The Council of Armenian American Organizations of Northern California (CAAONC) was formed in 1997 to purchase, protect, and preserve the Mount Davidson Cross. The CAAONC consists of thirty-two Armenian-American organizations in Northern California. See more of their pictures at their website at http://mountdavidsoncross.org/.
Bishop Sharvanian, Ed Aslanian, their attorneys, other friends and members of the Council of Armenian Organizations of Northern California, with Dave Bisho and Elizabeth Mettling of the Friends of Mount Davidson Conservancy the day their bid won the auction of the Mount Davidson Cross, July 12, 1997. (Courtesy Dave Bisho.)
Voter approval of Proposition F in 1997 was required to finalize the sale of the 1/3 acre of Mount Davidson Park around the monument. The CAAONC raised thousands of dollars with the Friends of Mount Davidson Conservancy to fund the campaign. The CAAONC continued to raise funds and donate their expertise to preserve the monument in the court battles that followed the vote before being settled in 2003 when the United States Supreme Court refused to review the plaintiff’s case challenging the legality of the sale. (Courtesy CAAONC.)
Ballot measure description in the voter pamphlet and results of the vote. Proposition F got more yes votes (68%) than any other measure on the November 1997 ballot. (Author’s Collection.)
East meets west at San Francisco’s highest point when a second plaque is added to the base of the cross after its purchase by the Armenian organization, “If evil of this magnitude can be ignored, if our own children forget then we deserve oblivion and earn the world’s scorn.” Avedis Aharonian (writer and educator,1866-1948) Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day April 24, 1998. (Author’s Collection.)
At the commemoration event in 1998, Mayor Willie Brown continued the tradition of the city’s mayors attending Easter Sunrise ceremonies on its highest hill. (Courtesy Glenn Gullmes.) Mount Davidson becomes the site for a commemoration of the Armenian church’s 1700th anniversary in 2000. (Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle.)
After years of neglect the new owners do a much needed refurbishing of the monument. (Courtesy CAAONC.)
The new owners of the monument continue to host the annual Easter sunrise event organized by West Portal Monthly newspaper publisher, Glenn Gullmes, for the enjoyment of all who wish to be inspired by the beauties of nature atop Mount Davidson at dawn. (Courtesy Glenn Gullmes.)