Former Principal and Community Leader Kevork Marashlian and His Wife Visit Buenos Aires


By Diana Der Garabedian

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Upon the invitation of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Marie Manoogian Educational Institute, former principal Kevork Marashlian and his wife, Vartiter, who used to teach there, visited from Washington, DC, where they live now.

The Marashlians’ visit to the Marie Manoogian Institute, where they initiated many innovative programs, such as the graduating class trip to Armenia, and strengthened its national identity, provided an opportunity for the board members, teachers, graduates and students to enjoy speaking with them.

Kevork Marashlian participated in the 40th anniversary celebration on August 18 by giving a fiery speech and a message in which he declared that the Marie Manoogian School is the best school in the Armenian Diaspora. During the last 40 years, more than 800 young boys and girls, all born in Argentina, have graduated. Ten percent of the graduates work as teachers and principals in Marie Manoogian School and in the six other Armenian schools of the community. Nearly 20 percent of graduates are active members in different committees in the local AGBU chapter and in other Armenian establishments of the community; 58 percent have married Armenians and 90 percent of all married graduates have sent their children to Marie Manoogian Educational Institute.

Unfortunately, eight graduates have passed away, either through accidents or illnesses.

During their visit, the Marashlians had the opportunity to reunite with former members of the Board of Directors of the AGBU, alumni of the Marie Institute Manoogian, with whom they shared trips to Armenia, members of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party and personal friends.

In the secondary section of the Marie Manoogian Institute, accompanied by their former student and now Rector, Prof. Lilian Krapridian, the Marashlians spent time with the 2014 graduates. Kevork Marashlian spoke to them about their graduateing trip to Armenia and the need to transmit their experiences either in writing in local newspapers or orally for the rest of the students to understand the importance of touring Armenia to benefit them educationally and personally.

In a rich exchange of questions and responses, students asked about the Armenian community of Boston, where the Marashlians lived and worked for 25 years, and about the Armenian day schools in the United States. The talk concluded with a promise that the graduates who already completed their studies, soon join the Armenian community life according to their areas of interest.

The Marashlians then continued touring the facilities of the school and witnessed the classes of students of primary and kindergarten sections, where some of their former students are now are teaching. They had also the opportunity to meet and have lunch with Artoun Hamalian, director of the Educational Department of the AGBU Central Board of Directors; Ruben Kechichian and his wife, member of AGBU Central Board of Directors; and Nahabet Nahabetian, honorary member of the AGBU Buenos Aires.

During their stay in Buenos Aires, every time they came to the Armenia Street, Kevork and Vartiter Marashlian visited Sardarabad newspaper and the offices of the Tekeyan Cultural Association and encouraged their labor. Besides teaching and community work, Marashalian was also the editor of the Armenian section of Sardarabad while living in Argentina.