Mardiros Family Keeps It All Together

PEABODY, Mass.—Each day, inside an imposing machine plant that serves the industrial world, Aurelian and Anahid Mardiros are living the American dream.

Aurelian and Anahid Mardiros stand before the genocide sculpture they manufactured with sons Gary, left, and Vartan, right.

In so doing, they are fulfilling the Armenian dream.

Together with their three engineering sons, the family owns and operates a rather lucrative enterprise called A&A Industries, which manufactures precision machine components.

For them, it’s been a 34-year-old dream that’s lived every day after pessimists thought it would be a nightmare.

“When I first started a machine shop, they said it would fail,” recalled Mardiros. “I read somewhere that 90 percent of upstart businesses fall apart after the first year. I listened to my mother. She had all the faith in the world.”

Joining the parents are sons Gary, 31, Antranig, 30, and Vartan, 25, along with 42 employees housed inside a 120,000-square-foot structure that has slowly evolved in time.

These days, the operation has taken on a new dimension—one that has genocide recognition written all over it. When the bids were being entertained for a sculpture that would grace the Rose Kennedy Greenway, up went Aurelian’s hand with an offer nobody could refuse.

The supreme act of charity came after the couple was approached by the Knights of Vartan, with which Aurelian is actively involved.

“I bid a goose egg,” he revealed. “We were willing to take on this project for free. It’s important to acknowledge what happened nearly 100 years ago. There isn’t a price you can put on that.”

And that they did. For the past 18 months, apart from the normal business, the Mardiros family turned this into a labor of love, a passion that exceeded all expectations. Step by step, the monument began taking shape as architect Donald Tellalian and others looked on with high expectation.

The abstract sculpture, known as a split dodecahedron monument, stands 15 feet high, weighs 9,000 pounds, and is made of aluminum and stainless steel. Both the statue and base were constructed by A&A Industries and would have run about $500,000.

It’s done in 3-dimensional form with 12 facets, each representing a province that was decimated by the Turks.

“At no time did it interfere with normal production,” said Mardiros. “We worked on it evenings and weekends.”

It’s all part of a $6 million Heritage Park project that was launched 9 years ago. Dedication ceremonies are being planned this spring. The park will contain a labyrinth, a circular winding path in grass and inlaid stone, celebrating life’s journey. A single jet of water will represent hope and rebirth.

“This park will be a focal point for Armenians each year,” said son Gary, who serves as vice-president of operations. “It’s a gift for the whole city of Boston, not just Armenians. Pride is part of being an Armenian.”

To say Anahid and Aurelian Mardiros are community activists is putting it mildly. They complement the task as humanitarians and philanthropists. The Knights of Vartan honored Aurelian last year as Man of the Year.

A brief documentary had been prepared on his life, charting his days from Moldova, Romania, to his arrival here in 1975 and his aggressive business acumen. From a humble beginning, armed with knowledge of machinery, he climbed his stairway to paradise one step at a time.

Anahid came into his life one day after Aurelian arrived in America. She, too, hailed from Romania and appears well versed in the business world, particularly the financial end.

“I’m very happy to be part of this memorial park,” she says, “to let the world know that there was a genocide and to continue our fight for recognition. The sculpture remains as our legacy.”

Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian is a retired journalist with the Haverhill Gazette, where he spent 40 years as an award-winning writer and photographer. He has volunteered his services for the past 46 years as a columnist and correspondent with the Armenian Weekly, where his pet project was the publication of a special issue of the AYF Olympics each September.
Tom Vartabedian

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  1. What a great jesture of giving back to the Armenian Community. The sculpture is so beautiful and will be remembered for many years to come.
    A great legacy the Mardiros family will leave to America and Armenians.

  2. Those 12 provinces are in your dreams. I guess all Americans must leave America including the Mardiros family because we all occupy Native American Land. Every country in the world has fought wars. The Armenians are no exception. Until you come to the realization that dozens of ethnicities have lived in Anatolia, you will continue to torture yourself with a false perception that Armenians are some superior race. You existed on those lands but you were never a majority on those lands and you never will be.

