There was a fairly
large Armenian colony here during the early part of the 18th century, most
of whom were engaged in the jute trade. Prominent Armenian jute
merchants had their own companies, namely, Messrs Sarkies & Sons, Messrs
David & Co., etc. Gradually the jute business was absorbed and
monopolised by the more powerful and better organised British firms who
established themselves there.
Before the Armenian community had its own church or cemetery a number of
Armenians were buried in the cemetery of The Church of the Holy Rosary
Tejgaon,itself built in 1677. The oldest Armenian tombstone is of
Avietes a merchant who was the son of Lazar of Erivan and dated 15
August 1714. The Armenian community continued to use the church
until 1794, 13 years after their own was built.
Armenian settlers built a small chapel in the midst of their community
graveyard. By the end of the
18th century the Armenian colony in Dacca had grown considerably and the
chapel was found inadequate for the needs of the community. Major
subscriptions were made by Michael Sarkies, Astwasatoor Gavork, Margar
Pogose and Khojah Petrus. They replaced the chapel with a Church, known as
the Holy Resurrection Church which was completed in 1781 and consecrated by
His Grace Bishop Ephreim. The extensive grounds on which this Church
was built were presented by a well known Armenian merchant, Agah Catchick Minas.
His wife, Sophia is entombed inside the church. Another merchant,
Johannes Carapiet Sarkies added the belfry in 1837, which also served as a
clock tower. In 1907 a parsonage was built and in 1910 the floor of the
church was covered with marble, and electric lights and fans were donated by
the late Mr. Arathoon Stephen of the Grand Hotel Calcutta, in memory of his
grandfather Rev. Hyrapiet Gregore Bashkhoomian who was priest at the church
for 15 years from 1828. He passed away suddenly on the eve of his
retirement from Dacca, and is buried in the churchyard near the belfry.