82nd Convention of ADL Reaffirms its Commitment to Armenia and Karabagh, Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin

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MONTREAL — The 82nd General Assembly of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Organization’s Eastern District Committee of United States and Canada was convened on November 14 in the Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Center here.

The nine chapters within the jurisdiction of this structure, with their authorized 42 delegates, which formed a quorum, participated to this convention of the region’s supreme body. The delegates had come from Toronto’s Yessayi Yaghoubian, Chicago’s Onnig Norhad, New Britain’s Chapter, Detroit’s Arshag Tchobanian, Boston’s Dr. Dzovigian, Philadelphia’s Diradour Dikijian, Montreal’s Papazian/Tomassian, Cleveland’s and New York/New Jersey’s Armenagan/Housepian chapters.

Hagop Avedikian, chairman of the Armenagan Ramgavar Azadagan Party of Armenia, who had been invited to take part in the convention, was unable to make the trip because of lastminute difficulties in obtaining a Canadian visa. Also participating in the convention as a guest was Baydzig Kalaydjian, editor of Beirut’s Zartonk daily.

The convention of the supreme body began with the singing of the ADL anthem and the verification of delegates, according to the dispositions of the by-laws. After welcoming remarks by Dr. Hrair Der Kevorkian, chairman of the host Papazian/Tomassian Chapter, Dr. Arshavir Gundjian, former chairman of the ADL Central Committee, and Arsen Nubar Mamourian, longtime editor of Abaka weekly, were unanimously elected chairman and secretary, respectively, of the convention. Likewise, the electoral committee was appointed, consisting of Hagop Vartivarian, Markar Diradourian and Aznive Salibian.

The newly-elected District Committee members take the oath of office.

District Committee Co-chairman Yervant Azadian presented the biennial report of the outgoing District Committee. He asserted that despite various difficulties, as well as financial and other obstacles, the District Committee was able to hold the organization’s banner high through the efforts of all the chapters under its jurisdiction, from Canada to New York and Detroit, proudly continue its work and make its presence felt in numerous communities and with their devoted membership. It is very easy for those avoiding responsibility to be critical because they simply do nothing. The District Committee has come together in person on very few occasions; it has carried out its entire activity by means of conference calls. During the past two years, the Armenian Assembly of America in Washington, DC, the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, the Armenian General Benevolent Union in New York, and the Armenian Congress in Canada have greatly supported the organization’s activities.

Azadian stressed the importance of the uninterrupted and high-quality publication of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, despite many difficulties, as well as the need for the continued functioning of the party’s three centers: Boston’s Baikar Association, Montreal’s Tekeyan Center and New Jersey’s Tekeyan Center.

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Azadian confirmed that although some issues had surfaced in New York, they were resolved, owing to the discretion exercised by the local members.

Alin K. Gregorian, the editor of the Armenian Mirror- Spectator, is a professional journalist and has secured the collaboration of capable writers and correspondents, such as associate editor Aram Arkun and Taleen Babayan of New York. Hagop Vartivarian, chairman of the ADL Press Committee, Dr. Haroutiun Arzoumanian, Papken Megerian and Maro Bedrosian greatly contributed to the paper’s success, both financially and in terms of its impact. Azadian concluded by stating that Abaka and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator project a positive image for the ADL.

Following this report, the delegates, considering the fact that the 82nd General Assembly is the district’s supreme legislative convocation, and that the District Committee emanating from it is its executive body, voted unanimously to declare as null and void, unlawful, unacceptable and invalid the party’s directives issued outside of the lawful limit of the aforementioned two structures during the past two years.

Kevork Marashlian presented the biennial report of the district’s 78-year-old English-language organ, the Armenian Mirror-Spectator weekly, together with five-year comparative tables. All the reports were made available to the participating delegates so they, in turn, could transfer them to the members of their corresponding chapters. The paper’s web site, www.Mirrorspectator.com, which was set up two years ago, has had 61,450 visitors in the past year. Although being an official ADL organ, the Mirror- Spectator now enjoys popularity among a cross section of the Armenian public because of its objective reporting and is greatly appreciated by secular and ecclesiastic institutions alike.

The assembly unanimously approved the account and the report that were presented.

The next item on the agenda was a reevaluation of the party’s overall current situation and a centralized plan of future business. Issues pertaining to the party, in general, as well as the district, were discussed and corresponding decisions were taken.

A three-member committee for the party’s central plans was formed, in order to ensure the party’s unity, with the resolve to face challenges from all districts in the coming year.

Azadian and Papken Megerian were unanimously reelected cochairmen of the newly elected District Committee in accordance with the dispositions of the district’s by-laws. They, in turn, presented the list of the following members for the approval of the delegates: Maro Bedrosian, secretary; Dr. Armen Demirjian, treasurer; Hratch Torigian, assistant treasurer; Krikor Salbashian; Arsen Demirjian; Antoine Bazarbashian; Dr. Vaghinag Tarpinian; Kevork Tutunjian; Vartan Ilanjian; Vahram Salibian and Hagop Alexanian, members. The swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected District Committee followed.

Zartonk editor Kalaydjian gave a brief address, in which she presented the odyssey undergone by the daily and its current positive condition, as well as an appeal for dialogue and unity.

On this occasion, three young men, all residents of Montreal, took the party oath and joined the ranks of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Organization. Berberian and Gundjian conducted the solemn ceremony for the new members, Dr. Mher Aghadjanian, Hagop Janjigian and Yetvart Hussenjian. The current domestic political situation in Armenia, recent developments in the resolution of the Karabagh conflict, the role of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin in the life of Armenia and the diaspora, and issues pertaining to the patriarchates of Constantinople and Jerusalem were discussed in the last segment of the convention. In accordance with the party’s tradition, it was decided to reaffirm our loyalty and support of Holy Echmiadzin and Armenia’s statehood.

The welcome message of Hagop Avedikian, chairman of the Armenagan Ramgavar Azadagan Party, was also read during the convention.

The Assembly expressed its thanks to the ad hoc steering committee for conducting a friendly and harmonious convention. It also noted its appreciation of the District Committee, the editors, staffs and donors of Abaka and the Mirror-Spectator newspapers, and the party’s executive secretary.

— Steering Committee of the 82nd Convention of the ADL

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