    • Eren, the Armenian Genocide and deportation and massacre of ‘Anatolian Christians’ was a crime under the cover of war. Armenians were not at war with the Ottomans. The Ottomans targeted the Christian minorities for elimination. You cannot justify their criminal actions. Should criminals be allowed to benefit from their crimes? Can I come to your home, take your belongings, kill you and your sons, enslave your daughters, claim your wife as my own and then hang a sign on the door announcing to the world that it is my ancient and rightful property? Why so blind? Are Turks so ‘superior’ that they do not have to even admit to this crime, let alone pay for it?

    • “You existed on those lands but you were never a majority on those lands…”

      Of course, and that’s why the Armenian Vilayets in the Ottoman Empire were considered and called ARMENIAN Vilayets.

      You know why they weren’t called vilayets of dozens of ethnicities? Because they WERE ARMENIAN Vilayets.

  3. Peaceful Turkish-American Eren Bey:

    Regarding the so-called ‘Anatolia’:
    Armenians are not interested in the amorphous place called ‘Anatolia’. We are interested in the geographic place called Armenian Highlands. Armenians were the majority in the Armenian Highlands for thousands of years, until nomadic Turkic tribes started invading from East and Central Asia, and starting exterminating the indigenous populations.

    Regarding dreams and such:
    A few decades ago people were telling Jews that a Jewish homeland is only in their dreams: could not possibly happen. 2000 year absence and all that.
    When the Soviet Union was still a monolithic superpower, an independent Armenia was indeed only in our dreams.
    And independent Artsakh was also only in our dreams.
    We are patient people: our time horizon is not decades: 50 years, 100 years, 150 years is just a blip. We, who are alive today, do our part in our time, and pass the baton to the next generation, secure in the knowledge that future generations will carry on – just as those who lived and died before us were secure in the knowledge that their sacrifices would not be in vain.
    We have a collective national memory that goes back 5000 years.
    The Battle of Avarayr happened only yesterday for us.

    And don’t be too cocky, allegedly peace-loving Turkish-American Eren Bey: the Ottoman Empire collapsed in a matter of couple of years, and Turks lost 90% of the lands they had illegally grabbed and held for centuries.
    Modern Turkey is a mini version of the Ottoman Empire. We will wait for it to collapse on its own, and then legally and peacefully take possession of those 12 provinces.

    Regarding Native American lands:
    You should start the trend by leaving USA as soon as possible. Make sure you return all the way to the homeland of your ancestors – as pinpointed by your FM Davutoglu, when he was visiting the Uygurs of China in 2010.

    Armenians a ‘Superior race’ ? You Sir, like all Denialist Turks, are projecting – again.
    Read about the studies that the demigod father of your homeland, Mustafa Kemal, commissioned in 1930s to “scientifically” ” prove that Turks were the superior race. (….do you know who else thought they were a Superior Race in 1930s ?)

    [Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings]

  4. Boyajian
    You aren’t a constitutional expert but you are a genocide expert. Nice try but it won’t work

    • Ignorant Turks : this is an Armenian website –
      Why are you coming on here ??
      You must be Obsessed I guess huh ?

      watch out you will give yourselves stomach ulcers …

  5. Your ignorance is pitiful.

    Multiple ethnicities exist in North America : yet the indigenous population – as you had guessed (good job!) are the Native Indians.
    The same applies for Armenians in their native homeland: we have existed in the Armenian Highlands, encompassing the area along the Caspian sea, to the Black Sea, to the Mediterranean since the Bronze Age.
    We had a flourishing kingdom dynasty before the Savage Seljuks and ottomans ravished and occupied those regions.

    Armenians have had a well-established culture for a millennia.

    So before you throw your two-cents by coming on here to blabber .. you should at least not embarrass yourself with your lack of knowledge.

    Why are you following our news anyway – why are you on here reading and commenting?
    You must be really preoccupied huh?
    That is interesting – it’s actually good to see people like you reading news about us.

    The world is watching.

  6. Generous contribution to the city of Boston by remarkable Armenians.
    We are always Proud of our Philanthropists and Benefactors – sharing their successes and achievements in every field all over the world.
    The Mardiros Family is one example of our uniqueness as a nation.

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