Benefactor Garbis Nazarian Has Died



By Hagop Vartivarian

NEW YORK — The patriarch of the Nazarian clan, Garbis L. Nazarian, died on February 8 at age 99. The great benefactor of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) died in Beirut.

He was born in Aintab, Cilicia, on April 24, 1915 to the family of Levon and Satenig Nazarian, and moved to Aleppo as a result of the Armenian Genocide. There at a young age he joined his father’s textile business. After he moved with his family to Beirut, he participated in the AGBU’s Armenian Youth Association, and was a member of its central executive for many years. Similarly he was part of the AGBU Regional Committee of Lebanon and was its chairman for a long period. He collaborated with organizations close to the AGBU, especially with the leadership of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADLP, or Ramgavar), including Mikayel Natanian, Prof. Parounag Tovmassian and Maitre Hrachya Setrakian.

The good deeds of the Nazarian clan originate in the family’s past, from Persia. The Nazarian brothers, Nubar and Nazar, and their sister, Marie Markarian, continued their father’s kind mission, helping various educational, philanthropic and publishing organizations. First, in memory of their father, they had the Levon G. Nazarian School built in Beirut’s Sin-el-Fil neighborhood.

During the years of the Lebanese civil war, Garbis Nazarian remained in Lebanon and with solicitous care contributed to various needs of the Lebanese Armenians. It must also be noted that the Nazarians remained faithful to the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin. Their large-scale contributions to it continue to this very day. They believed in the principle of the predominance of Holy Echmiadzin from the beginning, and during the sad events of 1957 they remained firmly at the side of the law-abiding and oath-keeping Brotherhood of Cilicia.

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As a result of his donations in recent years, Garbis Nazarian was helpful to the Prelacy of the Lebanese Armenians and to Surp Nshan Cathedral. After the independence of Armenia, the Nazarians undertook the construction of a building which they donated to the newly independent government of Armenia to serve as its embassy in Lebanon.

The princely donations of the Nazarian clan even reached the shores of the United States, to New York and Los Angeles, as well as to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in South America.

The legacy of the Nazarian family is continued today by the children of the late lamented Garbis Nazarian — Sonia Krouchian, Levon G. Nazarian and Arthur Nazarian, who is a member of the Lebanese parliament and Minister of Energy in the Lebanese cabinet.

Funeral services were held on February 11.

He leaves his widow, Areknaz Nazarian, the children of the Nazarian couple, including benefactors Nazar Nazarian and his wife Artemis, Anahid Nazarian (widow of Nubar), and several grandchildren.

A more extensive biography and tribute to Garbis Nazarian will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Mirror.

(The administrative board and staff of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator express their condolences to the family.)


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