WATERTOWN, Mass. — If you’re searching for a formula to create the consummate volunteer, try this.
Take a man well into his 70s, happily retired, still energetic, looking to give something back to the Armenian community. So he hooks up with the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA), spends 22 years there, and now — at the ripe age of 77 — takes to the road with a traveling exhibit on the Armenian Legion.
Such an individual is Arakel Almasian who still spends up to 30 hours a week at that facility, doingwhatever he can to help it. And that’s not counting what he does at home.
There by his side is Lillian, his wife of 56 years, who also joins the tour and pitches in wherever she can. Together, they are full of life and challenge people decades younger than them.
Included in their itinerary was a visit to St. Gregory Church in North Andoverwhere they addressed an AVAK luncheon crowd. Like the subject of his mission, Arakel Almasian remains a modern-day Legionnaire or Gamavor, as the term suggests.
“It makes me want to cry when I think of the hundreds who left this country and other places around the world to go fight for Armenia,” he says. “Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice when they could have enjoyed a life of freedom and security. They have earned their place among the other brave souls who fought against tyranny and injustice. This exhibit is dedicated to their memory — a testament of their love for their native land.”