The Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) of US and Canada held its 33rd convention on Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 in New Jersey.
Participating were delegates from New York and New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Pasadena/Glendale and Los Angeles.
On behalf of the host New York/New Jersey chapter, Hagop Vartivarian delivered the welcoming address to the delegates.
The convention sessions were chaired alternately by Dr. Haroutune Arzoumanian, president, and Edmond Azadian, vice president. Sebouh Avedikian served as the recording secretary of the convention.
Arzoumanian gave an introductory survey of the organization’s activities for the last two years and he also highlighted the challenges facing it.
Reports were presented by the delegates from each chapter. An extensive report was also read by Kevork Keushkerian from the TCA Arshag Dickranian School in Hollywood, Calif. The Abaka trilingual weekly of Montreal also submitted a report.
The Central Board presented its biannual financial report. Elections were held to fill the three rotating positions of the Central Board and the following members were elected: Panig Keshishian and Kevork Keushkerian (California) and Arto Berj Manoukian (Montreal).
The afternoon session was mostly dedicated to the discussion of future prospects and to the prospects of reinvigorating certain structures within the organization.
The role of the Board of Administrators is to coordinate activities between the chapters, to develop new programs and to conduct fundraising for the Sponsor a Teacher Program in Armenia and Karabagh. The TCA sponsors five Tekeyan schools in Armenia and Karabagh. Maro Bedrossian has served as the chair of the Board of Administrators since its inception. The convention expressed its appreciation to Bedrossian for running the board smoothly and achieving impressive amounts of funds for the educational projects. Unanimously, the convention elected Harout Chatmajian from the New York/New Jersey Chapter as the new chair of the Board of Administrators.
One of the major topics discussed was the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Plans were laid for local chapter level programs as well as a national program to be developed by the Central Board.
The organization has two very successful theater groups, the Mher Megerdichian Theatrical Group in New York/New Jersey and the Hay Pem Group in Montreal. Both have given successful performances locally. The convention explored the possibility of rotating the groups between the other chapters.
The delegates were elated to hear the news of TCA acquiring a five-story building in Yerevan to house Armenia’s TCA, Azg weekly newspaper and the local structures of the ADL in Armenia.
The Appreciation Committee awarded the Dickran Simsarian Trophy to the Montreal Chapter as the most active group, which was in competition with the New York/New Jersey chapter.
The convention recognized with gratitude the outstanding achievement of two of its members, Dr. Nubar Berberian, the secretary of the Central Board, and Kevork Marashalian, who retired recently after serving the Central Board as the executive secretary for 24 years.
Next year, the 34th convention will be held in Montreal, in October, which will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the weekly Abaka.
After attending the tribute banquet honoring Hagop Vartivarian on Saturday night as well as the Sunday service at St. Thomas Armenian Church of Tenafly in memory of departed members of the TCA and the ADL, the delegates returned home energized by the achievements of the last two years and determined to perform even better next year.