PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Providence Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) “Kristapor” Gomidehoutiun—joined by the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) “Arax” and “Ani” Chapters, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), Homenetmen, and Hamazkayin, as well as hamagirs (supporters)—celebrated the 125th anniversary of the organization on Saturday night, Dec. 12, before a packed house in Aramian Auditorium.
Hagop Donoyan, ARF “Kristapor” Gomidehoutiun chairman, welcomed the crowd. Arch Priest Gomidas Baghsarian provided the blessing. Guests included Assistant Pastor Der Kapriel Nazarian and Yeretsgeen Debbie.
Andrew Bagdasarian, who served as the master of ceremonies for the evening, read an inspiring message from Levon Attarian of the ARF Central Committee.
Each year, the Providence “Kristatpor” Gomideh honors hamagirs who embody the spirit of dedication and commitment to the community and its organizations. This year’s honorees included Peter “Doc” Bedrosian, introduced by Paul Haroian; Lillian Markarian, introduced by Steve Mesrobian; and Harry Kushigian, introduced by Steve Elmasian. All three of these hamagirs are prime examples of what has made the Providence community and the ARF strong throughout the years, and to this day they actively participate in the community’s everyday life.
The keynote speaker was David Krikorian, a native of this community, and alumni of the Providence AYF. He currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, but still calls Providence “his home.” Krikorian spoke emotionally about his upbringing in Providence, and how it inspired him to help produce his graphic novel, Operation Nemesis. He wanted to reach out to younger individuals (Armenian and non-Armenian) who use this type of media to gather information on a variety of topics. He ranked the ARF at the very top of Armenian organizations, along with the Armenian Church.
The crowd enjoyed a lively concert by world-renowned tenor Kevork Hadjian, who was born in Anjar, Lebanon, and repatriated to Armenia, where he currently resides. Hadjian has performed in Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Bulgaria, and Kuwait, among many other countries. He dedicated a CD of religious music and hymns to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. He often entertains the servicemen serving in the front lines of the Armenian Army. The crowed joined in singing ARF and patriotic songs into the late evening.
A momavaroutioun, a candle and cake ceremony, also took place, raising the necessary funds for the ARF to be able to continue its programs.