Quebec’s Cultural Minister Visits AGBU Alex Manoogian School

The Minister Spoke with Admiration about the School’s Comprehensive Mission

At 11 a.m. on the morning of Monday, June 14, Provincial Minister of Culture Christine St-Pierre, accompanied by two assistants, visited the AGBU Armen-Quebec Alex Manoogian School of Montreal, where she was greeted at the entrance by applause from pupils dressed in Armenian costumes, and with the traditional bread and salt ceremony. The minister was welcomed by Dr. Arshavir Gundjian, the school’s founder-president, its principal Robert Kechayan, members of the school board and teaching staff. During the reception held in the school’s library, Dr. Gundjian gave brief explanations about the school and expressed thanks for the inestimable assistance provided by Minister St-Pierre in connection with the official governmental registration and authorization of the school’s newly established nursery.

The minister was first escorted to the new nursery division, which, having been beautifully reorganized, completed its first year with the maximum number of children. Department head Mrs. Liza Siwadjian gave satisfactory explanations. The next visit was to the sixth grade, where the French teacher Corinne Gilbert  was teaching about the student Projet de loi (law project) of the province of Quebec. This program has been implemented in the National Assembly of Quebec since 1992, in order to acquaint schoolchildren with the applications of democratic legislation. In each election district of the province of Quebec, the 6th-grade pupils of the best school elect one among them, and that pupil goes to the National Assembly of the capital city Quebec on the designated day of the year, occupies the seat of the representative from his/her district and participates in the debate and voting on three versions of a new bill pertaining to an educational matter, together with the pupil representatives of all 124 districts. Elected from L’Acadie district was the Alex Manoogian School, whose 6th-grade pupils had elected Lily Daldalian as their representative. On April 30, Lily had gone to Quebec, sat on Christine St-Pierre’s chair in the assembly, and participated in this program of Parlement Ècolier (Scholastic Parliament) throughout the entire session. Now today, at her own request, Mrs. St-Pierre had come to the Armen-Quebec school to personally congratulate Lily Daldalian, her classmates, teacher and school for this honorary success. Lily and her friends expressed their feelings and thoughts, while thanking the minister.

Minister St-Pierre moved on to the Arshavir and Nadia Gundjian Hall of the school, where the pupils were practicing for the commencement program. In honor of the minister, a program of choral songs in three languages and Armenian dances was presented. Upon its conclusion, the 6th-grade pupils almost spontaneously presented a synthesis of French folk songs, making a deep impression on and entertaining the non-Armenian guests.

Minister St-Pierre and her assistants expressed thanks and left with high spirits at the end of this visit, which lasted approximately an hour and a half.

Source: Abaka weekly, July 5, 2010, p. 3.

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