Forum Blogs VIP Armenia Community Chat All Albums

VIP Forums Muzblog Chat Games Gallery. , , , , .

Press here to open menubar...User Control Panel WAP/Mobile forum Text Only FORUM RULES FAQ Calendar
Go Back   VIP Armenia Community > Forum > General Discussions > Diaspora
Blogs Members List Social Groups Mark Forums Read Press here to open menubar...


Notices

Diaspora News and events in Armenian and other diasporas.

Reply
 

ARF Lowell Celebrates 122 Years, Honors the Late Tom Vartabedian

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 14 Mar 17, 16:52   #1 (permalink)
Top VIP
VIP Ultra Club
VIP Forums Group's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 11,652
Rep Power: 59 VIP Forums Group is on a distinguished road
Post ARF Lowell Celebrates 122 Years, Honors the Late Tom Vartabedian

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (A.W.)More than 150 people packed the Jaffarian Hall of the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of North Andover on March 4, to celebrate the 122nd anniversary of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Lowell Aharonian committee and to pay tribute to longtime Armenian Weekly columnist, an award-winning Haverhill Gazette writer-photographer, and dedicated Armenian community activist Tom Vartabedian.

Tom Vartabedian was a longtime dedicated member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)

Aharonian gomideh chair Aram and the evenings Master of Ceremonies Aram Jeknavorian opened the evenings program by inviting Rev. Father Stepan Baljian, Pastor of the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church, to lead the attendees in prayer. After blessing the tables, Rev. Baljian said a prayer in Vartabedians memory.

Following the invocation, attendees sang the National Anthems of the United States and Armenia. Welcoming remarks were then delivered by Jeknavorian, during which he gave a brief history of the Aharonian committeethe first ARF committee in North America.

A shot of the crowd at the March 4 event in North Andover (Photo: The Armenian Weekly)

In a letter dated Sept. 24, 1895, the [ARF] Bureau gave a group [in Lowell] the authority to start their activities, explained Jeknavorian. Two other letters, dated Oct. 8 and 18, 1895, informed [ARF party organ] Droshak the formation of units in Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, Providence, and Fall River Shortly thereafter, one year late, the ARF had its first Convention in Lowell In his letters to Droshak, Garabed [Avedissian, unger in Secretary in the U.S.] wrote, The Armenian people opened their eyes, looked around, and saw an incorruptible organization true to its beliefs, accepting responsibility for the sake of freedom and for the joyous day of justice and popular democracy that is to come in Hayastan. Jevnavorian then went on to explain how the Aharonian committee got its name after the death of prominent Armenian political leader, writer, and activist Avetis Aharonian.

Jeknavorian then made a toast to the late Tom Vartabedian on behalf of the Aharonian gomideh, the areas Armenian organizations, as well as Toms family and friends To Tommys 50 years of service. A loyal unger, who asked for no rewards; who maintained a high level of service within the community; promoted unity, reconciliation, high moral values, and most importantly friendship. Everything you would want in an unger, a friend, and a buddy. To Tom, Jeknavorian said, as the crowd held their drinks high.

Ara Jeknavorian (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

After dinner was served and enjoyed by those in attendance, Dr. Ara Jeknavorian of the Armenian Genocide Education Committee of the Merrimack Valley delivered a presentation entitled Toms Mission for Genocide Education, during which he explained Vartabedians dedication to educating both Armenian and non-Armenian youth about the Armenian Genocide.

Through photos and slides, Dr. Jeknavorian detailed the work Vartabedian and others have done over the years within the public school system in the Merrimack Valley. The group was formed about seven years ago by Tommy, the late Albert Movsesian, and Dro Ganayan. They observed that even though we have a State Law that says that you shall teach the Armenian Genocide in schools, they found that in reality, the Armenian Genocide was truly a forgotten Genocide I feel very honored that three years ago, when I retired, Tommy asked me to be a part of the group, Jeknavorian explained. He went on to detail how the group has visited over 30 schools and taught several hundreds students about the Armenian Genocide. The crowd was then invited to read aloud Vartabedians Pledge to Make a Differencesomething that he would have students do, after they learned about the Armenian Genocide:

I pledge to try to make a difference in the lives of others. I pledge to stand against intolerance, prejudice, discrimination, and hate, and to promote greater understanding and acceptance. I recognize that even small acts of kindness can have a big impact on others. I pledge to be the change.

Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) Board member and associate director of Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives Tsoleen Sarian then delivered remarks on behalf of the ANCA-ER. I am thankful for Tommys enthusiasm, constant encouragement, and positive attitude. In his role as an outspoken leader, he elevated all those around him, especially the youth. He shined light onto other peoples projects and activism. He built coalitions and brought people together, because unified, our voice is stronger. I admire him for his hard work. He was participating in so many organizations, and always made teaching the Armenian Genocide in local schools and colleges a priority. Our community is stronger, thanks to Tom Vartabedian. Sarian said. She then provided a detailed update of the ANCA-ERs activities and outlined ways the community can get involved in the organizations activities.

Tsoleen Sarian delivering her remarks (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

Following Sarians remarks, Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Bedford chapter member Datev Gevorkian performed a musical selection of three songs on the oud, dazzling members of the audience.

Datev Gevorkian performing on the oud (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

ARF Eastern U.S. Central Committee member Antranig Kasbarian then delivered remarks on behalf of the Central Committee. Many of us Dashnaktsakans (ARF members), we wear our nationalism on our sleeves, and sometimes well clobber you with our nationalist ideology. Tom also was an ardent patriot. But his nationalist ideology actually wove its way through discussions and wove its way through his writings and his columns. He often tied our cause to larger issues of human dignity, of cultural awareness, or just reflections on the human condition and the absurdity of life. Always, that nationalist ideology was a part of a wider humanism that really represents the love of life, and for that I am really proud to have known him as a friend and as an unger, Kasbarian said.

Antranig Kasbarian delivering his remarks (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

Following Kasbarians remarks, deputy director of the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) and former Armenian Weekly editor Jason Sohigian shared his reflections about Vartabedians life and legacy. My strongest memory while working with Tom Vartabedian at the Armenian Weekly was him telling us and reminding me to focus on the local, on telling peoples stories and about our local community. And while many of us were often with our head in the clouds, dealing with politics, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh), and the genocide issueday in and day outTom reminded us to remember to keep the Armenian-American community alive. Its not that he didnt have the political or historical awarenesshe really understood the times But he really understood the importance of the local and telling the stories of the people. And of course, he had great storytelling skills, Sohigian said, noting that Vartabedian wrote in the simple, light, enjoyable, and everyday style of a William Saroyan. Publically, Tom referred to me as his editor, which was humbling, but somehow could never sit right with me and I never could correct him. It felt very overstated to me, because Tom was such a seasoned pro and such an accomplished columnist, Sohigian said.

Jason Sohigian delivering his remarks (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

Rupen Janbazian, the current editor of the Armenian Weekly, then spoke about Vartabedians legacy as a longtime Armenian Weekly columnist and activist in the Armenian community. The ARF was an integral part of Toms lifea pillar, through which he advocated for justice for the Armenian people, Janbazian noted, before reading his editorial for the Armenian Weekly, written the day after Vartabedians passing. On behalf of everyone at the Armenian Weekly and the Hairenik Weekly, including the editors and the staff, I would like to thank you for being here to honor a man, who will be greatly missed not only by this community, but by Armenian communities around the world, Janbazian concluded.

Rupen Janbazian’s delivering his remarks (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

Following Janbazians remarks, Vartabedians widow Nancy and daughter Sonya thanked those in attendance on behalf of the Vartabedian family. Im sure Tom has been listening today and has a smile from ear to ear on his face, Nancy said. I know many of you here had known him well before I hadeither through church, the AYF, the ARF, and the Armenian Weekly. He was a very happy person when he was associated with Armenians, she then remarked.

