Հոն Ուր Կամք Կայ՝ Ելք Կայ

(WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY)

Մեթր Պարգեւ Դաւիթեան, Լուսաբաց, 16 Փետրուար 2019

Առաջնորդութիւն Հայոց Գանատայի 29 յունուար 2019 թուակիր յայտարարութիւնը թորոնթոհայութեան արդար հետաքրքրութեան վերջ դրաւ՝ տեղեկացնելով, թէ «Հայաստանեայց Առաքելական Եկեղեցւոյ Գանատահայոց Թեմը ի գործ դրաւ իր իրաւունքը՝ գնելու … Հայկական Բարեգործական Ընդհանուր Միութեան շէնքը»: Նոյն յայտարարութիւնը կը խոստանար գնումը ամբողջացնելու ծրագիրը յաջողցնել մինչեւ 28 փետրուար 2019 եւ մանրամասնութիւնները փոխանցել եկեղեցւոյ տրատու անդամներուն՝ այդ թուականէն առաջ գումարուելիք ընդհանուր անդամական ժողովի մը ընթացքին: Այդ ժողովէն առաջ իսկ շշուկներէ իմացուեցաւ, թէ մի քանի մեծահարուստներ շէնքի «աժան գինէն օգտուիլ ուզելով» ապահոված էին իրենց միջեւ ութուկէս միլիոն ($8.5M) գումարը, որպէսզի եկեղեցին կամ առաջնորդարանը ի գործ դնէր «կառոյցը գնելու իր առաջին իրաւունքը»:

(WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY)

Մեթր Պարգեւ Դաւիթեան, Լուսաբաց, 16 Փետրուար 2019

Առաջնորդութիւն Հայոց Գանատայի 29 յունուար 2019 թուակիր յայտարարութիւնը թորոնթոհայութեան արդար հետաքրքրութեան վերջ դրաւ՝ տեղեկացնելով, թէ «Հայաստանեայց Առաքելական Եկեղեցւոյ Գանատահայոց Թեմը ի գործ դրաւ իր իրաւունքը՝ գնելու … Հայկական Բարեգործական Ընդհանուր Միութեան շէնքը»: Նոյն յայտարարութիւնը կը խոստանար գնումը ամբողջացնելու ծրագիրը յաջողցնել մինչեւ 28 փետրուար 2019 եւ մանրամասնութիւնները փոխանցել եկեղեցւոյ տրատու անդամներուն՝ այդ թուականէն առաջ գումարուելիք ընդհանուր անդամական ժողովի մը ընթացքին: Այդ ժողովէն առաջ իսկ շշուկներէ իմացուեցաւ, թէ մի քանի մեծահարուստներ շէնքի «աժան գինէն օգտուիլ ուզելով» ապահոված էին իրենց միջեւ ութուկէս միլիոն ($8.5M) գումարը, որպէսզի եկեղեցին կամ առաջնորդարանը ի գործ դնէր «կառոյցը գնելու իր առաջին իրաւունքը»:

Ազգային կալուածի մը պահպանման դրական երեւոյթը անտարակոյս որ կը գոհացնէ բոլորս եւ գնահատանքի արժանի կը դարձնէ ամէն ինչ որ կատարուեցաւ՝ յաջողութեամբ պսակելու համայնքային կարեւոր այդ գործողութիւնը: Հարցականի տակ կը մնայ սակայն, թէ ո՞վ կամ որո՞նք պիտի օգտուին համայնքին ի նպաստ նկատուող այդ գնումէն:

Այս ամսաթերթի էջերուն վրայ «Ձայն մը անապատին մէջ» վերնագրով նոյեմբեր 2018-ին երեւցած յօդուածի մը մէջ խօսած էինք մեր համայնքը ծերանոցով մը օժտելու կարեւորութեան մասին: Այն ատեն ամէն կողմէ ձայներ բարձրացան, թէ շրջանի zoning-ը չի ներեր, որ այդպիսի ծրագիր մը յաջողի: Ամբողջ համայնքի մը պահանջքին ծանրութեան տակ՝ կը խորհինք, որ տեղի պիտի տան համայնքային պէտքերուն անսալ գիտցող եւ զանոնք գոհացնելու տրամադրութեամբ գործող այս երկրի իմաստուն մարդիկը:

Գործի մղենք մեր ազգային ձեռնարկներուն առաջին շարքերուն վրայ նստող եւ քուէարկող ձայներու ծարաւ քաղաքապետն ու քաղաքապետական խորհուդի շրջանի անդամները՝ յաջողցնելու նման ծրագիր մը: Հայ Կեդրոնի շրջանակը Ս. Երրորդութիւն եկեղեցւոյ քահանային հետ ունեցած իր ջերմ ու սիրալիր յարաբերութիւնները թող արժեւորէ՝ մեր համայնքի ամբողջական ուժով դիմում ներկայացնելու այդ ծրագրի յաջողութիւնը իրագործելու համար: Եւ բոլոր անոնք, որոնք պիտի շարունակեն zoning-ը պատճառաբանել, մեր անձնական փորձառութեամբ կ’ուզենք հոս նշել, թէ մեր բարեկամ փաստաբաններէն մէկը անցեալին, իր մտքին եւ համայնքին օգնութեամբ, կրցաւ յաջողցնել շատ մը ուրիշներէ անկարելի նկատուող շէնքի մը շինարարութիւնը Թորոնթոյի Bathurst եւ Glencairn խաչմերուկին վրայ՝ չորս բնակարաններու մէջէն անցնող ճամբայ մը չեղեալ նկատելու որոշումը առնել տալով քաղաքապետութեան կողմէ: Ու վստահաբար մեծահարուստները, որոնք ութուկէս միլիոնի մեծ գումարը ապահովեցին, այդ ըրին ոչ թէ որպէս նուիրատուութիւն, այլ համայնքին օգտակարութիւն մը ըրած ըլլալու տրամադրութեամբ՝ առանց վնասելու սակայն իրենց շահերուն:

