Senior Ladies Society

The Senior Lady's Society Legacy

Early records indicate that on January 29, 1961, at a banquet held after the first Holy Badarak to be celebrated in the Santa Clara Valley, the Primate of the Western Diocese, Bishop Papken Varjabedian announced his appointment of the following women to serve as an interim Ladies Aid: Belgi Garabedian, Margaret Hagopian, Marion Paparigian, Sue Sevhonkian and Araxi Vartanian. This committee was to assist the temporary Parish Council in the organization of an Armenian Church in this community.

In February of 1963, twelve women met for a luncheon at the home of Francois and Anahid Nalvarian in Cupertino, and the following were elected as the first permanent officers of the Ladies Aid: Margaret Hagopian, Chairlady; Rose Hines, Secretary; and Hysmig Ronnie Henesian, Treasurer. The other members were: Betty Espinoza, Sofia Giragosian, Esquhy Henesian, Anahid Nalvarian, Marion Paparigian, Zabel Solakian, Asdghig Soliman, Rose Tootelian and Roxie Yeram. Meetings were held in homes and a membership drive was begun.

During this period, as guests of St. Timothy Episcopal Church in Mountain View, monthly religious services were held with visiting Priests conducting services.

Shortly thereafter, our church activities were moved to St. Mark Episcopal Church in Santa Clara where we had full use of their facilities. Fund raising dinners, dances and other events were frequently held.

On March 21, 1964, Primate, Bishop Torkom Manoogian, presided over the First Parish Assembly at St. Mark Episcopal Church at which thirty-five members of the Armenian community became Charter Members of the Armenian Apostolic Church
of Santa Clara Valley, and we were recognized as a full fledged parish of the Western Diocese.

In October, 1964, we moved into a vacant house across the street from St. Mark Church belonging to Jacob and Margaret Hagopian at a reduced rent. While continuing to have church services at St. Mark, this house became an Activity Center where Sunday School classes, ACYO activities, meetings and social functions were held. This continued until the fall of 1973 when a permanent move was made to our new home at 11370 S. Stelling Road in Cupertino.

Throughout the almost 40 years of this community's existence, the Ladies Aid - which later became known as the Ladies Society - has been the backbone of the Church and played an integral part in its growth. Countless dinners, food fairs, picnics, cultural and social events, commemorations, and even food booths in the streets of San Jose and Palo Alto, have helped to raise money for our Church.

In working so closely together, the women have formed life-long bonds of friendship and deep respect for one another as members of one family.

The support of each member, whether they chose to serve on an executive board or as members at large, has been invaluable. Each has brought forth her particular talents and together they have worked as a cohesive team.

The commitment over the years of these tireless women, many now departed, is fully acknowledged. And, indeed, the dedication and spirit of all such women who have played a part in the creation of any Armenian church, anywhere in the world, is to be honored - for they are the pillars of our Churches.

For More Information:

For more information, contact the Parish Priest (408) 257-6743