On Oct. 18-19, the Armenian Relief Society’s (ARS) Second Inter-Executive Meeting took place in London’s “Navasartian” Armenian Center, organized jointly by the ARS Central Executive Board (CEB) and Great Britain’s ARS Chapter. The meeting took place with the participation of the ARS of Great Britain, France, Stockholm, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Lebanon regional and membership representatives, as well as members of the ARS Central Executive Board and representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) of England.
The two-day meeting was called to order with participants singing the ARS anthem. The chairperson of ARS-Great Britain, Janette Mardirosian, welcomed everyone. To start the proceedings, ARF-London Chairman, Dr. Hratch Boghosian, delivered the ARF message to the gathering.
The ARS’s ongoing international programs and activities were presented by the ARS Central Executive Board chairperson, Vicky Marachelian, and CEB members Alesya Bejanyan and Liza Avakian. The chairpersons of the ARS United Nations, Strategic Planning, and Fundraising Committees also reported their activities via Skype. As a priority concern, ARS Central Executive Board member Zepure E. Reisian reported from Aleppo on the present challenges and socio-economic hardships facing the Syrian-Armenian community and the ARS aid programs implemented in this regard.
Following the reports, participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and express their opinions to the CEB members and committee chairpersons. Each ARS entity then presented a report on the activities of their respective regions, stressing local successes, issues, and challenges.
A primary focus of the meeting was the basic needs of Syrian refugees presently in Europe. Participants also expressed their concerns and presented proposals regarding the rejuvenation of the ARS ranks.
On Saturday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Atom and Sella Tenjoukian hosted a gathering in their residence. The following day, the ARS-Great Britain’s chapter-at-large celebrated its 32nd anniversary. ARS-Great Britain Executive Board member Jacqueline Karanfilian welcomed the guests and invited Mardirosian to give her remarks. On this happy occasion, Marachelian and Archpriest Father Aren Shahinian each congratulated the chapter members with words of praise for the important role Armenian women play in our society. Ara Markarian, the High Commissioner of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, congratulated ARS-Great Britain on the occasion of this important event. London’s Ealing District Representative, Stephen Pound, also attended and offered words of praise and encouragement for the diligent chapter members, the Armenian Relief Society, and all community representatives.
Marachelian concluded her thoughts concerning the Inter-Executive Meeting with the following words: “The proceedings of the Second ARS Inter-Executive Meeting were successful. Through the constructive input of the members of the ARS Regional and at-large executives, it was possible to refresh the spirit of cooperation among the entities and to come up with new ideas to enhance our ongoing, worldwide programs. This meeting addressed with special attention the issues facing our Syrian-Armenian community, as well as the projects in place for the 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. The participants are returning to their regions with renewed enthusiasm and vigor.”