Մեր բարեկամներէն տոքթ. Տիգրան Աբրահամեան, որ Keghart.com կայքով յաճախ անդրադարձած էր ՀԲԸՄ-ի շէնքի առուծախի նիւթին, «Լուսաբաց»-ի շրջանակին առջեւ տրուած զեկոյցով մը անդրադարձաւ, որ իր մասնագիտութեան բերումով ծանօթ է, թէ որքա՜ն շահաբեր է ծերանոց մը վարելու գործը՝ նկատի առնելով պետական առատ նպաստները, որոնք կ’ըլլան ծերանոց վարող այդ տեսակի հաստատութիւններուն: Նոյն այդ զեկոյցին ընթացքին, իր ուսումնասիրութիւններով գնահատանքի արժանի պրն. Սարգիս Եագուպեան, որ ՀԲԸՄ-ի շէնքի առուծախի հարցին մեծ հետաքրքրութեամբ կը հետեւէր, մեզի ներկայացուց մասնագիտական մակարդակով կատարած ծերանոց մը վարելու մասին իր լուրջ ուսումնասիրութիւնը: Այս զոյգ ազգայիններէն կարելի է շատ բան գիտնալ ծերանոց մը հիմնելու կարելիութիւններուն մասին, եթէ գումարը ապահովող մեծահարուստները իրենց կատարած ազգային օժանդակութեան գործին մէջ ուզեն տեսնել նաեւ շահաբեր շահագործութիւն (investment) մը իրականացնելու կարելիութիւնները:

«Հոն ուր կամք կայ՝ ելք կայ» մեր վերնագրով ուզեցինք շեշտել, թէ կարելի է յաղթահարել դժուարութիւններ, երբ կամքը կը ծառայեցնենք հասնելու մեր նպատակին: Քանի մը ամիս առաջ երբ ծանուցուեցաւ ՀԲԸՄ-ի շէնքի ծախուելուն մասին, ո՞վ կը հաւատար, որ քանի մը ամիսէն (մինչեւ 29 յունուար 2019-ի վերջնաժամկէտը) ութուկէս միլիոնի մեծ գումարը կարելի էր ապահովել: Հոս կ’արժէ յիշել, թէ հարցի քննարկման առաջին ժողովին մեծագոյն ներդրումը որ առաջարկուած էր այդ գումարը ապահովելու համար՝ եղած էր հնչակեաններու Նոր Սերունդ Մշակութային Միութեան կողմէ, որ յանձնառու եղած էր մէկ միլիոն տոլարի պարտաւորութեամբ մասնակցիլ դրամահաւաքին՝ փոխան կառոյցի որոշակի օգտագործման: Վերջնաժամկէտի թուականին օրը ծանուցուած ուրախ լուրը Գանատայի թեմին կողմէ՝ մեզի կը հաւատացնէ, որ մեծ դժուարութիւններ յաղթահարելով եղած է գնումը յաջողցնելու յանձնախումբին գնահատելի գործը:

Անգամ մը եւս բարձրացնելով ձայն մը անապատին մէջ եւ յիշեցնելով, որ հոն ուր կամք կայ՝ հոն ելք եւս կայ, համայնքի պատասխանատուներուն կը յանձնարարենք աշխատիլ ՄԻԱՍՆԱԿԱՆՕՐԷՆ՝ Թորոնթոյի մէջ ՀԱՅԿԱԿԱՆ ԾԵՐԱՆՈՑ մը ունենալու համար:

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Eleventh-Hour Diocese Plan to Purchase AGBU Centre

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

We are very pleased to announce, that on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019, the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Canadian Diocese exercised its right of first refusal to purchase the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) property at 930 Progress Avenue, Scarborough, ON.

On November 11, 2018, a special membership meeting of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church (HTAC), was held under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, Primate. The meeting mandated a committee appointed by the Parish Council “with regards to the Purchase and Sale Agreement between AGBU Armen Ontario and Centennial College for the AGBU property… to secure the necessary funds, and exercise, by January 2019, its first right of refusal to purchase the property by January 29, 2019.”

The mandated committee members, headed by Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian, Vicar of the Diocese and Parish Priest of HTAC, are Ohan Ohanessian, Chairman Diocesan Council, Rosine Imasdounian, Chairlady Parish Council, Jack Stepanian, Chairman Board of Trustees and past Chairman of the Diocesan Council, and Ara Boyajian, past Chairman of the Diocesan Council and HTAC Construction Committee.

Based on extensive work, on January 23, 2019 the Committee presented its final findings and recommendations to the Parish Council and HTAC Delegates, the Diocesan Council and the Diocesan Board of Trustees, and obtained unanimous approval from all mentioned bodies and the direction to proceed and present its findings to the HTAC special membership meeting.

The committee is pursuing all pending tasks to complete the purchase transaction no later than February 28, 2019, and details will be provided at the dues paying members’ special meeting that will be convened soon.
 
DIOCESAN COUNCIL, Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Diocese of Canada
PARISH COUNCIL, Holy Trinity Armenian Church
BOARD OF TRUSTESS, Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Diocese of Canada 
 

JANUARY 29, 2019 – TORONTO
 

ԿԱՐԵՒՈՐ ՅԱՅՏԱՐԱՐՈՒԹԻՒՆ

Ուրախ ենք յայտարարելու, որ Երեքշաբթի, Յունուար 29, 2019-ին, Հայաստանեայց Առաքելական Եկեղեցւոյ Գանատահայոց Թեմը ի գործ դրաւ իր իրաւունքը՝ գնելու 930 Progress Avenue, Scarborough, ON-ի վրայ գտնուող Հայկական Բարեգործական Ընդհանուր Միութեան (ՀԲԸՄ)-ի շէնքը։

Նոյեմբեր 11, 2018-ի Ս. Երրորդութիւն Հայց. Առաքելական Եկեղեցւոյ Ընդհանուր Անդամական յատուկ ժողովը գումարուեցաւ հովանաւորութեամբ՝ Գանատահայոց Թեմի Առաջնորդ, Գերշ. Տէր Աբգար Եպս. Յովակիմեանի: Սոյն ժողովը յանձնառու դարձուց Ծխական Խորհուրդի կողմէ նշանակուած յանձնախումբը, «ՀԲԸՄ Արմէն Օնթարիոյի եւ Centennial College-ի միջեւ առ ու ծախի համաձայնութեան գծով ապահովելու պէտք եղած գումարը եւ մինչեւ 29 Յունուար 2019 իրագործելու կառոյցը գնելու իր առաջին իրաւունքը»։

