WATERTOWN — The Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) of the United States and Canada held its 35th annual convention at its almost fully renovated Baikar headquarters on November 23 with a full day of reports, culminating in a dinner program with various awards and performances. Delegates from various Tekeyan centers and TCA Central Board members were hosted by the newly reformed TCA Boston chapter.
Prior to the formal meeting, delegates met for dinner November 22. The next morning they went to pay their respects at the grave of Dr. Nubar Berberian in Mt. Feake Cemetery of Waltham, MA with a ceremony officiated by Fr. Arakel Aljalian of St. James Armenian Church of Watertown. Dr. Berberian, aside from his decades of service to the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, was a founding member of TCA in North America and served as the secretary of the Central Board until the last days of his life.
The group then went to the Baikar Building, where they were welcomed by TCA Boston chair Dr. Aida Yavshayan. Central Board President Edmond Y. Azadian declared to the delegates that there was a resurgence in Tekeyan activities in recent years, and that its mission of promoting Armenian culture was as important as ever in the diaspora, as well as in Armenia. In turn, TCA Executive Director Aram Arkun said that the convention was an opportunity for exchanging information and new ideas among delegates and direct communication with Central Board members.
As TCA Central Board Treasurer Maro Bedrosian was unable to be present, Assistant Treasurer Kevork Marashlian reported in her stead. He revealed the healthy state of the TCA portfolio, which provided both growth and income for activities over the past four years. The organization has met all its fiduciary responsibilities.
Marashlian also spoke about the Sponsor a Teacher program’s successes in Armenia and Artsakh and encouraged chapters to create opportunities for their communities to learn about this extremely helpful program which has helped staff and teachers of five key schools for several decades.
Central Board member Arto Manoukian from Montreal explained how TCA has renovated many classrooms of the Tekeyan school in Berdzor, Artsakh, which lies at a very strategic point in the Lachin or Kashatagh corridor linking Artsakh to Armenia. Manoukian said that visitors who see the concrete results become so enthusiastic that they too often decide to join as sponsors and have the opportunity to name a classroom there.
Central Board Secretary Hagop Vartivarian told the group about the publications program of TCA, which is an important means for Armenian-language writers, as well as English-language ones, to have their works made available to readers. He spoke about 12 recent books in the TCA series, of which 8 were published in Armenia, 3 in Los Angeles and 1 in Lebanon. TCA financially helped some additional authors, he said.