Former Mirror-Spectator Editor Ara Kalaydjian Dies

Ara Kalaydjian

WALTHAM (The Armenian Mirror Spectator)—Ara Kalaydjian, the former editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator and a respected figure in the community, died on February 26.

He leaves his wife, Shoushanig (Hovsepian) Kalaydjian; siblings Antranig Kalajian and his wife, Rose, of Germany, Alex Kalaydjian and his wife, Annie, of Watertown and Arek Kalaydjian and his wife, Lisa, of North Andover; Brothers-in-law John Hovsepian and his wife, Carol, of Florida and Joe Hovsepian and his wife, Rosin, of New Jersey, and sister-in-law Angele Vosgerichian and her husband, Nick, of Connecticut. He also leaves Mayda Yetimian and many other nieces and nephews.

Kalayadjian, born in Jerusalem in 1938, was the son of Karnig and Mary (Chinchinian) Kalaydjian, both from Marash, who survived the Genocide, eventually settled in Jerusalem, Palestine. He was educated at Sourp Tarkmanchatz School in Jerusalem. During the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, his family moved to Zahle, Lebanon, where for two years he attended the Armenian Mekhitarist School. Upon returning to Jerusalem, he resumed his studies at Sourp Tarkmanchatz and graduated in 1951. That same year, he left for Cyprus and enrolled at the AGBU Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia. He graduated in 1957 and started teaching at the local Melikian School.

In 1965, he returned to Jerusalem. In addition to being the personal secretary to Patriarch Yeghishe Derderian, he was the editor-in-chief of Sion, the official publication of the patriarchate, and director of the printing press of the monastery. He also taught Armenian literature at the seminary and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

From an early age, he contributed to various Armenian publications and newspapers. In 1967 he compiled and published a catalog of the manuscripts of the Monastery of Moush. That same year he published two works of the poet Bedros Tourian: Daghk (poems) and Namagani (the letters of the poet). He edited and published the first volume of Arpiar Arpiarian’s Complete Works. He researched and edited the letters of Patriarch Krikor the Chainbearer of Jerusalem. He prepared a complete catalog of the earliest printed Armenian books and also translated into English Krikor Keusseyan’s book on Carzou.

In 1978, he and his wife, Shoushan, emigrated to the United States and settled in Boston, where he assumed the position of managing editor of the Baikar Weekly, published by the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party. For 10 years, from 1987-1997, he was the editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator.

For a brief period, he taught Armenian at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. In 2000, Ore Orin (Day to Day), a compilation of many of his writings about contemporary national and international subjects was published.

He was a member of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party and the Knights of Vartan.

Services were held at St. James Armenian Church, 465 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, on Friday, March 2. Interment followed in Grove Hill Cemetery, Waltham.

Expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to St. James Armenian Church or the AGBU Educational Projects in Armenia, 55 East 59th St., New York, NY 10022. Arrangements were made by the Giragosian Funeral Home.

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