BURBANK, CA – Nearly 300 Armenian Athletic Association “Homenmen” members, veterans, supporters and distinguished civic and community leaders, friends and guests attended a Gala banquet celebrating the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Homenmen.
The evening began with an invocation by His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, followed by welcoming remarks by Homenmen Ladies Auxiliary Chairwomen and the evening’s Master of Ceremonies Mrs. Zovig Koroghlian. The distinguished guests included Homenmen Benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Tateos and Nora Koroghlian, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, from Armenian Catholic church Rev. Father Armenag Bedrosian, S.D. Hunchakian Central Committee members Mr. and Mrs. Koko Khodanian and Mr. and Mrs. Harrry Sarafian, members of the S.D.H.P Western U.S.A Executive Committee, as well as members of various Armenian American organizations.
Mrs. Koroghlian familiarized the audience with the impetus for the establishment and perseverance of Homenmen by reading a letter for the occasion from Homenmen’s Central Committee. As noted in the letter read by Mrs. Koroghlian, with the forced migration of Armenians from their historic lands during the Armenian Genocide, the Social Democrat Hunchak Party embarked on inaugurating patriotic, educational and spiritual institutions around the world. Among this endeavor, Hunchakian youth were keen in establishing an athletic organization in order to keep a strong patriotic presence in the Armenian youth.
Thus, on January 27, 1921, the Armenian Athletic Association was founded as one of the first athletic organization in the Armenian community. The inaugural chapter of the organization was the “Homenmen Ararad” chapter of Aleppo Syria. Nine decades later, Homenmen continues its tradition of molding strong Armenian youth who one day will be leaders of their respective communities.
His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian congratulated the organization on this historic mile stone, stressing the need for such an organization is vital for the various Armenian communities in the world in maintaining the Armenian identity of our youth. The Archbishop wished the organization continued success and longevity.
Chairman of Homenmen’s 90th Anniversary Organizational Committee, Mr. Garry Sinanian welcomed the attendees on behalf of the Committee and discussed the impact Homenmen has had in shaping the lives of Armenian youth throughout the world. He stressed the importance of the older generation helping the younger generation in continuing Homenmen’s vision and mission. As such Mr. Sinanian presented an award to Mr. Peter Darakjian; the founding Chairman of Homenmen in the Southern California area in 1976. In accepting his award Mr. Darakjian also stressed the need to strengthen the continued support for Homenmen and Homenmen’s mission.
Mr. Sinanian also presented an award to longtime Homenmen member, veteran and Benefactor Mr. Tateos Koroghlian for his constant invaluable support to the organization. In accepting his award Mr. Koroghlian stated his belief that he is the successful man that he is today due to the influence and guidance he received as a Homenmen Scout. Mr. Koroghlian continued by stating never in his wildest dreams as a young Homenmen Scout had he envisioned being honored by Homenmen decades later.
Following the award presentation, a brief documentary featuring the history and accomplishments of Homenmen throughout the world was presented. As the end of the official program drew near, a candle lighting ceremony for the 90th anniversary of Homenmen took place with the participation of various Benefactors, supporters, and Homenmen members. These included; Mr. and Mrs. Tateos and Nora Koroghlian, Doctors Vahan and Meline Aladadian, Dr. and Mrs. Koko and Liana Bardakjian, Mr. and Mrs. Garo and Ani Bekarian, Mr. Raffi Depoyan, Mr. and Mrs. Harut and Rosine Der-Tavitian, Mr. and Mrs. Kaloust and Lena Derderian, Mr. and Mrs. Garo and Maral Gharibian, Mr. and Mrs. Jirair and Sima Giragossian, Mr. and Mrs. Khatchik and Jenia Keshishian, Mr. and Mrs. Sahag and Anahid Ketefian, Mr. and Mrs. Bedig and Lena Khodanian, Mr. and Mrs. Vazken and Seta Khodanian, Mr. Raffi Koroghlian, Mr. and Mrs. George and Hanriet Kouzouian, Mr. and Mrs. Hovig and Armine Latchinian, Mr. and Mrs. Avedis and Alice Mazmanian, Mr. and Mrs. Dikran and Vartouhi Sarafian, Mr. and Mrs. Garry and Suzanna Sinanian, and Ms. Alina Samvelian.
The night’s entertainment of contemporary and patriotic folk songs was provided by long-time Homenmen supporter Lebanese-Armenian singer Berdj Naccashian specifically flown in to honor the occasion.