Նշանակուած յանձնախումբի անդամները, գլխաւորութեամբ՝ Գանատահայոց Թեմի Փոխ-Առաջնորդ եւ Եկեղեցւոյ Հոգեւոր Հովիւ՝ Արժ. Տէր Զարեհ Ա. Քհնյ. Զարգարեանի, կը բաղկանան հետեւեալներէն. Օհան Օհաննէսեան՝ Թեմական Խորհուրդի ատենապետ, Ռոզին Իմաստունեան՝ Ծխական Խորհուրդի ատենապետուհի, Ժագ Ստեփանեան՝ ատենապետ Հոգաբարձութեան եւ նախկին ատենապետ Թեմական Խորհուրդի, Արա Պոյաճեան՝ նախկին ատենապետ Թեմական Խորհուրդի եւ Եկեղեցւոյ Շինութեան Յանձնախումբի։

Յետ երկարատեւ եւ մանրակրկիտ աշխատանքի, Յունուար 23, 2019-ին, Յանձնախումբը Ծխական Խորհուրդին, Եկեղեցւոյ Պատգամաւորներուն, Թեմական Խորհուրդին եւ Թեմական Կալուածոց Մարմնին ներկայացուց իր ուսումնասիրութեան արդիւնքները եւ թելադրութիւնները եւ ստացաւ ներկաներու բացարձակ համաձայնութիւնը ձեռք բերուած արդիւնքները փոխանցելու Եկեղեցւոյ Անդամական յատուկ ժողովին։

Յանձնախումբը կը շարունակէ յանձնառու ըլլալ ամբողջացնելու վերոյիշեալ գնման ծրագիրը մինչեւ Փետրուար 28, 2019։ Մանրամասնութիւնները պիտի ներկայացուին յառաջիկային գումարուելիք եկեղեցւոյ տարտու անդամներու յատուկ ժողովի ընթացքին։

ԹԵՄԱԿԱՆ ԽՈՐՀՈՒՐԴ, Հայց. Առաք. Սուրբ Եկեղեցւոյ Գանատահայոց Թեմի
ԾԽԱԿԱՆ ԽՈՐՀՈՒՐԴ, Սուրբ Երրորդութիւն Հայց. Առաք. Եկեղեցւոյ
ԿԱԼՈՒԱԾՈՑ ՄԱՐՄԻՆ, Հայց. Առաք. Սուրբ Եկեղեցւոյ Գանատահայոց Թեմի

Յունուար 29, 2019 – Թորոնթօ

DÉCLARATION IMPORTANTE 

Nous sommes très heureux d’annoncer que le mardi 29 janvier 2019, le Diocèse canadien de la Sainte Église Apostolique Arménienne a exercé son premier droit de refus d’achat de la propriété de l’Union Générale Arménienne de Bienfaisance (UGAB), située au 930 Progress Avenue, Scarborough, ON.

Le 11 novembre 2018, une assemblée spéciale des membres de l'Église arménienne de la Sainte-Trinité (HTAC) a été convoquée sous la présidence de l’Évêque Abgar Hovakimyan, Primat. La réunion avait mandaté un comité, nommé par le Conseil paroissial «afin de s’occuper de la convention d'achat et de vente entre l'UGAB Armen Ontario et le Centennial Collège pour la propriété de l'UGAB… afin de garantir les fonds nécessaires et d'exercer, d'ici au 29 janvier 2019, son premier droit de refus d’achat de la propriété."

Les membres mandatés du comité, dirigé par le Révérend Archiprêtre Zareh Zargarian, Vicaire du Diocèse et Curé de l’Église de la Sainte-Trinité, sont Ohan Ohanessian, Président du Conseil Diocésain, Rosine Imasdounian, Présidente du Conseil Paroissial, Jack Stepanian, Président du Conseil des Curateurs du Diocèse et ancien Président du Conseil Diocésain, et Ara Boyajian, ancien Président du Conseil Diocésain et du comité de construction du HTAC.

Basé sur des travaux approfondis, le Comité a présenté, le 23 janvier 2019 ses conclusions et recommandations finales au Conseil Paroissial et aux délégués de l’Eglise apostolique arménienne de la Sainte-Trinité, au Conseil Diocésain et au Conseil des Curateurs du Diocèse, et a obtenu l'approbation unanime des membres ci-haut mentionnés pour présenter ses conclusions à l’assemblé spéciale des membres de l’Eglise arménienne de la Sainte-Trinité. 

Le comité poursuit toutes les tâches en suspens pour mener à bien la transaction d’achat au plus tard le 28 février 2019. Les détails de cette transaction seront communiqués lors de la réunion extraordinaire des membres contribuant, qui se tiendra prochainement.

CONSEIL DIOCÉSAIN, Diocèse de la Sainte église apostolique arménienne du Canada
CONSEIL PAROISSIAL, Église arménienne de la Sainte-Trinité
CONSEIL DES CURATEURS, Diocèse de la Sainte église apostolique arménienne du Canada

29 JANVIER 2019 – TORONTO

*************

Armen-Ontario Disputes Keghart.com Report

23 January 2019

Dikran,

Your January 21st, 2019 article on Keghart.com “Canada Revenue Agency Entries Contradict AGBU Claim"  mischaracterizes the financial information of Armen-Ontario.  We would have appreciated the opportunity to discuss and explain the inaccuracies before you posted the erroneous interpretation of the CRA filings, with CRA’s logo.  Did you receive CRA’s approval for the use of their logo??

In your posting, you extracted from the CRA 2017 information (assets & revenue), and not the full financials (liabilities were missing), nor the historical financial trends from 2013 to 2017 which is also available on the site.

We suggest you and your readers review the financials from 2013-2016 on the CRA site.  All the information is available and fully transparent.

The 2017 data does not reflect the historical financial trend and is the result of actions taken by the Board of Armen-Ontario to manage the facility in its efforts to convert the entity from losses in 2013, 2014 to positive revenue going forward from 2015.

To clarify, the 2017 Assets identified by CRA & shown as “Cash, Bank Account & Short Term Investments” of $ 625,848 is mainly the invested Trust Funds whereby the capital is not available for operational use.

The CRA assets noted as:  “Land & Building” for $4,459,189 is for the Toronto building only (note Armen-Ontario) and was increased by $325,045 in 2016 to capitalize the roof expenditures and repairs.  All capital expenditures on the facility are accumulated in this category.

