By David Medzorian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BOSTON — The Knights and Daughters of Vartan held its Grand Convocation in Boston during the first week of July. Members from Lodges and Otyags across the United States were hosted this year by Ararat Lodge No. 1 and Arpie Otyag No. 9.
The slogan for this year’s gathering was “Return to Ararat” because Ararat Lodge was the Knights of Vartan’s first Tahlij, founded on July 4, 1916.
The home for the 105th Avak Tahlij and the 83rd Grand Convocation was the Westin Waltham Boston Hotel. On Wednesday, July 5, a group of Knights and Daughters and some spouses and friends saw some of the city’s famous sites up close as they enjoyed a Boston Harbor Cruise. The ninety-minute excursion took them past landmarks such as the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), the Italian North End and The Old North Church, The Bunker Hill Monument, and Spectacle Island, which Boston’s Big Dig Project transformed. The group also visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial at Heritage Park and walked the labyrinth surrounding a small water fountain. Most of the group enjoyed an outdoor dinner at Legal Seafood before returning to the hotel. The first official day of the Grand Convocation began with a workshop led by the leaders of the Call-to-Action Committee. Grand Vice-Commander Levon Thorose joined Former Commanders Jake Bournazian and Garry Javizian in updating the Knights and Daughters of Vartan on efforts to help the 120-thousand Armenians who are living in Artsakh amidst a blockade by Azerbaijan that is now in its seventh month. To help publicize the plight of those in Artsakh and to seek international support, the Call-to-Action Committee commissioned two informational videos, which were shown to the Knights and Daughters on two occasions during the Grand Convocation.
The second workshop of the day, moderated by New England Grand District Representative Bob Avakian, was an interactive discussion focusing on efforts to recruit new members into the Knights of Vartan.