GLENDALE—On Saturday, December 12 the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA marked the 125th anniversary of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center.
Prior to the commencement of the official program, Master of Ceremonies Salpy Tekkelian invited guests to stand for a moment of silence in memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide. The official program began with the American National Anthem. The Armenian National and ARS anthems were sung by the ARS Mayr Hollywood Chapter Saturday School students.
In her opening remarks Salpy Tekkelian welcomed guests and emphasized the important role of Armenian women, who also took part in the defense struggles initiated by the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun, beginning in the 19th century.
Following her remarks, a short film was showcased about the lives of notable Armenian female figures, who are the role models of today’s generation.
Afterward, organizing committee chairperson Lena Bozoyan was invited to present remarks on behalf of the committee. She stated that throughout the Armenian history, Armenian women have demonstrated heroism and the utmost dedication to their people. It was important for ARF to establish a relief organization with a nationalistic agenda to assist the Armenian people in times of great need and ensure the longevity of the Armenian nation. She also stressed that when our nation is under threat, we must always be prepared and willing to take action in spirit of the With the People, For the People, Together with the ARF motto. She concluded her remarks by thanking the ARS of Western USA Regional Executive for taking the initiative to organize this special event to mark a milestone in ARF’s history.
The program continued with a cultural performances by ARS Saturday School students. Antranig Dzarougian’s Ukhd Araratin poem was recited by students from the ARS Talin Chapter’s Saturday School. Julianna Assadourian a student from the ARS Lori Chapter’s Saturday School performed a musical piece on the violin. Students from the ARS Sosse School recited the poem Heghapokhagan Aypupen by Avedis Aharonian.
Soon thereafter, Tekkelian welcomed the evening’s keynote speaker, ARF Eastern Region Central Committee Chairman Dr. Hayg Oshagan. Dr. Oshagan extended his appreciation and thanks to the ARS Regional Executive for inviting him to present the keynote message. He remarked that ARF history is the history of the Armenian people and we must be proud of all its accomplishments and achievements. He continued on to say that the ARS is present wherever the ARF exists, both continuing to serve the Armenian nation.
Without the dedication and selflessness of ARS members, it would not be possible to preserve and cultivate the Armenian identity among future generations. Audience members had the opportunity to view a short film about the history of the ARS. Afterwards, ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Rebecca Berberian was welcomed to present her remarks. Berberian commended the role of the Armenian woman and thanked all those in attendance who came together to mark the 125th Anniversary of the ARF, the organization which established the Armenian Relief Society.
Among guests present that evening were Western Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian , Western Prelate ArchbishopMoushegh Mardirossian, pastors, ARF Western Region Central Committee Chairman Dr. Viken Hovsepian and members Vahe Bozoyan and Garo Ispendjian, ARS Central Executive Board members Nyree Derderian, Rita Hintlian, and Maral Matossian, Glendale City Mayor Ara Najarian and Counclimembers Zareh Sinanyan, Vartan Gharpetian, and Paula Devine, Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian, ARS Regional Executive Board members, representatives from sister organizations, ARS members, community members and supporters.
The official program concluded with group performances of the songs Kovk Hayasdani and Azkin Parabantz by ARS Sepan Saturday School students. A reception was held following the program.
The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, established in 1984 and with regional headquarters in Glendale, CA, has 26 chapters and more than 1,200 members in four western states. The ARS operates a Social Services Division and Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center, and funds numerous youth programs, scholarships, and relief efforts. For additional information, visit www.arswestusa.org or call (818) 500-1343.