We would appreciate if you post this clarification and cease any further mischaracterizations.

Board of Directors

Armen-Ontario of AGBU

We invite readers familiar with accounting principles to comment.

Thank you.

Dikran Abrahamian

*******

Canada Revenue Agency Entries Contradict AGBU Claim

Dikran Abrahamian, Ontario, 20 January 2019

In its October circular AGBU Armen-Ontario claimed “the cost of operating the Center [AGBU Alex Manoogian Cultural Center in Toronto] has become staggering”. Furthermore, it informed that AGBU was approached by Centennial College and “an agreement to sell” the property was entered provided “the leadership of Holy Trinity Armenian Church…would exercise its first right of refusal to acquire the property.” Following several community meetings it became obvious that the church was unable to raise the $8.5 million to acquire the centre. We are a few days away from Centennial College exercising its rights on Jan. 28.

Readers of the above circular were left with the impression that AGBU Armen-Ontario was in dire financial state and the option to sell the property either to Centennial College or the Holy Trinity Church was the only solution for the relief of the financial burden. Whether to impart such a grave impression was intentional or otherwise is difficult to evaluate without access to the minutes of the board. The minutes would shed light on the internal discussions leading to such a drastic decision.

A cursory look at the data filed by AGBU with Canada Revenue Agency for 2017 reveals a financial picture far from being desperate. It shows a reasonably healthy amount of $625,848 under “Cash, bank accounts, and short-term investments” and $26,629 as “Amounts receivable from all others.” Total revenue for the year was $386,472, whereas total expenditures amounted to $249,957.  An entry of $4,459,189 is made under Assets “Land and buildings in Canada.”  It’s not clear whether it refers only to property in Toronto or also elsewhere in Canada, such as Montreal.
 

Readers may check the above Revenue Canada Agency entries at Schedule 6: Detailed financial information — ARMEN ONTARIO OF ARMENIAN GENERAL BENEVOLENT UNION INC. and click on the various headings appearing on the page.

The data raise many challenging questions, but not being privy to supplementary crucial information, especially the minutes and correspondence of the board with various relevant agencies and the AGBU headquarters in New York, it is immaterial to deduce any conclusion or make allegations. We encourage AGBU in Toronto and its New York headquarters to be more transparent. To our knowledge, the Armenian community in Ontario invested one-third of the cost of constructing the centre in 1981. Since then the community has invested countless hours to maintain it as a functioning and necessary community centre.

Invitation to Membership Meeting – Open to the Community

 

Click on ՀՐԱՒԷՐ ՀԱՄԱՅՆՔԻՆ for the Armenian text
Toronto, 7 November 2018
Dear Faithful,
 
The Pastor and the Parish Council of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church invite you to a special Membership Meeting that will have a broad impact on the entire Armenian community. This meeting will take place on Sunday November 11, 2018 at 2:00pm in the "Magaros Artinian" Hall, presided by His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimian, Primate of the Armenian Church Canadian Diocese.
 
Considering the importance and urgency of this meeting we strongly encourage all members of the community to attend.
AGENDA

 

  1. Registration
  2. Call to order
  3. Opening prayer
  4. Adoption of the agenda
  5. Sale of AGBU Toronto property to Centennial College

    1. Key points of the terms of sale
  6. Reading of the resolution
  7. Open floor discussion
  8. Voting (Members only)
  9. Closing remarks & prayer
Thank you and we look forward to your presence at the meeting. 
Pastor and Parish Council

ԱՐՏԱՀԵՐԹ ԵՒ ՀՐԱՏԱՊ ԸՆԴՀԱՆՈՒՐ ԱՆԴԱՄԱԿԱՆ ԺՈՂՈՎ
– ԲԱՑ ՀՐԱՒԷՐ ՀԱՄԱՅՆՔԻՆ –
Սիրելի Հաւատացեալներ,
 
Այսու, Ս. Երրորդութիւն Հայց. Առաք. Եկեղեցւոյ Հոգեւոր Հովիւն ու Ծխական Խորհուրդը կը հրաւիրեն Ձեզ մասնակցելու Արտահերթ Անդամական Ընդհանուր ժողովի, որը մեծ նշանակութիւն պիտի ունենայ ամբողջ Հայ Համայնքին համար։
Ժողովը պիտի գումարուի Կիրակի, 11 Նոյեմբեր 2018-ի  կ.ե. ժամը 2։00-ին եկեղեցւոյս «Մակարոս Արթինեան» սրահին մէջ,  նախագահութեամբ՝ Գանատահայոց Թեմի Առաջնորդ՝  Գերշ. Տ. Աբգար եպս. Յովակիմեանի։
 
Նկատի ունենալով ժողովի կարեւորութիւնն ու հրատապութիւնը, համայնքի բոլոր անդամներէն կը խնդրուի անպայման ներկայ գտնուիլ:
ՕՐԱԿԱՐԳ
  1. Անդամներու արձանագրութիւն
  2. Բացման կոչ
  3. Բացման աղօթք
  4. Օրակարգի վաւերացում
  5. Թորոնթոյի ՀԲԸՄ կեդրոնի կալուածի վաճառք՝ Centennial College-ին

          -Վաճառքի պայմաններու հիմնական կէտեր

  1. Բանաձեւի ընթերցում
  2. Բաց քննարկում
  3. Քուէարկութիւն (տրատու անդամներ)
  4. Փակման խօսք եւ աղօթք

Շնորհակալութեամբ եւ Ձեզ ժողովին տեսնելու ակնկալութեամբ՝
Հոգեւոր Հովիւ եւ Ծխական Խորհուրդ

2 November 2018

Holy Trinity Considers Buying Toronto AGBU Centre

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Click on ԿԱՐԵՒՈՐ ՅԱՅՏԱՐԱՐՈՒԹԻՒՆ for the Armenian version

On Tuesday October the 30th at 8:00 p.m., upon the invitation of the Pastor and Parish Council of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church, an urgent meeting was held at the Maral Ishkhanian Hall of the Church. The meeting was presided by the Vicar of the Diocese of Armenian Church and Parish Priest, Rev. Archpriest Zareh Zargarian and later via Viber call, Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Church Canadian Diocese, His Eminence Bishop Abkar Hovagimian. Present to the meeting were, past and present chairpersons of the Diocesan Council, current delegates, current members of the Parish Council, and the Chairperson of Barev Centre.

