PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Providence “Arax” chapter held its annual Mother’s Day celebration on May 13, attended by more than a hundred guests at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. This year’s honoree was longtime ungerouhi, Marlene Vichabian. In attendance were representatives of sister organizations—the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), Homenetmen, and Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Society. Also present, was ungerouhi Johanna Chilingirian, representative and member of the ARS Regional Board of Executives.
Ungerouhi Maroushag Krikorian, vice-chair of the “Arax” chapter, welcomed guests and invited Der Gomidas Baghsarian to start the evening by blessing the tables. Ungerouhi Maro Nadjarian, chapter secretary followed with opening remarks, after which the guests enjoyed a delicious dinner.
After dinner, Nadjarian delivered the ARS message, stressing the challenges that Armenian mothers have faced, as well as their crucial role of the in the survival of the Armenian nation throughout a difficult history. The ungerouhi continued and praised the many accomplishments of the beloved ungerouhi Vichabian and her invaluable contribution to the ARS for more than half a century.
Nadjarian presented Vichabian’s brief biography. Marlene Vichabian was born in Beirut to Garbis and Hasmig Mardinian. She received her elementary education at Sourp Nshan School and continued her academic years at the Nshan Palandjian College. In 1962, she married the late and beloved unger Kevork Vichabian. They were blessed with three children, their eldest daughter Sossie (Pomakian), then Dzovig (Chobanian), and finally their youngest child, Yervant. She is the grandmother to six beautiful grandchildren.
In 1982, due to the unrest and ongoing civil war in Lebanon, Vichabian and her family emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Seekonk, Mass. She has been a devout church member and a very active participant in our many community organizations, such as Hamazkayin, ladies guild, and ARS “Arax” chapter. She has been elected as a National Representative Assembly delegate for many years and a has served on the Board of Trustees of the Providence Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church.
Vichabian joined the ARS ranks in 1963 and throughout half a century, has held many positions in the organization. She has been the chairperson of the “Arax” chapter for years, has served on the ARS Regional board from 2000 to 2004, has represented our chapter in numerous conventions and has been one of the pillars of our community, leading our youth in an exemplary manner. “We are extremely grateful to have ungerouhi Marlene as a wonderful role model to our youth and many generations to come,” said Nadjarian.
Nadjarian then thanked Vichabian for her years of service to the Armenian community, here and abroad, and particularly for her work within the ARS family.
Following Nadjarian message, Vichabian’s son, Yervant thanked the ARS on behalf of the Vichabian family and entertained the audience by mentioning the uniqueness of all Armenian mothers and especially his beloved mother.
Ungerouhi Taline Mkrtschjan, chairperson of the “Arax” chapter, presented Vichabian with a special ARS fifty-year commemorative gold pin and a certificate of appreciation issued by the ARS Central Executive Board. Ungerouhi Karen Pilla, chairperson of the ARS Providence “Ani” chapter, presented the ungerouhi with a wonderful bouquet of flowers on behalf of the chapter. Der Gomidas and Der Kapriel Nazarian then honored guests with their words of wisdom and congratulated Vichabian and thanked her for her many years of service.
The evening continued with joyful dancing on the wonderful music of DJ Rams by Aram Kayserian.
The ARS “Arax” chapter would like to thank everyone that supported the event, especially all the ungerouhis that worked tirelessly to make this event a huge success.
Vartsket katar ungerouhi Marlene. May we all strive to follow your exemplary lead.