EAGLE ROCK, Calif.—The Homenetmen Western United States Regional Executive has bestowed the title of the 2015 Exemplary Homenetmen Member upon Jirair Sarkissian, a long-time and dedicated member of the Homenetmen San Francisco Chapter, whose modest character and constant readiness to serve the organization has made him undeniably deserving of this honor.
In an effort to become better acquainted with his organizational life, a meeting was recently held with Sarkissian at the Homenetmen San Francisco Chapter’s center. While his reserve and modesty was evident during the meeting, it is clear that his personal character and dedication to the organization has made him a prime example for others to follow.
Jirair Sarkissian was born in Beirut, Lebanon and received his elementary education at the St. Hagop School in Ashrafieh, Lebanon. He went on to attend the Central High School in the same city and was also active through the ARF “Azadamard” in Ashrafieh, as well as within the ranks of Homenetmen.
Sarkissian joined Homenetmen at the young age of 7 as a cub scout (“kaylig”) and, as a result of his dedicated and meticulous nature, he has reached high-level positions in scouting, including Cub Scout (“Kaylig”) Leader, “Yerets” Scout, Chapter Scoutmaster, and in 1966, General Scoutmaster in Beirut. He has participated in Homenetmen’s 11th International Jamboree in Greece and the Pan-Arabic Jamboree in Egypt. In 1990, he was appointed General Scoutmaster at the 4th Pan-Homenetmen Jamboree in Greece.
With a keen interest in the jewelry business, Mr. Sarkissian has made great strides in the industry and is currently the owner of Giraux Fine Jewelry company.
In 1968, he married Serpoug Ohanian, a Homenetmen Lebanon basketball athlete. The couple had three children: Tamar, Sako and Zareh, each of whom followed their parents’ example and became active through the Homenetmen San Francisco Chapter. They have 5 grandchildren.
With his positive attitude, fair judgment, and ability to appreciate his fellow peers, Sarkissian has held various leadership positions within Homenetmen. He has participated in a number of regional meetings both in Lebanon and the Western United States, as well as numerous Homenetmen Regional Conventions. He has served as Vice-Chairperson of the Homenetmen Western United States Regional Executive; a Central Executive member; and in 1992, along with his wife, they were the Honorary Presidents of the Homenetmen 17th Annual Navasartian Games.
Sarkissian bears an endearing nature through his calm and patient demeanor, caring approach, and exceptional ability to problem solve.
He has lent humanitarian assistance to his birthplace, as well as Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk. Further, he has brought both financial and moral support to the Homenetmen-HASK (Armenian National Scouting Movement) campground in Byurakan, Armenia. In an effort to further assist his homeland, he is also the owner of the Europe Hotel in Yerevan.
Throughout his organizational life, Mr. Sarkissian has received numerous honors and recognitions, including:
• Recognition by the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the assistance he has offered to advancing the scouting movement in Armenia
• Homenetmen Central Executive’s “Arzhanyats” Medal
• Homenetmen Lebanon Regional Executive’s Service Medal
• Recognition by Homenetmen-HASK Central Executive for the support to his nation
• Exemplary Homenetmen Member of the Homenetmen San Francisco Chapter on the occasion of Homenetmen’s 80th Anniversary
• Several commendations by the Homenetmen Western United States Regional Executive
The love and respect he has for the organization also compelled him to became the sponsor of the Homenetmen San Fernando Valley Massis Chapter’s gym, whose official opening will be held on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
“Being a part of this organization is a way of life for me, an experience that I want others to share in as well. Homenetmen is also a calling for our youth through which they can become part of something larger than themselves,” commented Sarkissian, as he expressed appreciation to the Regional Executive and the organization in whole for bestowing this honor upon him.
The Homenetmen Regional Executive warmly congratulated Jirair Sarkissian for this deserving honor of becoming the 2015 Exemplary Homenetmen Member.