By Arpiar Hagopian
NEW YORK — Hagop Avedikian, chairman of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL) of Armenia’s Central Committee and editor of the Yerevan weekly newspaper Azg, visited Boston and New York in mid-November for political party matters. Taking advantage of the occasion, Avedikian was also able to visit a number of community institutions and leaders.
In Boston, Avedikian visited the Baikar building, which hosts the offices of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator and the headquarters of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada (TCA). Hagop Vartivarian, a well-known leader in the ADL and the TCA, accompanied Avedikian during his New York visits.
In New York, during the morning of November 16, the two paid a visit to St. Vartan Cathedral and met with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), who remains a firm friend of the two sister organizations in the US. The relationship between the hierarchical sees of the Armenian Church, the forthcoming elections of the Patriarchate of Istanbul, and new challenges facing the Armenian diaspora were discussed.
The Primate spoke of the mission of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, its curriculum, and its relations with the Mother See. He gave some information on the recent visit of the Catholicos to New York and recent decisions of the Supreme Spiritual Council, and gave copies of two newly published historical works on the division in the Armenian Church authored by Silva Sukiasyan.
In the afternoon, the two went to the United Nations to meet with Armenia’s representative Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who has been a friend of the ADL and TCA since the days of his youth. Mnatsakanyan spoke about various political developments at the UN, the April war, and the increasingly anti-regime atmosphere which was one of the consequences of this war. It was agreed that greater trust had to be created for the diaspora to provide more aid, while the stability of the region and the quick resolution of the Karabakh issue were seen as necessities.
Later the same afternoon, a visit was made to the central office of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), where office director Anita Anserian spoke about the recent AGBU General Assembly in New York and the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the organization, including through the performance of the Hokis ensemble. Anserian spoke gratefully about the newspaper Azg, which from its first day gave broad coverage to AGBU activities and accomplishments. Hayk Arsenyan, the director of the AGBU Performing Arts Department provided a summary of forthcoming AGBU events, including an annual concert in Carnegie Hall, while Natalie Gabrielian, director of AGBU Alternative Education, spoke about new educational programs and long distance multilingual learning programs.
That evening, Avedikian was taken by Vartivarian to a planning meeting for the performance of an oratorio to be presented for the 10th anniversary of the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink next March at St. Vartan Cathedral. The TCA of Greater New York is one of the participating organizations in this event. Avedikian met the leaders of three Istanbul Armenian organizations in New York. Barsamian presided over the meeting.
The next day, Avedikian, accompanied by Carmen Gulbenkian and Vartivarian, visited New York’s Holy Cross Armenian Church, where the remains of Archbishop Ghevont Turian are to be found. Turian was stabbed by members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation while conducting the Holy Liturgy on December 24, 1933, and died. This murder contributed to the division of the Armenian Church in America. The Holy Cross representatives Aram Gozubuyukian and Jon Simonian showed the spot where the archbishop was martyred as well as the bloodied religious vestments worn by him at the time, which have been carefully kept as relics in the church treasury. Afterwards, the church’s parish council leaders invited the guests to lunch.
That evening, the TCA of greater New York organized a reception in its center in Englewood Cliffs in honor of Avedikian (see accompanying article).
(Translated from the Armenian)