HALTON HILLS, Canada—On June 26, more than 700 members of the Canadian Armenian community gathered at Cedarvale Park, Georgetown, to witness the official unveiling of the plaque designating the Georgetown Boys Farmhouse as a historic and protected municipal site. In the presence of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos; Minister Gary Goodyear; Ted Arnott, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP); several dignitaries; as well as a number of the Georgetown childrens’ family members, the landmark was officially integrated within the Halton Hills historic landscape.
Between 1923-27, 138 children orphaned during the Armenian Genocide were brought to Canada by the Armenian Relief Association and raised in the Georgetown Farmhouse, currently known as the Cedarvale Community Centre.
“The town of Halton Hills is proud to designate Cedarvale Park under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act,” said Rick Bonnette, Halton Hills mayor. “The Town Council recognizes the important role the Armenian Farm School, as it was then known, played in the 1920’s with the arrival of 109 Armenian orphaned boys and 2 girls who called Georgetown their first Canadian home.”
For the past two years, the Armenian National Committee of Toronto (ANCT) has been working to have the Georgetown Armenian Boys Farmhouse designated as a protected historic and cultural site.
“The Georgetown Farmhouse serves as a constant reminder of the Armenian Genocide and remind us of the lessons we need to learn from history in the hopes of preventing future cases of genocide,” said ANCT member and event chair Raffi Sarkissian. “The memory of the Georgetown Boys will be preserved through this designation, as the building will not only serve as a permanent memorial site commemorating the Armenian Genocide, but also honor the roots of Canada’s humanitarian efforts.”
Also present at the historic event were prelate of the Diocese of Tehran, Iran Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian; prelate of the Western Prelacy of the United States, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian; prelate of the Prelacy of Canada, Archbishop Khajag Hagopian; Arman Akopian,
minister-counselor, charge d’affaires of the Armenian Embassy in Canada; Hagop Der Khatchadourian, ARF Bureau member; representatives of the ARF Central Council of Canada; a representative of the ARF Central Council of the Eastern United States; as well as local representatives of all three traditional Armenian political parties.