DETROIT, Mich. — The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) will be honoring Michigan ANC activist Narses Gedigian, with the ANCA-ER Vahan Cardashian Award at its 16th annual gala on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at the historic Dearborn Inn.
The annual Vahan Cardashian Award is given to ANCA-ER activist(s) who demonstrate long-standing leadership and success on behalf of the Armenian Cause. The award is named in honor of the late Vahan Cardashian, who led the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia (ACIA), the precursor to the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“On behalf of the ANCA-ER, I’d like to congratulate this year’s ANCA Eastern Region Vahan Cardashian Award recipient Mr. Narses Gedigian – an extremely deserving individual whose dedication to the Armenian community and Cause is admirable. He will join a long list of deserving activists whose work has been the backbone of our efforts for decades. We look forward to celebrating him and the other deserving activists at our gala in Detroit on October 29,” said Steve Mesrobian, ANCA-ER Board member.
Gedigian was born into an Armenian Revolution Federation (ARF) family, which instilled his passion for the Armenian Cause at an early age. His father Garabed was a member of Dashnaktsutiun and fought with the Armenian Legion (Gamavors). Garabed used to work long and hard to send money over to his family in Turkey, all while busily recruiting new members for the ARF.
In 1954, Gedigian met his wife Elizabeth Kasbarian at an Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) dance. Two years later, they were married at the St. John Armenian Church. Gedigian worked at Ford Motor Company while enrolling in night classes at Wayne State University. He graduated from Wayne State University in 1976 with a degree in corporate management and a minor in industrial psychology.
After his early retirement from Ford Motor Company, Gedigian decided to focus on fiercely advocating for the Armenian Cause. He and his wife joined St. Sarkis Armenian Church, where he was later elected as chairman of the Board of Trustees. As an ARF member, he served as chairman of the Gomideh for many years. He also joined the ANC of Michigan where he soon became the director.
His goals were to raise awareness of the Armenian Cause and to empower his fellow Armenian people. He attended the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan, Armenia. Afterward, he traveled to Shushi and met with members of the government to inquire how the ANCA could help their current situation. Gedigian then made multiple trips to Washington, DC, to attend seminars and meet with Michigan Senators and House Representatives. He encouraged them to support the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Gedigian also spent a number of hours reaching out to Congressional delegations, asking for their support of the Armenian community. He even visited the Armenian Embassy, where he discussed his concerns with the Armenian Ambassador. When he wasn’t meeting with diplomats or leaders, Gedigian was busy organizing demonstrations and events that would raise awareness for the Armenian Genocide. He once organized for Detroit community members to travel to Chicago to support the Chicago AYF and Assyrian organizations to demonstrate against individuals attending a conference with pro-Turkey agendas.