Search This Blog
Search This Blog
Friday, May 13, 2022
EASTERN DIOCESE HONORS ZARMINE BOGHOSIAN FOR 50 YEARS AS AN EDUCATOR & WRITER
· May 4, 2022
It was a special
evening of paying tribute to a dedicated individual, Zarminé Boghosian, the former principal and teacher at
More than 150 family,
friends, students, and admirers gathered in Haik and Alice Kavookjian
Auditorium of the St. Vartan Cathedral Complex and
On April 27, Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan presided at the reception honoring Mrs. Boghosian on the occasion of her newly published book, From Azez to America. The book compiles the events of her life through notes, speeches, addresses, articles and commentaries, and details the difficulties of surviving as an Armenian.
The book has been
Prominent among the attendees were Diocesan Legate in Washington D.C., Archbishop Vicken Aykazian; Diocesan Vicar Fr. Simeon Odabashian; Diocesan Director of Ministries Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan; St. Vartan Cathedral Vicar Fr. Davit Karamyan; Holy Martyrs Armenian Church pastor Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan; musicologist and concert pianist Sahan Arzruni, and several officials of the Tekeyan Cultural Association including Hagop Vartivarian, and the Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey’s Vartan Abdo.
Following an opening
prayer by Archbishop Aykazian, Krikor and
Two Powerful Perspectives
Fr. Untzag, pastor of
In what he called a revealing episode in Azez, Fr. Untzag related that Zarmine wrote that on Dyarnuntarach, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple, she had to make sure she could take the light to their homes “without extinguishing it.” Fr. Nalbantian then said: “She has not only brought that light, but she has radiated it wherever she went, including into the minds and hearts of her students,” many of whom were present.
The book, he continued, spans the writer’s life in Syria and America, her childhood and education in the Syrian Armenian community and church, her Jerusalem odyssey with her brother, the late Fr. Vertanes Kalyajian, the Armenian language teachers’ training in Armenia, her poetic inspirations on important cultural, historical and church anniversaries, and the many individuals who encouraged her to write, including her husband, Missak, her lifelong pillar and supporter for 55 years.
In 2014, Zarminé Boghosian was a deserving recipient of the “Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Medal” by His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians. Fr. Untzag warmly concluded with the inspiring words of the great poet Vahan Tekeyan who wrote, “In the final accounting, what did I get out of life? Amazingly, only what I gave to others.”
principal of the St. Vartan Cathedral Armenian School, trained by the eminent
Mekhitarist Fathers of Venice, and former Assistant Pastor at
Starting with the descriptive words of the great St. Gregory of Narek, he called Mrs. Boghosian’s memoir “a feasting table of delicacies,” and said it reflected “the strength and resolve that animated Zarminé’s dedication to her calling as an educator.”
He stated with tearful emotion that the book demonstrated “the love of the Armenian language, the foundation our identity built through the contributions of countless individuals speaking, singing, praying and mourning.” He also paid powerful tribute to “the superhuman struggle of saving from total oblivion and utter demise every letter of our alphabet created by the genius of St. Mesrob Mashdots, every bit of our cultural treasures torn into pieces and falling off another kind of feasting table by so-called civilized nations during World War I.”
Khosdeghian emphasized the importance of devoting and strengthening “a mature Armenian identity, nurtured day after day in the sacred protection and the warmth of the Armenian school, the carrier of our ancient culture to the next generation.”
He passionately expressed the hope that “we must preserve our marvelous identity rescued from total annihilation and rebuilt through the immense courage of our grandparents and parents, so that it does not fall victim to cutting us off from our language and heritage.”
“I wish we will not become orphans in search of an identity,” he stated with emphasis, to extended applause.
An artistic program was
presented by longtime Armenian actor (and Zarminé’s husband) Missak Boghosian
who sang acapella the well known “Anusgispin” in a deeply heartfelt
tribute to his beloved wife. Janet Marcarian, a longtime teacher at the
In Her Own Words
Honoree Zarminé Boghosian, on her 50th anniversary as an educator, speaking from the heart without notes, paid tribute to Nubar Kupelian, distinguished educator and longtime stalwart at the Diocesan Center, for his help in her decision to become a teacher in the United States, and to all the teachers who worked with her—most of whom were present at the reception. “You were our foundation,” she stated, flashing her well known smile.
