Ara Kalaydjian Library Opens in Watertown


KalaydjianLibrary

WATERTOWN — The Parish Council and pastor, Rev. Arakel Aljalian of St. James Armenian Church, dedicated space and materials in memory of Ara Kalaydjian, former editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator and Sion Periodical, the monthly publication of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Much of the library’s collection was donated to St. James by his wife, Shoushan Kalaydjian, combined with the parish’s collection and books donated by Alex Kalaydjian, Ara’s brother, who will serve as librarian.

Following the Service, the parishioners conducted a dedication service and opening of the Kalaydjian Library. Shoushan Kalaydjian cut the ribbon, officially opening the library. Parishioners were able to tour the library, followed by a reception and program hosted by the Boston Area Alumni of Jerusalem’s Sourp Tarkmanchatz School.

Kalayadjian, born in Jerusalem in 1938, graduated from Sourp Tarkmanchatz in 1951 and enrolled at the AGBU Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia. He graduated in 1957 and started teaching at the local Melikian School.

In 1965, he returned to Jerusalem. In addition to being the personal secretary to Patriarch Yeghishe Derderian, he was the editor-in-chief of Sion, the official publication of the patriarchate, and director of the printing press of the monastery. He also taught Armenian literature at the seminary and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

From an early age, he contributed to various Armenian publications and newspapers. In 1967 he compiled and published a catalog of the manuscripts of the Monastery of Moush. That same year he published two works of the poet Bedros Tourian: Daghk (poems) and Namagani (the letters of the poet). He edited and published the first volume of Arpiar Arpiarian’s Complete Works. He researched and edited the letters of Patriarch Krikor the Chainbearer of Jerusalem. He prepared a complete catalog of the earliest printed Armenian books.

In 1978, he and his wife emigrated to the United States and settled in Boston, where he assumed the position of managing editor of the Baikar Weekly, published by the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party. For 10 years, from 1987-1997, he was the editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator.

For a brief period, he taught Armenian at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. In 2000, Ore Orin (Day to Day), a compilation of many of his writings about contemporary national and international subjects was published.

He was a member of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, the Knights of Vartan Ararat Lodge and Tekeyan Cultural Association.