Jacques Hagopian amongst the Greater Tekeyan Family


By Shogig Chalian

NEW MILFORD, N.J. — Last fall, the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) published the memoir of our eldest Diasporas-Armenian poet, Jacques Hagopian, dedicated to our great national poet, Tekeyan Vahan Asdvadzakhouyz (Exploring God).

In the book he wrote, “The Last Word, that will also present itself as the truest of them all concurrently, naturally belongs to the creator of humanity,

His heart to the one who acknowledges him the best
His deeds’ one and only critique
His life’s one and only judge
The fairest inquisitor
In one word; God.”

Hagopian had written and kept his memoir close to him for about a decade, he had traveled with it from continent to continent, finally surrendered it to Vahan Tekeyan’s true heir, the Tekeyan Cultural Association, to enlighten it to the world. This volume was published with the support of the TCA Edmond “Yervant” Azadian Literary Fund.

Subsequently, the revival gala (as Hagopian would like to call it rather than a congratulatory gala) was organized by the US and Canada TCA Central Committees of Los Angeles, New York and Montreal, as the 92-year-old author was present and shared mementos from and thoughts about his close friendship with Vahan Tekeyan, and signed the books.

The New York gala took place on May 14 at the Hovnanian School hall. It has been a long time since such a ceremonial event had taken place within the Greater TCA metropolis, which had the audience reminisce about yesteryear’s enthusiasm for literary events, and asked that the TCA continue its literary mission within the community.

The master of ceremonies was the chairman of the Greater New York/New Jersey TCA branch, Hagop Vartivarian. After his welcoming remarks, he invited poet Vehanoush Tekian, who presented her beloved poet Jacques Hagopian’s book. The Holy Martyrs and Hovnanian day schools, as well as students from the Kirikian Armenian School of St. Thomas Church, recited poems from Hagopian that had emotionally fulfilling and touching effects on the audience and the honoree. Nayiri Jerjerian, Aleen Vosgeritchian, Gayané Jamgotchian, Vehanoush Sabbagh and Lori Dabaghian were the talented young adult presenters. The Holy Martyrs Day school diligent principal, Zarminé Boghossian, gave a heartfelt speech on behalf of all the school’s principals.

Subsequently, the wine dedication took place with the participation of a few of the authors who were present in the audience, as Sylva DerStepanian, Lucy Karamanougian-Piligian, Vehanoush Tekyan, Hagop Vartivarian and Garbis Kazanjian who performed the kinetzon (or anointing by wine) ceremony on Tekeyan Vahan Asdvadzakhouyze.

Amongst the audience were the AGBU’s Education Department Principal Artoun Hamalian, and TCA’s Greater New York former chair, Lucy Piligian, as well as former chairman, Misak Boghosian.

Finally, the author spoke, letting his strong and vibrant individuality shine through. With his beautifully articulate command of the Armenian language, he discussed his abundant life experiences resulting from his close friendship with Vahan Tekeyan that dated back to the 1930s. He kept the full attention of the audience.
Indeed, the ceremony ended too soon.