ENCINO, Calif.—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Western U.S. recently announced that it welcomed 41 new members to its ranks during a ceremony on Jan. 20 at the Ferrahian Armenian School’s Dickranian Hall. Thirty-five novices, having completed a 10-week educational program, took their oath to join the 128-year-old party.
Joining the 35 will be four novices from Fresno, one from Las Vegas, and another who could not attend the ceremony.
The ceremony began with remarks from Harut Mgrdichian, who oversees the ARF novice educational program. After inviting each candidate, Mgrdichian introduced ARF Western U.S. Central Committee member Levon Kirakosian, who officiated.
In his remarks to the novices, Kirakosian highlighted the importance of volunteerism as the backbone of the ARF. He then spoke of ARF’s more than a century of commitment to justice for the Armenian nation, saying each newcomer will now join the larger ARF family in advancing social justice and the ideology of the party, as well as strengthen the ranks of the organization so that those in the Diaspora can better ensure the progress for the nation.
After the novices took their oath, Kirakosian welcomed them to the ARF family and wished them well on their new journey.
Also addressing the new members was ARF Bureau member Dr. Viken Yacoubian, who spoke of the challenges facing the Armenian nation, saying that the new members were joining the ARF at a critical juncture in Armenian history, where the strengthening of the homeland and advancing ARF ideals were of utmost importance to the survival of the nation.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the ARF anthem, “Mshak, Banvor,” following which the group joined more than 600 community members in celebrating the party’s 127th anniversary at a banquet in the adjacent Avetissian Hall.