His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East has officially opened a new assembly hall at St. Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School, while on a visit accompanied by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon and His Grace Mar Emmanuel Joseph, Bishop of Canada.
The new hall, named “His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV School Assembly Hall” is located on the third level of the school and will serve as a Multi Purpose Centre for the students’ school and sporting activities.
During the school visit, on 14 September, His Holiness also blessed the Early Learning Centre at the rear of the school, which receives children from the age of 4-5 years who are beginning their schooling years in kindergarten. The main purpose of the Centre is to teach the children self-developmental activities to their abilities, enhance cognitive development, emotional and physical development.
His Grace Mar Emmanuel officially opened the school library that was dedicated to His Beatitude Mar Meelis and named “His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia Metropolitan Library”.
The eventful day began with an official ceremony, opened by the school choir’s presentation of the Australian, Church and Assyrian national anthems as well as the school song.
School chaplain, Rev. Narsai Youkhanis, opened with a prayer before school principal, Sarkis Makko, gave his welcoming address where he expressed his joy and gratitude towards all the teachers, staff and students for their hard work and efforts in building the school into what it is today.
Students performed a presentation titled “A day at SHAPS”, showing all the prayers recited throughout the day. Another set of students presented the alphabet in a fun and enthusiastic manner, while others danced the tradition Assyrian cultural dances and dressed in traditional Assyrian clothes.
His Beatitude took to the podium where he revisited the past and the early stages of establishing the school, touching up once again on its importance for the community. Memorable stories took everyone 10 years back in time to the opening of the school, painting a picture of how a dream grew into fruition.
His Holiness gave the keynote address, thanking Australia’s Federal and State Governments for their continual support of The Assyrian Schools, particularly the $3 million recently approved for the building and establishment of school facilities.
At the same time, His Holiness thanked the beloved sons and daughters of the Church in Sydney for their aid and support for the Church in all its projects.
His Holiness stressed the significance of the Church’s duties for her children, their religious education, and nationalism as Assyrians. Thanking His Beatitude for his dedication and hard efforts, His Holiness said the quality of the offspring can be seen in the faces of the hundreds of school students.
More importantly, His Holiness expressed his joy towards the school’s activities and religious impact on the students. With religious studies, said His Holiness, humility and love is established in our nation, reflecting Christ in our lives.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the school was honoured to celebrate His Holiness’ birthday with a special cake.
St. Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School currently has 600 students enrolled, with future plans set to establish other primary schools in the area to cater for the growing community and its needs.
The Assyrian Church of the East in Sydney, under the leadership of His Beatitude Mar Meelis, has catered and will continue to cater for all the members of the community.
The Metropolitan See of Sydney has opened: Grace Childcare (2-4 years of age), Early Learning Centre (4-5 years of age), SHAPS (5-12 years of age), MNAC (13-18 years of age) and St. Mary Retirement Village consisting of 50 homes.[nggallery id=261]