This meeting was called as a result of AGBU's decision to sell the AGBU/Alex Manoogian centre to Centennial College (see below communique issued by AGBU on October 30, 2018). The sole agenda item for this meeting was to explore and discuss the Church's options to address this major development.

After a lengthy exchange of views and ideas, the meeting unanimously decided to recommend to the Church membership, that the Church exercise its first right of refusal option (that exists between AGBU and the Church) and purchase the AGBU Centre to protect and safeguard the survival and long term growth and services of the Church to the community.

Based on the foregoing, it was decided to call a special and urgent General Membership meeting on November 11, 2018 to debate and approve this recommendation.

Thank you for your continued support,

Pastor and Parish Council of Holy Trinity Armenian Church

******

October 2018

Dear AGBU Toronto Members,

As you are aware, the AGBU Center in Toronto, built in 1981, has accommodated the needs of our chapter for more than three decades.  Even as our Chapter continues to thrive with cultural, athletic and charitable activities, the cost of operating the Center has become staggering, requiring us to rent the facilities most of the time.

AGBU Toronto together with the Central Board, has been considering options to address this issue for some time, including moving our Chapter operations to a more centralized location that will make it even more convenient to meet the needs and interests of our community.

AGBU was recently approached on a confidential basis by Centennial College, an adjoining non-profit organization, and we entered into an agreement to sell our current property with the option of leasing it back to use as necessary through at least January 2020. This will give us time to decide our next steps as we continue uninterrupted our various activities, and also consider opportunities to expand community participation and support. This decision was endorsed by the Central Board.

With discussions ongoing, we recently shared the details of the Centennial College proposal with the leadership of Holy Trinity Armenian Church and explored the possibilities for the Church to exercise its first right of refusal to acquire the property.

As you know, AGBU has enjoyed a century long-relationship with our Church and cooperates closely with churches in communities across the globe; Toronto is no different. We will, of course, work to minimize the impact of this move on the operations of Holy Trinity and look forward to continuing to support each other’s important work.

We will continue to provide timely updates as this agreement moves forward and will gladly answer any questions you may have. As always, thank you for your continued support of AGBU’s important work.

AGBU Armen-Ontario

ԿԱՐԵՒՈՐ ՅԱՅՏԱՐԱՐՈՒԹԻՒՆ

Երեքշաբթի, 30 Հոկտեմբեր 2018-ի երեկոյեան ժամը 8-ին Ս. Երրորդութիւն Հայց Առաք. Եկեղեցւոյ Հոգեւոր Հովիւին եւ Ծխական Խորհուրդին հրաւէրով տեղի ունեցաւ արտահերթ խորհրդակցական ժողով, նախագահութեամբ՝ Գանատահայոց Թեմի Փոխառաջնորդ՝  Հոգեւոր Հովիւ Տէր Զարեհ Ա. Քհնյ. Զարգարեանի, որուն ապա Viber-հեռաձայնի հաղորդակցութեամբ միացաւ նաեւ՝  Գանատահայ Թեմի Առաջնորդ՝ Գերշ Տ. Աբգար եպս. Յովակիմեանը։ Հանդիպումը կայացաւ  եկեղեցւոյս  «Մարալ Իշխանեան» սրահէն ներս։

Ժողովին ներկայ էին Գանատահայոց Թեմական Խորհուրդի ներկայ եւ  նախկին ատենապետներ, ներկայ պատգամաւորներ եւ Ծխական Խորհուրդի ներկայ անդամներ, ինչպէս նաեւ «Բարեւ» Կեդրոնի ատենապետուհին։

Արտահերթ այս  հանդիպման հիմք կը հանդիսանար Հայ Բարեգործական Ընդհանուր Միութեան կողմէ առնուած որոշումը՝ վաճառել Ալեք Մանուկեան կեդրոնը՝ Centennial College-ին (կցուած գտնել ՀԲԸՄ-ի 30 Հոկտեմբեր 2018 թուակիր հաղորդագրութիւնը)։

Ժողովի միակ օրակարգն էր բացայայտել եւ քննարկել Ս. Երրորդութիւն եկեղեցւոյ  կարելի հնարաւորութիւնները՝ գտնելու լաւագոյն լուծումը այս իրավիճակին։

Բազմազան տեսակէտներու եւ առաջարկներու փոխանակումէն ետք, ժողովը միաձայնութեամբ որոշեց առաջարկ ներկայացնել եկեղեցւոյ տրատու անդամներուն, որ եկեղեցին  օգտագործէ Ս. Երրորդութիւն եկեղեցւոյ եւ ՀԲԸՄ-ի միջեւ գոյութիւն ունեցող համաձայնութիւնը (մերժելու առաջին իրաւունքը) եւ գնէ ՀԲԸՄ-ի կեդրոնը եւ հողատարածքը, ապահովելու համար  եկեղեցւոյ երկարամեայ ծառայութիւնները  ի խնդիր համայնքի գոյատեւման եւ առողջ զարգացման։

Նկատի առնելով վերոյիշեալները, Հոգեւոր Հովիւի եւ Ծխական Խորհուրդի անունով յայտարարութիւն մը պիտի ուղարկուի համայնքի զաւակներուն, զանոնք հրաւիրելով արտակարգ Ընդհանուր Անդամական ժողովի, քննարկելու եւ հաստատելու վերոյիշեալ առաջարկը։

Շնորհակալութիւն ձեր յարատեւ աջակցութեան համար,

Հովիւ եւ Ծխական Խորհուրդ
Սբ. Երրորդութիւն Հայց. Առաք. Եկեղեցւոյ

 

22 comments
  1. AGBU

    It is odd that a church meeting is celebrating the decision to close an Armenian institution.  The smiles and the laughter around the table is apparently the sign of victory – associated with the closure of the Toronto AGBU and the subsequent purchase of the building by the Holy Trinity Armenian Church.  One would think that this is a sad event?  At best it seems shameful.  At worst ……

    1. To Anonymous

      You make a good point about the smiling faces around the table while taking the vote. But if you want to make a real point […..] state your name. We are at a come to Jesus moment as a community and it will require some uncomfortable conversations to keep us (AGBU, church, Tekeyan…) to get us out of this current situation. I remember the days when each served a purpose, for the greater good of the community as a whole. I wish we can get back to those days, or maybe I'm just dreaming.

