HOUSTON, Texas—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation “Aghpuir Serop” and the Armenian Relief Society “Shogher” chapters of Houston jointly organized a dinner dance to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the ARF and the Centennial of the ARS. The St. Kevork Church hall served as the meeting location for 160 people from the Houston and Dallas communities. Dallas residents drove three and a half to five hours to reach their destination.
The keynote speaker was ARF Central Committee member, Hovan Tashjian and five members of the ARS of Western USA, Regional Executive board were in attendance. The presence of board members from California greatly encouraged the Texans, and particularly the ARS “Shoger” chapter, whose members met with the four Regional Executive board officers.
Vrooyr Frankian of the ARF “Aghpuir Serop” Gomideh emceed the event. Following the flag ceremony, his welcoming remarks touched on the past pillars and the present community building and political roles being undertaken by the ARF in the Diaspora and Armenia.
ARS ‘Shogher” Chapter executive chair, Berjouhi Frankian, presented the accomplishments of the chapter during the past 29 years, and noted that the centennial is an opportunity to renew vows of service.
ARS-WUSA Regional Executive Chairperson, Arousyak Melkonian, congratulated the “Sogher” Chapter, praised the role of the ARF and Agnouni in helping to establish the ARS, relayed important aspects of ARS history of service reaffirming that during its second century of service the ARS chapters and members will continue their devoted service.
The keynote speaker, Hovan Tashjian, noted that the ARS work speaks for itself, although to witness ARS accomplishments, one has to travel a long way to see the youth centers in Javakhk and the Sosse Kindergartens in Artsakh. He appealed to the Houston community to stand by the ARS “Shogher” chapter, so it can continue its mission.
In regards to the ARF, Tashjian, said that as a party that belongs to the people, the ARF’s worth is in its accomplishments during the past 120 years, not the length of its existence. He described the character and traits of the ARF, the lack of social justice and the prevailing poverty that requires the ARF to work for improving the circumstances of the people in Armenia. He appealed to the youth to follow political developments and to join hands to seek justice for the Armenian Cause quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Concluding his remarks, Tashjian reaffirmed that the ARF will continue to face all challenges to meet the needs of the Armenian people.
Following dinner and cake cutting, the guests enjoyed music and dances until late at night. With their donations, they reaffirmed that even in small communities commitment to ideals can make a difference.