YEREVAN – The postal services of Armenia, Haypost, announced the release of a postage stamp dedicated to Diana A. Apcar (1859-1937) as part of its annual “Armenian history” series. The postage stamp (30.0 x 40.0 mm) with the nominal value of 120 AMD depicts the Honorary Consul of the First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) to Japan.
Born in Rangoon, Burma (present day Yangon, Myanmar) on October 17, 1859 to Armenian parents from New Julfa, Iran Diana Apcar was the youngest of seven children in the family. Apcar was raised in Calcutta and received her education in a local convent school. Diana Apcar became fluent in English, Armenian and Hindi. She married Michael Apcar, a descendant of the prominent house of Apcar of New Julfa. In 1891, the couple moved to Japan, where she lived until her death on July 8, 1937. She was buried in the Foreigners Cemetery in Yokohama beside her husband and two sons. Her tombstone is engraved with the simple words befitting her life and faith: “Out of Earth‘s shadows unto Heaven’s Glorious Day. We Loved Her, but God Loved Her Best.”
On July 20, 1920, out of respect to her humanitarian efforts, Hamo Ohanjanian, then Foreign Minister of the Republic, appointed Diana Apcar Honorary Consul to Japan, making her the first Armenian woman diplomat and one of the very first women to have ever been appointed in any diplomatic post in the twentieth century. After the fall of the First Republic of Armenia in the same year, her post was abruptly terminated. But she continued her humanitarian work for two decades, helping survivors of the Armenian Genocide who had made it to the distant shores of the Far East to settle and find refuge in peaceful lands.