(L to R) Nancy and Sonya Vartabedian (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

On behalf of my mother, my brothers, my entire family, we cannot thank this community of the Merrimack Valley and Greater Boston enough. You have to know that everybody in this room, my father adored. You brought as much joy to him as he hopefully brought to you in his life, Vartabedians daughter Sonya noted. He loved this community, this church, everything to do with the Armenians, she added.

Following Sonyas remarks, Aram Jeknavorian invited Father Stepan, who addressed the crowd on behalf of the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church and offered his benediction. Those in attendance were then invited to conclude the event with the singing of the ARF anthem Mshak Banvor.

Father Stepan offering his benediction (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)

All of the proceeds from the event celebrating the 122nd anniversary of the ARF Aharonian committee and honoring Tom Vartabedians legacy will be donated to the Armenian Weekly and the Armenian National Committee of the Merrimack Valleytwo institutions that were near and dear to unger Vartabedians heart.

AYF members celebrating the 122nd anniversary of the Lowell ARF and honoring Tom Vartabedian’s legacy (Photo: Stephen Dulgarian)








NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (A.W.)More than 150 people packed the Jaffarian Hall of the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of North Andover on March 4, to celebrate the 122nd anniversary of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Lowell Aharonian committee and to pay tribute to longtime Armenian Weekly columnist, an award-winning Haverhill Gazette writer-photographer, and dedicated Armenian community activist Tom Vartabedian. Tom Vartabedian was a longtime dedicated member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Aharonian gomideh chair Aram and the evenings Master of Ceremonies Aram Jeknavorian opened the evenings program by inviting Rev. Father Stepan Baljian, Pastor of the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church, to lead the attendees in prayer. After blessing the tables, Rev. Baljian said a prayer in Vartabedians memory. Following the invocation, attendees sang the National Anthems of the United States and Armenia. Welcoming remarks were then delivered by Jeknavorian, during which he gave a brief history of the Aharonian committeethe first ARF committee in North America. A shot of the crowd at the March 4 event in North Andover (Photo: The Armenian Weekly) In a letter dated Sept. 24, 1895, the [ARF] Bureau gave a group [in Lowell] the authority to start their activities, explained Jeknavorian. Two other [...]
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (A.W.)More than 150 people packed the Jaffarian Hall of the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of North Andover on March 4, to celebrate the 122nd anniversary of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Lowell Aharonian committee and to pay tribute to longtime Armenian Weekly columnist, an award-winning Haverhill Gazette writer-photographer, and dedicated Armenian community activist Tom Vartabedian. Tom Vartabedian was a longtime dedicated member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Aharonian gomideh chair Aram and the evenings Master of Ceremonies Aram Jeknavorian opened the evenings program by inviting Rev. Father Stepan Baljian, Pastor of the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church, to lead the attendees in prayer. After blessing the tables, Rev. Baljian said a prayer in Vartabedians memory. Following the invocation, attendees sang the National Anthems of the United States and Armenia. Welcoming remarks were then delivered by Jeknavorian, during which he gave a brief history of the Aharonian committeethe first ARF committee in North America. A shot of the crowd at the March 4 event in North Andover (Photo: The Armenian Weekly) In a letter dated Sept. 24, 1895, the [ARF] Bureau gave a group [in Lowell] the authority to start their activities, explained Jeknavorian. Two other [...]
[img][/img]
More...
 
VIP Forums Group is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

All times are GMT +4. The time now is 22:18.

 v.0.91  v.1  v.2 XML Feeds JavaScript Feeds


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.



Liveinternet
User Control Panel
Networking Networking
Social Groups Social Groups
Pictures & Albums All Albums
What's up
Who's Online Who's Online
Top Statistics Top Statistics
Most Active Forumjans Most Active Forumjans

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60