What Happened to Alavjian Catering at the Western Diocese?

Posted on July. 13. 2019


JULY 5, 2019


Harout Hallajian of “Alavjian Catering” has been in the catering business in the Los Angeles community for over four decades. He has been successfully managing banquet halls throughout the Los Angeles area. Along with his partner, a major benefactor and sponsor of Western Diocese Library Harout Aga Sarkisian, they were invited in the early 2000’s by then Primate of the Western Diocese His Eminence Arch. Vatche Hovsepian to design and build as part of their investment the kitchen for the Western Diocese along with renovations of the Kalajian Hall. It was agreed that they would have at their disposal the kitchen and the hall to run their business.
On behalf of the Diocesan Council, Arch. Hovsepian granted the partners a long-term-lease contract for the operation of the Alavjian Catering business. Contract agreement was:
1) Design and build the kitchen at Hallajian’s expense;
2) Use the kitchen and the hall as Alavjian Catering business; and
3) Diocese to receive $16,000 month of which Alavjin was able to fulfill.
The initial financial investment of close to half million dollars was expected to be undertaken by the partners. In good faith Hallajian and Aga Sarkisian stayed true to their contract.
The incoming new primate-turned businessman, Arch. Hovnan Derderian unilaterally and without any justifications changed the door locks of the hall and kitchen obstructing the partners’ entry to their legitimate business at the premises at the Diocese.
Upon his arrival on a Friday in early 2004, Mr. Hallajian was greeted by the late pastor Davit Zelveyan who on behalf of Arch. Derderian warned him that, “the primate had changed the locks and he urged him not to enter the hall otherwise, Arch. Derderian would call the Police and have him arrested.”
This caused Mr. Hallajian great emotional stress along with deep disappointment of his own spiritual servants of his church. It was at this point that it was discovered from Canadian Armenians that Arch. Derderian was kicked out of the Canadian Diocese due to his greed and misap-propriation of funds. Note article p.4, “Some facts about Hovnan Derderian”
With their lease agreement Mr. Hallajian and Mr. Aga Sarkisian were forced to go to court and face legal harassment of motion after motion by Hovnan Derderian (p. 3). A pattern set by Arch. Derderian to railroad benefactors out of their legal rights causing frivolous lawsuits over and over for the Western Diocese. In this case envision your spiritual leader being placed on a witness stand being cross-examined over his deposition. During the cross-examination discrepancies were discovered with his testimony stated in open court. According to a well-informed source the amount of loss to the Diocese in this case alone was in excess of $300,000!
At that time Mr. Taglyan advised Arch. Derderian: “It’s not appropriate for you as Diocesan Primate to go to court and be placed on a witness stand for a business matter.” Derderian responded saying that he wouldn’t mind as he stands to “gain a lot of money”. Upon seeing the greedy character of Arch. Derderian, Mr. Taglyan contemplated to back-off the Taglyan Complex project but it was already too late. Mr. Taglyan had already made initial heavy investments in the construction of Taglyan Complex. In 2018, Arch. Derderian and St. John Garabed Pastor- Markaryan both failed businessmen clergy who jointly attempted to unfairly boot out Mr. Petros Taglyan thus trying to railroading him out of several millions of dollars. Mr. Taglyan went to court. Western Diocese lost and was ordered by Judge Hammock to pay all legal fees. In 2019, the same duo opened a motion against the court claiming that Judge Hammock was biased against them. Again they lost and were ordered to pay all legal fees.
The court issued an injunction in FAVOR of Mr. Hallajian and the next day as per court orders, Arch. Derderian gave a set of new keys to Mr. Hallajian.
Where were the Diocesan Council leaders and members – lay governors of the Diocese and why did they allow a spiritual leader to meddle in business and financial dealings involving the Diocese? Why are they allowing primate-turned failed businessmen Arch. Derderian ruin Western Diocese’s and Armenian Church’s reputation? Where do the funds come from to pay for the legal fees?

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