The Beauty of Armenian Saturday School

By: Talin Orfali – An Alumni – Began in 1989 & Graduated in 1999
 Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Today, nostalgia hit me really hard and I started to think about all the memories and years I attended the beautiful St. Sahag. St Mesrob Armenian Saturday School of Toronto, Canada. As I was heading to make a visit to the school, I saw the symbol and logo which then I tried so hard to hold back my happy tears. My throat was also getting heavy and thinking about the many years that have passed by since I graduated from the school. In 2016 will mark the 60th anniversary of the school. 60 wonderful, memorable and educational years. We will be having a reunion and gathering on April 16, 2016. I am excited and impatient for that. day.

In 1999, the school began its inaugural trip of a lifetime to Armenia, to go up close and personal with the real deal. I was lucky enough to be in the first graduating grade 8 class that ventured out to Armenia with my fellow peers, as well as our incredibly awesome teacher whom we call “Baron Antranig” Chillingirian. I will forever be grateful and appreciate his dedication and passion toward Armenians and Armenia. We spent almost 20 days there, with touring Paris, France as we had over a 10-11 hour layover. We were also lucky to have flown with Armenian Airlines which was in service back then. It was a great feeling hearing the announcements on the aircraft being said in Armenian, and before boarding the Aircraft, seeing the name Yerevan (EVN Airport Code), was so lovely to see and that this was real, it was finally going to happen. I am so glad I was able to join my fellow students and go on a trip of a lifetime and the best trip of my life to see my beautiful Armenia.
The feeling was indescribable, a feeling that I could not even comprehend. It was absolutely incredible. I was on the soil of my motherland, my home, and I instantly felt a shiver of happiness go through my body as I kissed the ground. I cried many times too. I just couldn’t believe that I was in Armenia after the many years of learning about it.
St. Sahag. St. Mesrob Armenian Saturday School is and will always be so near and dear to me and my heart and will forever be an important part of it. The Armenian Saturday school gives the opportunity to teach the importance of our culture, beliefs, alphabet, history, the Armenian Genocide, heritage, churches, landmarks, innovators, authors, our Armenian Alphabet inventor Mesrob Mashtots, how to read, write, and speak Armenian. Also to teach the students about our traditional music, dances and give our students the utmost in excellence in an educational, successful,  nurturing, healthy and safe environment.
God willing and hopefully one day when I have my family and my own children, that they will follow in my footsteps, as they grow up to join me on this continuing journey to send them to St. Sahag. St. Mesrob Armenian Saturday School. It will be so important for me to instill the same passion, and love I have for this school in them as well. It is going to make feel so great to see that I once was a student and now they will be too in the future.
I have so much to be thankful for especially to my parents, grandparents, for allowing me to have the chance to grow up in my Armenian community, who instilled values in me, to make Armenian friends, to learn about my culture and heritage. I also give thanks to the many teachers and teachers assistants I was blessed with and for them to have patience and guiding me through the 10 years that I was at the school. I really appreciate it so much. I love you all very much. I miss my beautiful Armenian school so much. I am truly blessed and will forever be grateful for all the experiences and education that fulfilled and brightened up my world and my life.
I am sure that the feelings and thoughts of my nostalgia are mutual with past alumni students that also attended the school. God bless St. Sahag. St. Mesrob Armenian Saturday school, staff, teachers and beyond. Wishing you all an educational, healthy, successful, and safe future ahead.

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