She emphasized “how important our language and the Armenian schools are in order to defend and fortify our church.”
Turning to the Primate,
she stressed the necessity of preparing
Reciting a poem from the legendary Daniel Varoujan, she quietly and slowly voiced with heartfelt passion: “Our language is the eternity of our people.” She emphasized each word, and received a standing ovation.
During her moving remarks, my personal thoughts turned to the supreme dedication of Armenian school teachers. In my life I remembered how my mother, who taught Armenian for 50 years as a volunteer and principal, used to prepare the meals each Friday for my sister and me as children, so she could spend her Saturdays performing her Armenian teaching obligation, a duty she looked forward to and loved deeply.
The Primate, before sharing the closing prayer, stated, “Beyond all you have accomplished, most of all you are a teacher, the spirit of who we are. The highest honor is to be a teacher, and to transmit the spirit of who we are as Armenians and as Christians. And this is what you have achieved,” he stated, looking directly at the honoree.
“Continue to teach and transmit our Armenian spirit to our youth and to the world,” the Primate said before presenting her with the gift of a beautiful grapevine plaque from the Michael Aram collection.
Among the many students
of Zarminé Boghosian who have gone on to promising careers was Arthur Ipek, a
former volunteer at the Zohrab Information Center, and now a 24-year-old
graduate student pursuing a career in nuclear science. He commented that “some
of my most memorable and happy days were as a student at the
Click here to view a gallery of photos by Diran Jebejian.
Diocesan Center in
2022-Wed_April 27 _Rev. Fr. Untzag Nalbandian's Presentation - AZEZEN Ameriga Book- by Zarmine Boghosian
“WHY ARE STORIES SO VITAL?” FR. NALBANDIAN’S
REFLECTIONS ON “AZEZEN
· May 4, 2022
At the tribute for Zarminé Boghosian on April 27, 2022, Fr. Untzag Nalbandian delivered the following remarks on her memoir,
* * *
Three days after the 107th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, we gather here under the dome of St. Vartan Cathedral and auspices of our Primate, Bishop Daniel. Once again, this testifies we not only survived but we continue to thrive. And we are a creative people, in this case, also in literary endeavors.
Mrs. Zarminé Boghosian’s newly published
434 page memoir, From Azez to America is beautifully written in Western
Armenian. Although not strictly autobiographical, she has organized the book
under different categories, such as: People Who Influenced My Life,
Unforgettable Meetings, Meeting with literary figures, and writers, from our
community life, to mention the few. The book was published in
We are gathered here to honor the author for her literary work; however I feel she honors us and future generations by sharing her stories and honest thoughts in writing. As she told me, “I wrote this book so that my writings will not be lost.” And of course and also, to educate the new generation.
Our people and especially intellectuals have always appreciated its writers. They knew well the “recited words fly by and it is the writing that stays «խօսքը կը թռչի, գիրը՝ կը մնայ» as we say in Armenian.
Zarminé Boghosian is familiar to us–as an educator and
school principal of
Zarminé is also a member of the Armenian
Church, to which she refers many times in her book. As she describes, “In Azez,
on the day of the Feast of Dyarnuntarach (the Presentation of
the Lord to the
For sure, all these years she has not only brought that light, Zarminé has radiated it wherever she went, including into the minds and hearts of all her students.
The author’s life spans two countries,
Why are stories so vital? Because through our stories, we can educate the new generation about our faith and Christ-centered culture! Yes, by telling her stories, she educates the reader. She expresses her thoughts freely, without hesitation. She knows well as an educator, she must say the things that others may not say, not to criticize, but to correct, to teach, to make readers aware and think about those things that need to change.
The first part of her book is about Azez
She mentions important and well-known individuals, to name the few, Silva Gaboudikian, Antranig Poladian, Raymond Damadian, Aris Sevag, Lousine Zakarian, Sahan Arzruni, Sero Khanzadian, Maro Markarian, Arshille Gorky, Dr. Hrand Markarian, Zareh Melkonian and many more.
