Mr Krikor Batmanian
(1916 – 2022)
Krikor Batmanian was born in Cairo, Egypt on the 12th February 1916. His parents Vahan and Satenig Batmanian were blessed with three sons, Vahram, Krikor and John. After graduating from a French Catholic primary school, Krikor commenced his secondary education at an English Mission school. Unfortunately, the loss of his father in his final year of high school precluded him from continuing his studies at a tertiary level. Instead, he was forced to work to help support himself and the family. He gained an apprenticeship at a photo engraving business, where he excelled to become a full partner with his Armenian employer in a relatively short period of time. In 1944 he married Satenig Kassabian who unfortunately passed away only after a few years of marriage, leaving behind their son Vahan, and Krikor, a widower at 34 years of age.Krikor took advantage of his brother John’s engineering background to partner with him and instigate a small factory for the manufacture of plastic products, a novelty at the time. By the time they left Egypt in 1963, the factory had become one of the biggest and most successful in the country.
Throughout his life, Krikor Batmanian was an active member of the Armenian community. He believed that it was every Armenian’s duty to contribute in some way towards the benefit of the community and the church. This belief led him to volunteer his services as a member of several Armenian organisations in Cairo, including the Armenian Church, the AGBU and Homenetmen. One of his greatest benefactor contributions in Egypt was towards the re-construction of the Noubarian School.
In 1963, the plastics factory and other assets which he jointly owned with his brother John, were nationalised by the Egyptian government. This move prompted them to immigrate to Australia during the same year. They decided to commence a new chapter in their lives and undertook a number of small businesses, the main one being a plastic factory.
The hardships of a new life in a new country did not deter Krikor. On the contrary, he immediately resumed his involvement in the Armenian community. For some time, he became an active member of the Armenian Church and ancillary groups, and together with his brother and friends and the support of Father Mirzaian, was one of the active members of the AGBU Sydney Chapter. He became involved with almost all aspects of Armenian life in Australia. Many elderlies will no doubt remember being driven on a weekly basis, by him and/or his brother to and from their homes to the Saturday Armenian School. His devotion to the Armenian cause led him to Canberra, where
together with the bishop and other prominent Armenians, the delegation was successful in convincing the immigration minister to grant visas to 200 families from the Middle East. This was a triumph for the small Armenian community at the time.
Krikor Batmanian was also a foundation member of the Armenian Church’s Properties Trust Group and during the many years he was associated with the group he was active in acquiring many of the properties the Church owns today. Together with his brother John, they became benefactors of the Armenian Church in Australia for their contribution to the building of the The Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Trinity to fulfil the spiritual needs of the growing western suburbs Armenian community and ensure that Armenians retain their identity.
Krikor Batmanian leaves behind his son, Vahan, grandchildren, Julia and Andrew and great grandchildren Sarah, Tamsin, Sebastian and a granddaughter on the way.