      1. Church serving a business

        The church has all the amenities it needs. Such a purchase, of course with donations, will empower the priest more. They will buy AGBU for a bargain price and later rent it to Centennial College. The proceeds will not feed the poor and hungry, but coffers of Etchmiadzin. [I presume] the priest will have his cut.

        1. Church Money

          So be it. Let  our local church take some money and let the rest of the proceeds go to Etchmidzin coffers. And then let us go and do some good old church business, and get somebody go to Armenia, open an office and all year round clean up the stable. Nikol cleaned the political system, why can't we start cleaning the church system.

  2. Vote yes to the purchase

    Unfortunately, I am not a member of the parish that Holy Trinity Armenian Church represents. If I were, I would vote yes to the purchace and encourage others to do so.

    On a larger scale, the edifice actually belongs to the Armenian community and it is only nominally AGBU's property.

    Be inclusive. Encourage believers and non-believers alike to use the premises. Don't exclude various budding groups who are associated with no one particular party or centre.

    Re-establish the school and limit the tuition fees to a level that working families can afford. Share the expense accross the community. A regular school will bring back the families that will enrich the centre. 

  3. The Sale and the Purchase

    AGBU Centre Sale

    When the average house price in Toronto is $700,000 to $800,000, how can it be that the massive AGBU Centre plus its large parking lot are priced at $8 million?

    Holy Trinity Armenian Church's Purchase of the AGBU Centre

    I understand that the church doesn't have the funds to buy the AGBU Centre and might  launch a donation campaign to raise some of the money. A great idea. I think the kahana in charge of the church should be the first to donate to the fund …from the incredible $130,000 plus he earns annually.                                      

    Years ago, I worked for a company which was going through financial troubles. The CEO sent a letter to the employees and explained the situation. He also pointed out that if we believed in the company and in its future, we should each buy a minimum of $5,000 worth of shares in the company. It was, sort of, buying our jobs. Since the kahana will be the first beneficiary of the Centre-buying donations (they will guarantee his job), the least he can do is to donate a chunk of his exorbitant salary to the purchase of the AGBU Centre. After all, it's agreed that if the Centre is bought by Centennial College or another entity, the church's days will be numbered…and the kahana will have difficulty landing another parish which will be generous enough to cough up the $130,000 per year.

    P.S. About half the money to build the AGBU Centre was donated by Torontonians. When the Centre is sold, who pockets the sales sum? Will the BENEVOLENT UNION return the original donations to the Toronto donors?

    1. Kahana

      If the kahana did not expell the members who were critical, the church would have had more members and if kept good relations with AGBU, it would not have been this bad. I think the kahana should be replaced. He already has enough investments in Armenia, he can leave and have comfortable life there and leave us all alone.

    2. Kahana

      To assume the salary of the Kahana then to tell him how to spend the money he makes is ridiculous. Your thinking is flawed, how would you feel if I told you how to spend yours ?

      1. Issues raised re: Kahana

         

        The issues raised are the following:

        1. The exorbitant salary of the kahana at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Scarborough.
        2. The fact that his salary is way higher than the salaries of clergymen in other churches (two to three times higher.) While the average Toronto salary is below $60,000, the kahana earns $130,000 plus benefits. I don't know where the moneys for baptisms, weddings, and funerals go.
        3. The fact that his salary is not commensurate with his duties.
        4. The fact (perhaps hearsay) that he owns several properties/houses, including in Armenia.
        5. The fact that he is no more than a "manager" of the church and despite his university education has written no book about spiritual subjects or pertaining to Armenians. I wouldn't be surprised if his university education was funded by the congregation.
        6. The fact that he is rolling in money while one of his junior kahanas ekes a living and needs help because of his ill health.
        7. Toronto Armenians have the right to tell him how to spend his generous salary and benefits. Just as he asks his congregation to donate to repair the roof of the church, and just as he asks the community to donate money to buy the AGBU building, local Armenians have the right to ask him to donate some of his wealth to individual Armenians (the ailing kahana?), to the church or to the community.
        1. My Response

          1. You made the same point 7 times if we judge ideas based on how long they are you would have me beat.
          2.  My point is you don't know how much he actually makes; you are making assumptions based on rumors.  it's easy to believe rumors about people we dislike to justify our dislike!
          3. Without knowing what he does day to day how can you say that his salary is not reflective of the amount of work he puts in.
          4. Even in your statement said it was "hearsay" so I won't even justify your statement with an answer. 
          5. Der Zareh is not the "manager" of the church; he is more like a president, also I don't understand the need for him to be some sort of author for you to validate him as a Priest. I can name multiple authors whose ideas aren't worth the paper they are written on so that's somewhat of a low bar to set for any individual.
          6. I like the use of "Rolling in money" but neither you nor I know his financial situation.
          7. No person on earth has the right to tell him how to spend his money just as I have no right to tell you. I think your dislike for the person is clouding your judgment of what is fair and what isn't. If you want to help your fellow community member please by all means, but if he wanted to pile his money and burn it, it's his right to do so.

          Also, the post is about the AGBU and the selling of the property behind the backs of its members, I think we need to funnel some of this disdain towards Armen-Ontario.
           

        2. Kahana

          The real Armenian church is dead. These guys do opposite of what they preach. Stop sending your donations, stop attending a place where hypocrites are flocking. If you want to pray, do how Jesus asked you to pray, if you want to donate, there are thousands of places, like homeless shelter, soup kitchen etc. Don't waste your money on griddy priest who is heartless. My only nickname for him is, Rasputin.

