STATE OF HAWAII - A GOOD FRIEND OF ARMENIANS
Marietta Makarian

AZG Armenian Daily
01/07/2009

Armenian Genocide

US politician, Head of the City Center and China Town of Honolulu
(USA), Assistant of Senator Sam Slowm, Frank Lavoie and his Armenian
wife Margaret Lavoie were the guests of "Azg" daily on June 26.

To recap, the State of Hawaii is the 42nd state of the United States
that on April 7 of this year officially recognized the Armenian
Genocide. Frank Lavoie and his wife made a very big contribution and
put a lot of efforts to it.

Frank Lavoie first time visited Armenia in 1995 together with the
Peace Corps members and gave lectures at the Gavar State University
for two years. Here he met and married Margaret. A year later, they
moved to Boston. In 1999, they moved to State of Hawaii, where Frank
became the assistant of the Senator and community head. The Lavoies
have a 7-year-old son and the family observes the traditions of both
nations. Frank loves the Armenian cuisine.

When Frank was informed about the details of the 1915 Armenian
Genocide, he began to collect information about the Armenian
well-known artist of the 20th century, a witness to the Armenian
Genocide Arman Tadeos Manukian who died in the State of Hawaii and
whose paintings are kept in several museums. Aram Manukian, born
in 1904 in Costandinopolis, moved to France and then Hawaii with
his parents rescued from the Armenian massacres. Here in Hawaii
he created his valuable canvases and was nicknamed "Van Gogh of
Hawaii". Unfortunately, the young artist died of young age being
famous not only in the State of Hawaii of 800.000 population, where
100 Armenian families live, but also in many other countries.

In April 2008, George Kassen was suggested by the US National Committee
to prepare a document presenting the Armenian Genocide. The latter
asked Frank Lavoie to prepare the document and set the issue at
the parliament. In December of that year, Frank Lavoie presented
the document at the parliament. The document presented well-known
artist Arman Manukian's life and activities as one of the survivors
and victims of the Armenian Genocide, who most of his life lived
and created in the State of Hawaii. The mentioned fact played a
major role in influencing the opinions of the 6 members of the
House of Representatives. They agreed to present the document for
discussion of the 50 members of the House. All the members of the
House of Representatives unanimously voted for the document and on
April 7, 2009, the Sate of Hawaii became the 42nd state of the USA
that officially recognized the Armenian Genocide declaring April
24 as a Day of Remembrance in Recognition and Commemoration of the
Armenian Genocide of 1915 By the way, Hawaii is the native state of
the US President Barack Obama, who paid an official visit to Turkey
on those days when the Hawaii House of Representatves adopted the
document officially.

One of the purposes of the Lavoies' visit to Armenia is to meet the
Catholicos of All Armenians. They want the Armenian Catholicos to
present a Khachkar to the State of Hawaii that will be placed at the
Central Square of Honolulu and the park will be named "Armenian".