Fresno was the beginning of the new world for the early generations of Armenians who came to the United States.  The Central Valley continues to bear its bountiful fruit and produce the best examples of Armenian-American contributions to the rich fabric of America.  One such outstanding example is California Court of Appeal Justice Charles “Chuck” Poochigian.

The Armenian Bar Association will be returning to its roots on October 26, 2013, for the very special occasion of honoring Justice Poochigian for his service to the legal profession, his appointment to the appellate bench, and his contributions to the Armenian-American community.  The “gnkahayr” or godfather of the tribute dinner and program will be California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter.  Justice Baxter and Justice Poochigian are both original and now honorary members of the Armenian Bar Association and remain very active in its conferences, programs, and workshops. 

Many of Fresno’s pioneering Armenian families, including the Poochigians and the Baxters, found their first scratches of earth and handfuls of destiny in the vineyard acres and fruit orchards reminiscent of their ancestral homesteads in Kharpert, Van, Bitlis, and Erzeroum.  Like so many others of that resolute first generation—oftentimes with heroic grandmothers leading the way—they turned the unremarkable into the unmistakable. 

Unmistakable pride, unmistakable humility, unmistakable industry, and unmistakable charity.  The legacy of service and commitment left by them to us is what propelled the founding of the Armenian Bar Association nearly 25 years ago by a native son of Tule fog and Fresno figs, Raffi K. Hovannisian.  Today, the Armenian Bar Association is an organization of hundreds of judges, lawyers, and law students, united as much by their common heritage as they are by their shared profession.

The Armenian community is encouraged to attend the Judges’ Night Reception and Dinner which will be held at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church Hall on Saturday, October 26th, with the reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m.   Tickets are $50 per person, $25 for students.  For further information and reservations, please contact Sevag at (559) 824-0955 or Armen at (818) 645-2811.

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