The opening ceremonies of Homenetmen’s 35th Annual Navasartian Athletic Games, held on Saturday, May 8 at Birmingham High School, was highlighted by the official announcement by the Regional Executive that George Abraham Jamgochian, a noble Armenian and Homenetmen member and advocate, has graciously accepted the role of title of Honorary President for the 2010 Navasartian Games.
Meeting with Jamgochian following the ceremonies, offered more insight into his personal and professional background. Born in 1926 in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon’s Nor Marash neighborhood, he was the second of Abraham and Mariam Jamgochian’s four children. As a student, he attended the Forty Martyrs Armenian National School in his community.
With great confidence, Jamgochian explained, “I only earned an elementary-level education. I self-taught myself to both read and write Armenian. My life experiences in and of themselves have taught me a great deal.”
As a young adult who joined the ranks of the Armenian Revelutionary Federation and with the previous editor of Aztag Daily Newspaper, Haig Balian, as his godfather, Jamgochian served his organization through the Sardarabad Gomideh’s Ohanchanian group.
Also, at an early age, he exposed himself to a variety of trades and from 1954-1956 was employed as a compositor at the Aztag printing-press in Lebanon. In 1956, after being offered a position for “Hairenik,” the official publication of the ARF in Boston, Jamgochian relocated to the east coast. However, after one year and unable to grow accustomed to the area’s cold climate, he moved to Los Angeles in 1957.
George Jamgochian met Makrouhi Sakajian in 1972. The two married and had one child, a son, who they named after his father, George. Jamgochian affirmed that after working in different occupations, in the end, he and his wife established a sewing business, which brought them great success.
Sadly, in 2005, Jamgochian lost his wife to cancer. Recalling his late wife with great emotion, he stated, “My wife passed away from lung cancer, which resulted from smoking. For this very reason, I advise our young generation not to smoke and, instead, be productive by becoming actively involved in organizations such as Homenetmen.”
Now retired, Jamgochian spends his free time visiting various Armenian centers.
When asked to explain what Homenetmen and the Navasartian Athletic Games, in particular, signify for him, Jamgochian stated, “I have regularly followed the work and activities of Homenetmen, which include attending the Navasartian games, and admire its high level of organization. My desire to sponsor the Navasartian Games stemmed from being inspired by Homenetmen’s great services. I am pleased to be Honorary President and will assume the position with the utmost responsibility. Furthermore, I commend the Homenetmen Regional Executive and chapter executive members, who tirelessly volunteer their time to assemble our Armenian youth under the motto ‘Elevate Yourself and Others With You.’”
At the conclusion of the meeting, Jamgochian expressed his sincere thankfulness to the Homenetmen Western USA Regional Executive, who entrusted him with the role of Honorary President for the 35th Annual Navasartian Athletic Games. Given that Homenetmen is an organization that he holds dear to his heart, Jamgochian concluded by making a plea to Armenian families in the region to have their children join the organization, which will help shape their lives and character.
We congratulate George A. Jamgochian on his new title, for which he is undeniably worthy, and hope to take great example from him.