  4. Questionable Plea for $8.5 Million

    Today, like many other area Armenians, I received a bilingual (Armenian and English) email from the Holy Trinity Church of Toronto regarding its fund-raising campaign to buy the AGBU Centre of Toronto.
    1. It was an off-putting letter starting with its sequence: the English version (titled 'Show You Care') preceded the Armenian version.
    2. The text started with "Unreal but true". Why unreal? Buildings are sold and bought every day. The Centre has been a white elephant for years. As next-door neighbor the DerDer surely knew the Centre's sale was imminent. Why was he, the parish council, etc. caught by surprise–or at least that's what their current behavior indicates.
    3. Although we are about ninety days before the closing day, the letter asserted that the  Centre "will be sold on Feb. 28, 2019 to Centennial College."
    4. The email said that the sale will have "serious impact on the day to day operations of the Church." It didn't explain what the serious impact would be.
    5. The email said the sale to Centennial College will "cause irreversible damage to the Armenian character of the complex." If the church and its leaders cared in retaining the Armenian character of the complex why is that for years its relations with the Centre have been frosty?
    6. To induce people to donate, the letter said the "sale to a third party will threaten the sacrifices of your parents" and continues with similar tear-jerking sentences which border to emotional blackmail.
    7. It takes nerve for the church and its DerDer to ask for donations (the letter redundantly says "$8.5 million dollars") when the church has been a closed shop for years, with the same clique running things.
    8. It takes nerve for the church to ask for donations when its principals co-plotted to turf the capable and popular Bishop Pakrad from his position in Montreal without keeping the faithful informed about the reason(s) for shipping him back to Armenia.
    9. It takes nerve for the church and its amply-compensated DerDer to ask for donations when its Missisauga church priest (ailing) lives in pecuniary circumstances and according to what I have been told can't even afford a car.
    10. It takes nerve for the church to charge more than $600 for a cursory, quickie baptism which is officiated with bored "elan" and then demand its congregation to cough up $8.5 million for the Centre.
    11. It takes nerve for the church's DerDer to ask for money from many hard-pressed Torontonians when he earns a minimum of $130,000 a year plus unknown benefits when in Toronto Protestant pastors earn an average of $48,236 while Catholic priests earn $44,417. Why does the DerDer earn nearly three times their salary? How does the DerDer excel? Has he written a single book about theology, our Church history, or anything at all about our Church and nation? Has he demonstrated genuine spirituality? Incidentially, the average salary in Toronto is $58,756.
    12. Why doesn't very comfortable DerDer set a good example and donate a chunk of his annual salary for the purchase of the Centre? He would be demonstrating good neighborly relations and commitment to preserve the "Armenian character of the complex."
    12. Would the purchase of the Centre bring with it a salary increase for the DerDer? After all, his responsibilities will increase. Assuming that the DerDer is a busy man now, how will he find the time to get involved in the running of a huge building?
    13. How can the DerDer and his friends use emotional blackmail to make Toronto Armenians donate for the Centre's purchse when their letter doesn't even bother to mention what the church would do with the Centre. The Centre has been a white elephant for a number of years. What guarantee is there that it wouldn't continue to be so under the aegis of the extravagantly remunerated DerDer?

    1. Flawed logic

      Hi, your logic is flawed. You can't tell other people how to spend their money. First off if people are willing to donate to the church to buy the building even though the Mississauga church is "ailing" and second with how Ter Zareh spends his money.

      If you'd like to set a good example for poeple you're more than welcome to donate your money to Mississauga or whatever else youd like.

  5. Sales of AGBU Toronto Center

    Below is an email that I sent both to Mrs. Salpi Derghazarian, executive director of AGBU, and Fr. Zareh of Holy Trinity Armenian church, just before the gathering at the church. Since then, I have received the following information- some from CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) which is in charge of Charitable organizations, as well as  from different sources. Due to lack of tangible information (other than worthless intangible emotions) , we have to get as close as possible to the business reality.

    1) It seems that there was a fundraising for the construction of the AGBU centre in 1982; The Armenian community raised $1Million dollars; to which Mr. Alex Manoukian contributed $1Million dollars. There was a loan from the bank, of $1M. I believe all those loans are paid. In other words, the Armenian community in Ontario has contributed 66% of the funding.

    2) To the best of my understanding from CRA,  donations coming from United States to a Canadian charitable organizations, cannot be returned.

    3) It looks like the AGBU Centre is not bleeding money. It has broken even. The net benefit being that the large hall and medium is being utilized by the community (at no charge) few times a year. Maybe 7-12 times.

    – Expenses should be around $30,000/month (incl. salary ), and revenues are almost the same. (You can go to CRA website, Charitable organizations, 2016, as well as other general sources)

    – There may be some one time investment  between $50,000-200,000 for the property. (This is the best guesstimate; if somebody has better please let them come forward)

    4) […..]

    5) […..]

    6) As time is running out on the “option” that the church may exersize, I had to share with the community these information. The consultation with the lawyers are in the  middle of next week; I will be in Ottawa. So far, the information is not been consulted by expert lawyers.

    7) I will give my observations on the Church meeting in another article. It seems that the church finances is hardly breaking even, so it is a question for me, how  is it going to raise $8.5Million in 80 days? Unless there is a deal behind the curtains, this whole “representation” seems to be a charade.

    *****

    Mrs. Salpi Derghazarian
    Executive Director

    Dear Salpi,

    Kindly advise the AGBU Board of Directors as well as that of Armen Ontario that both the contents of their public letter, as well as the Statement below should not be acceptable to the members of the Armenian community, at least not to me. I have retained a law firm to follow up with the developments, and will share its opinions with the community. I also suggest that Father Zareh  ask the committees of the church to take their time in making decisions. I understand the church has 90 days to execute its options.  This correspondence will be forwarded to different members of the community as well as the media in Armenia. There should be complete public transparency. The decision should not be in the discretion of few power centers of our community, but for the best interest of the Armenian community in Toronto.

    Key information that should be public to the community is whether 1) the Centennial’s offered price is a fair, and whether the process is transparent; 2)  It seems that in the years 1979-82,  funds were raised by Ontario Armenians for the purchase and construction of the AGBU centre; then AGBU Central ( New York ) contributed with funds also. My understanding that the ratio was 51% – 49%  to AGBU NY favour. We want to make sure that that 49% of the proceeds stays in Canada. 3) Clear plans as to where the funds will be applied? Given the significance of the transaction, AGBU’s letter does not provide clear justifications for the sales, credible specific future plans, and transparency. I believe that if the  Board of Directors could not manage the operating expenses of a modern building (930 Progress Ave.) in a thriving real estate in Toronto, then it has failed in its task. In Montreal, AGBU Quebec is maintaining a day school for 400 students with $3.6 Million budget despite of all its challenges. ( Granted that in Quebec  30% of the students fees are subsidized by the province; but to compensate that, the Armenian community in Toronto has more resources.

