Estate of Dr. Nubar Berberian Bequests $340,000 to the Tekeyan Cultural Association

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WATERTOWN – The estate of the late Dr. Nubar Berberian has bequeathed a sum of $340,000 to the Tekeyan Cultural Association, Inc. (TCA). The Central Board of Directors of the TCA decided to establish the irrevocable Dr. Nubar Berberian Trust Fund and carry out his wishes as expressed in his will by publishing a volume of Dr. Berberian’s Armenian-language articles and editorials. It will also use the interest annually from the bequest to provide awards to college students of Armenian descent who major in either International Law or Political science and who are born or live in the United States, France, Egypt or Armenia.

Noted journalist and Armenian activist Dr. Nubar Berberian passed away on November 23, 2016, after a brief illness. He was 94 years old.

He was born in Cairo, Egypt on September 25, 1922 to Kevork and Areknaz Berberian. After receiving an Armenian education in the Nubarian School of Heliopolis, he studied in a French lyceum for the French baccalaureate. He received his law degree in 1944, and registered at the Egyptian Mixed Tribunal.

Driven by an unquenchable thirst for education, he left for France, where he received a doctoral degree in jurisprudence in 1947 from the University of Paris School of Law. Full of Armenian patriotic fervor, he entered Armenian public life, putting aside other career possibilities.

Most probably he was unable to form a family due to his nomadic existence. Instead, the Armenian nation and homeland constituted his family. He also dedicated himself to the care of his elderly mother, until her final advanced years.

His life consisted wholly of labor in the service of the Armenian nation, working as a talented journalist, an articulate and compassionate orator and a principled leader. He played a role in nearly all of the main contemporary organs of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL). Thus, in 1947 he accepted the editorship of the newspaper Abaka in Paris, after which he edited the following organs: the daily Arev in Cairo (1948-1958), the thrice-weekly Nor Or of Fresno (1958-1960) and Boston’s Baikar daily (1961-82). During the same period, he published short stories and poetry in the Baikar yearbook under the penname Piuragn.

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After retiring in 1982, he still prolifically published articles in the newspapers Zartonk of Beirut, Abaka of Montreal, Azg of Yerevan and Nor Or of Los Angeles.

He became a member of the ADL in 1941, and as a young intellectual, he collaborated with the great Armenian leaders of the time, including Mihran Damadian, Vahan Tekeyan, Eugene Papasian and Alexander Sarukhan. Simultaneously, he became a member of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, and enjoyed the confidence and affection of the benefactor and president of this organization, Alex Manoogian.

Dr. Berberian became one of the founders of the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) of the United States and Canada, and as its lifetime member, served in its executive as secretary until the last day of his life.

His rich legacy includes thousands of editorials on Armenian national, political, and international issues, as well as memorable pages of fiction and poetry.

On numerous occasions, he earned accolades from the organizations to which he belonged as well as from pan-Armenian bodies. For example, in 2012 he received the Movses Khorenatsi Medal bestowed by the president of the Republic of Armenia in Boston from Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian. In turn, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II conferred on him the St. Sahag St. Mesrob medal.

In recognition of his unending service, the Central Board of the Tekeyan Cultural Association has named the archival and research center of the Baikar building, which is being newly renovated, in honor of Dr. Nubar Berberian. On the very day that this room was to be inaugurated, Dr. Berberian unexpectedly fell ill and was transported to the hospital, never to return. His archival materials, together with other archival compilations and periodical collections, will be held forever in this center.

TCA President Edmond Y. Azadian described Dr. Berberian’s loss with the following words: “Armenians lost a dynamic editor of the old school who never seemed to grow old, a fighter who never retreated, a friend of indominable humor, and a worthy apostle carrying the weight of history on his shoulders.”

Funeral services were held at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown presided over by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), who delivered an eloquent eulogy, and conveyed a message from Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.

Dr. Berberian was buried in Mount Feake Cemetery of Waltham.

The Central Board of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada
Boston, November 12, 2017

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