranian. After his speech, Mr. Dikranian asked fellow SDHP Central Committee members Mr. Kalpakian and Kaltakjian to join him on stage before inviting three veteran SDHP members Mrs. Siroun Chilingirian, Mr. John Demirjian and Mr. Vrej Manoukian to receive the SDHP “Paramaz” medal in recognition of their service and dedication to SDHP over many years. The audience rose as one in a standing ovation to commend and congratulate the veteran SDHP members.
The evening’s program included Armenian folklore dances performed by “Nor Serount Dance Group” as choreographed by Ani and Nyree Janoian. A recitation of SDHP and patriotic Armenian songs was performed by Mr. Vartan Sevazlian.
The commemoration was concluded with his Eminence Bishop Najarian’s closing remarks and delivery of the Lord’s Prayer.