    If AGBU property is sold to other entities, the definitionas to “who can vote as a member” within the context of the AGBU and church, will probably be challenged in tribunals or courts.  By abandoning AGBU’s traditional role, BOD strategy has been to limit the interaction with the community. This  has dampened membership enthusiasm knowing that their opinions do not matter; and as such they have asked why would they pay $100 membership. We will question whether some in the BOD had personal agendas to insulate AGBU? Few years back, AGBU launched “AGBU Young Professionals” and it was one program which sought empowerment of the youth; however at a closer look one can see that it was used as a launching pad to promote BOD President’s daughter to later become its President, and then the “Director of fundraising” at AGBU Head office, a prestigious position which allows interacting with the most powerful Armenians in the world.  [….]

    […..]

    If the property will be sold, the community will be happy if it stays within the Armenian organizations. Already  49% of those funds which already belong to the Ontario Armenians could be used as collateral for a further financing by the bank. That is in the event there was no fundraising.

    I just returned from a business trip, and had a short time to prepare my thoughts. I haven’t had the time to fact check in details. I just wanted to share it before  today’s general meeting at the church.

    Sarkis Yacoubian

    1. Support

      I agree and support the above remarks. I keep my right to ask my donation back.
      Armen Nalbandian

  6. Sale of the AGBU Centre

    I understand Armen-Ontario/AGBU is annoyed with people who while complaining about the sale of the AGBU Toronto Centre allegedly showed little interest in the operations of the Centre. I'm wondering whether this is because Armen-Ontario was a closed shop and few members knew who was who, how often the roster changed, and who decided the changes. I am wondering whether some members lost interest when the AGBU headquarters began to appoint the Centre's directors. By the way, were the directors remunerated? If they had an expense budget, how much was it?

    Another thing. The Keghart article says the community raised one-third of the Centre's construction costs. The actual figure is two-thirds with Alex Manoogian donating one-third. Of course, there's no price tag for the hours the community has dedicated to the continued functioning of the Centre. Since the community paid two-thirds of the construction cost, shouldn't it decide the future of the Centre rather than the invisible Armen-Ontario?

  7. Shame!

    I am confident that the church has the funds or can generate the funds to buy the property. They are pressuring the community to donate-donate-donate yet again! When are we going to learn to invest our community finances in profit making enterprises?
     
    Stop saying that we are a not-for-profit organization; change that ideology and start being for-profit organization and enrich our community from funds collected from non-Armenians for a change.

    AGBU has become the shameful face of the Armenian history, […]. They are making Alex Manougian roll in his grave! Shame on AGBU!!

  8. Sale of the Toronto AGBU center

    The problem seems to be carbon-copy of  similar Armenian institutions being  jettisoned recently almost nonchalantly, e.g. the Melkonian in Cyprus (AGBU), the Arshag Dikranian in Los Angeles (Tekeyan Cultural Assoc).
    Perhaps I missed something or some detail going fast through all of the above, but it would seem to me this financial killer crisis certainly did not occur or surface overnight. Instead, if genuine, should have been developping over at least a few years.

    I have no financial expertise and, if  I (or you) had some personal problem emerging in that area, I (or you) would have consulted a financial expert's or experts' advice. In this case that should have been the minimum requirement and in a case like the Cyprus Melkonnian, educators' (both Armenian and Greek) and Cyprus state education ministry advisors' additional input should have been doggedly pursued over months, likely years.

    The real question then is: in any of those three glaring examples, was such expertise ever solicited and obtained and if so, was it presented to all parties concerned well prior to initiating the sale processes (in this presnt instance to at least the church membership, perhaps also to the AGBU annual international meeting). This apparent emerging habit of allowing cancer to fester silently and then to put everyone in fait-accompli at the last minute is dictatorship in disguise and prescription for global Armenian disaster.

  9. Incompetence all around

    I am glad that KEGHART reported on this issue and raised the awareness of its readers and among those who are interested in Armenian affairs. Indeed since the closure of the Melkonian Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus it has become "fasionable" to liquidate Armenian holdings or heritage (patrimoine in French) throughout the diaspora invoking various operational issues that point out, in the best of cricumstances, to the incompetence of those in charge and in the worst case scenario, to the intellectual and visionary bankruptcy of the Armenian diaspora leadership that is unable to rise to the challenge and find solutions to institutional, educational and organizational issues that are bedevilling Armenian diaspora communities and their existence from the Middle East to the United States.

    Otherwise how to explain the closure and consolidation of schools, sale of property that was acquired through the sacrifice and hardship of those who came before us with a mission in their life. It is unfortunate that the so-called Armenian press ignores such issues or is given to the ordinary and boring recitation of Jeremiahs as a way of confronting the bleak future without actually bringing about a change in the ossified mentality of those who still believe in their message.

    All I see in the Armenian press are photos of our clergy celebrating mass on festive occasions or anniversaries of their enthronement as if they are the hope and the future of our nation, while in fact the people who report on them have become their sole admirers.

    I am only hopeful that the new generation of rising Armenians (Armenians in their own right and in the way they see things) will finally kick these incompetent, hardly educated, and self-contended parasites out and take over the management of our communal life, to bring order, strategic planning and vision to the common future.

    It is sad that we seem to be happy to live without revolution in our lives!

    1. Sell, Sell, Sell

      In the past few years, Melkonian shuttered in Cyprus.
      An important Armenian school in Los Angeles, run the Ramgavars, was sold.
      St. Vartan Church in New York could be selling some of its real estate.
      In a few days the AGBU Centre in Toronto will disappear.
      The AGBU is also closing school(s) in Beirut.
      I don't know whether there are more church or national buildings which have been sold or are about to be.
      What does this say about the Diaspora and the AGBU?
      The Armenian Diaspora media is sleeping on the job because most of the outlets are owned by the political parties. They are not journalists. They are people on the soapbox mouthing their political parties' agenda.

    2. It would have been interesting

      It would have been interesting to hear, besides the criticism towards AGBU, what you would have done to salvage Melkonian and the other institutions.

      It's very easy to criticise, it doesn't cost a penny.
       

  10. The Bottom Line

    It appears that the bottom line for ABGU is the sum total of $$$$$. 

    Intangibles that are priceless such as having a  community center for the seniors to socialize, for the young to meet; a place where the community gets together to commemorate April 24, celebrate independence, hold an after school Armenian school are falling by the wayside.

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