She also writes about events she has attended and reflected upon, such as the 100 year old Armenian Students Association, AGBU, A century old life of Armenians in America, or the 100 year old Grtasirats Armenian school in Aleppo and her first job as a teacher in that school after her graduation from Najarian-Gulbenkian High School.
Her book is also didactic. She at times tries to educate her readers or at least make them stop and reflect. For example, while describing Dr. Pergrouhi Najarian Svajian’s hospitalization, she writes that one of the nurses spoke highly of Dr. Svajian saying, “What an extraordinary woman she is.” When Zarmine told Dr. Svajian, who was on a stretcher going to surgery, Dr. Svajian responded, “Even though she just met me, she knew me better than some who worked with me for years.” I think there is a lesson for us to learn from Dr. Svajian’s short message. First, we must appreciate what we have.
Unfortunately, often others, foreigners and strangers admire what we Armenians have more than we do.
She also relates the story of the
She describes how she and others from
abroad attended an Armenian language teachers’ training conference in
Zarminé also mentions the advice
Diramayr Siranoush Baljian the mother of the late Vazken Catholicos, gave to
Armenian mothers: “I want each of you to be an educator in your home. I
too have lived on foreign soil, however I was dedicated to my son’s education.
Dear Armenian mothers, love and teach your children to love the Armenian
What a simple, but powerful and timeless message and another brief sermon from Diramyr.
At the end of the book the author has Բանաստեղծական ներշնչումներ a “Poetic Inspirations” section. Here, she has included many of her Armenian poems on anniversaries such as the 1600th anniversary of the invention of the Armenian alphabet, the 50th anniversary of her brother, Fr. Vrtanes’s ordination, or the 70th anniversary of Arshile Gorky’s death and others.
In her last two pages titled Յաւէտ երախտապարտ “Forever grateful,” she mentions the names of her elementary and high school teachers who encouraged her to write, as did her brother Fr. Vertanes. He placed the books of well-known Armenian writers in her hands saying, “Read them and write, I know you can!” What short, but very effective advice. This book is the result of the advice of those teachers and her brother. May God bless their souls.
Zarminé acknowledges this book is not even 10% of her thoughts and feelings of her 70 years of life. She praises Missak, her husband of 55 years, who has been the pillar and the true supporter of her life.
In conclusion, I note in 2014, Zarminé received the Sts. Sahag and Mesrob medal, given by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.
Today, we too can only congratulate and appreciate Zarminé, not just for publishing her memoirs, but also for serving the Armenian community as an educator for the past 50 years. God bless you, your husband Missak and all your loved ones!
You can proudly repeat the words of the great Armenian poet, Vahan Tekeyan who some 90 years ago wrote, (which you also included in your book):
մնաց, կեանքէն ինծի ի՞նչ մնաց,
ինչ որ տուի ուրիշին, տարօրինակ, ա՛յն միայն»։
“In the final
accounting what did I get out of life?
Amazingly, only what I gave to others.”
By Fr. Untzag Nalbandian
* * *
Pictured: Fr. Untzag Nalbandian at
the Diocesan Center in
ՄԵՐ ԿԵԱՆՔԻ ԸՆԹԱՑՔԸ՝ ՄԻՋԱՎԱՅՐԻ ՊԱՐՏԱԴՐԱՆՔՈՎ (Երուսաղէմէն Հալէպ մեր ոդիսականը) Պատանեկութեան յուշեր կան, որ անմոռանալիօր...
2014, Dec 14. Makrouhi Hagopian Guest Speaker, Honoring Life of Hermine Kalousdian-Zarmine boghosianԱնմոռանալի Նիւ Եորքեան Բաժակի Պահ Մը Պոլսահայ Մտաւորական Մաքրուհի Յակոբեանի Ներկայութեամբ Օքլանտ Կարտընզ – Նիւ Եորք- Դեկտ. 7-ի յետմ...
The Wonderful World of the Armenian Language Speech delivered in early 1989 Armenian Cultural Month -1990-s Armenian Church of the Hol...