Harry Keshishian with Edward DerKazarian (David Medzorian Photo)

Armenian American Veterans of Greater Boston Banquet Honors Oldest Member Harry Keshishian


WATERTOWN — On October 27, the Armenian American Veterans of Greater Boston celebrated its 67th anniversary with a Membership Appreciation Banquet, honoring its oldest member Harry Keshishian, soon to be 98 years old in December. The event, which follows a recent annual tradition, was held at the newly renovated Oakley Country Club.

This Armenian American Veterans organization was formed in 1952, became a part of the Amvets National Organization, a couple of years later, and was known as the Cpl. Paul S. Marsoubian Amvets Post 41, until a couple of years ago when it became affiliated with the AGBU.

Post Commander George Haroutunian (David Medzorian Photo)

Eighty members and guests attended including invited widows of deceased members and enjoyed a delicious menu and music by Leon Janikian and his band that played many Armenian favorites as the crowd got up and danced.

Post Commander George Haroutunian officiated the event as MC. He told about the scholarship program for members of Amvets family and invited Harold Partamian, Scholarship Committee Chairman, to report results to date, totaling $170,500 awarded since inception of the plan in 2017 to 50 students who are family members of Amvets past and present. He urged that all those who qualify as immediate family apply in the next cycle if they have not already done so, which runs from Jan 1 to Apr 30, 2020.

Haroutunian then mentioned the various donations made during the past year to charities, which included: St. Stephens’ Armenian School Scholarship Funds, Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) celebration for its 100th year in the US, Armenian Heritage Park, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) for their grand opening of their new headquarters, Holiday meal for 350 frontline soldiers in Armenia on the Army holiday January 28 (which makes the third year for this project), Armenian Women’s Resource Center in Yerevan, Armenian Nursing Home for additional Hoyer lifts, New England Home for Veterans, VA Veterans’ Fund at the VA Hospital, Ararat Youth Conference Center, Armenian Veterans of the four-day war housing damaged during the war, and Orphans of the 4 day war. These donations have been made possible by the funds received from the sale of the building on Grove Street.

Harold Partamian (David Medzorian Photo)

Haroutunian introduced his executive committee, consisting of himself as Commander, First Vice Commander Edward DerKazarian, Second Vice Commander, Robert Kaprielian, John Sahagian Finance Officer, and Jack Medzorian, Vahan Berberian, and George Haroutunian as Trustees.

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The event was co-managed by Ed DerKazarian and Walter Nahabedian and his wife, who planned and managed all the details of the event. Credit was given to Vahan Berberian, who ran the event for a number of years.

Haroutunian then introduced Harry Keshishian, who was a mentor to Haroutunian when he was a teenager, in building scale models of flyable airplanes. Keshishian told about his experience in during World War II. He is a gentle, modest person with a strong love for his national heritage and comrades in arms.

Haroutunian read off the names of the members who had died during the past year and asked for a moment of silence in their memory. These deceased brothers were: Jack Achmakjian, Jack Eordikian, Elliot Vanetsian, Nishan Berberian, Edward Orchanian, Sr., Samuel Zouranjian, Charles Kasparian, and Peter Talanian.

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