Lowell Arf Honors Jeknavorian For 50 Years Of Loyal Service

by Tom Vartabedian

December 10, 2012

LOWELL, Mass.-Every community has its faithful servant, the individual
who goes above and beyond the call of duty to pave a better road for
its members.

Aram Jeknavorian, center, was honored Dec. 8 by the Lowell ‘Aharonian’
Gomideh for his community service, including 50 years with the
ARF. He is joined by brothers Armen, left, and Ara. Together, the
Jeknavorian brothers have a combined total of 135 faithful years to
the organization.

In Merrimack Valley, Aram Jeknavorian not only fits that mold, he
breaks it.

The Lowell “Aharonian” Gomideh-the first organized ARF Committee of
its kind in America-celebrated its 117th anniversary Dec. 8 at St.
Gregory Church in North Andover.

A roomful of guests applauded Jeknavorian for his 50 years of unbridled
service to the organization, beginning with his days as a Central
Executive member with the AYF.

Over the interim, he has held every executive post possible. He has
organized April 24th commemorations at Lowell City Hall; represented
his committee dutifully on genocide committees; attended conventions
and conferences; and encouraged younger counterparts to get involved.

He also co-chairs the Merrimack Valley ANC.

Beyond the ARF circle, he has commanded the Sam Manoian Post, Lowell
Armenian-American Veterans; led the charge at parades and marches;
taught Sunday School at Sts. Vartanantz Church, where he has served
as a Parish Council member; worked the kitchen; and been the go-to
guy whenever an opportunity or a need presented itself.

“Few have done more for the ARF and its community than Aram,” say
members. “He embodies the true spirit of this organization in its many
facets. Indeed, he serves as the consummate role model for others.”

A recent bout with open heart surgery refuses to take its toll. A
month of recovery and rehabilitation had him back in his familiar role,
attending meetings and fulfilling goals.

Of immediate concern is a genocide memorial for Lowell, where he
was raised. Jeknavorian and others have initiated a $50,000 monument
project to be completed in time for the 2015 centennial.

Joining him on the project are his two brothers, Armen, who chairs
the committee, and Ara, a younger brother who provides strong impetus.

The three Jeknavorians have 135 years of combined service to the ARF,
following in the footsteps of their dad, Apraham, who set the early
example. Two sisters, Armig and Rose, have also been involved in ARS
work, along with their mother Flora.

“I’m deeply humbled by this recognition from my ungers,” said Aram.

“They’ve been an extended family over the years. I’ve been taught at
a very early age to become a devoted Armenian servant, both with my
church and outside community. It’s kept me vital over the decades.”

The anniversary celebration attracted a number of members from outside
the organization in an arena of conviviality. An update on the Lowell
memorial brought loud applause from the audience.

A musical performance by the mother-son duo of Ani and Haig Hovsepian
produced another highlight to the occasion. The two virtuosos
combined their talents on the piano and violin in a repertoire of
classical gems.

A moment of silence was observed for victims of the 1988 earthquake
that rocked Armenia, resulting in the loss of many thousand lives.

Prayers were offered by Der Karekin Bedourian.


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