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Keghi Compatriotic Unions

Keghi Compatriotic Unions-1934 Posted by Betty Apigian-Kessel on March 20, 2012

With their villages and inhabitants decimated by the Turkish government, the scant survivors of the 1915-23 Armenian Genocide moved forward to establish compatriotic unions in the United States in an effort to maintain their noble Armenian identity.

The following list was created from material recently discovered by area resident Asbed Papakhian among his father’s—Arch Priest Souren Papakhian—numerous books and papers. Asbed translated the Armenian into English, thereby bestowing upon us a treasure of a gift.

His father, the beloved Der Souren, was drafted from his Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) membership to be trained for the priesthood, and served the vibrant Armenian community of Detroit from 1946-74, passing away in 1976. He was a Mushetsi. His wife, Yeretsgin Shoushanig Papakhian, was from Latakia, Syria, and served here as an Armenian language teacher.

Our thanks to Asbed for re-creating this list as a permanent record for those who may have an historic interest in our legacy. Our appreciation to Der Souren, whose contributions to the advancement of this community were many. He is long remembered for the hundreds of baptisms, marriages, blessings, and funerals he presided over. Clergymen continued these traditions in every corner of the world where Armenians settled, always establishing churches and community centers to keep the spirit of Armenia alive, never to die.

Locally, well-known Keghetsi/historian Esther “Stitch” Vosgerchian, a spry octogenarian with a remarkable memory going back to her very early childhood days, remains a valuable resource with stories harking back to the evolution of the Detroit Armenian community.

It is vital that succeeding generations know their genealogical roots, regardless of the province their ancestors came from.

Bardaganoutioune mnatz mezi (the responsibility remains with us).


Detroit Chapter. Founded June 10, 1934, at 440 S. Green. Executive Committee: H. Vosgerchian (Stitch V.’s father), president; S. Gerjekian, executive secretary (in Armenian, adenatbir); D. Kakligian, treasurer; H. Yenokian, co- or alternate president; H. Mossoian, co-executive secretary.

Highland Park. Founded 1934, 13932 Woodrow Wilson. Executive: Khzar Mouradian, president; Hamazasp Aslanian (Berge’s father), executive secretary; Ardashes Bozoyan, treasurer.

Pontiac. Founded Sept. 17, 1934, 13 Wessen St. Executive: Missak Kevorkian, president; Mesrob Hoogasian, executive secretary; Hamazasp Hagopian, treasurer.

Chicago. Founded July 1934, 5604 W. 21st St. Cicero, Ill. Executive: H. Aloian, president; Mrs. A. Haroian, executive secretary; T. Kalajian, treasurer.

St. Catherine’s, Ontario. Founded Sept. 23, 1934, 288 Ontario St. Executive: Arshag Kaloustian, president; Antranig Sirounian, executive secretary; Aghajan Papazian, treasurer; Armenag Derderian, co-president; Gabriel Ashekian, co-executive secretary.

Guelph, Ontario. Founded Oct. 12, 1934, 446 York Rd. Executive: A. Toorigian, president; H. Hairabedian, executive secretary; Abkar Yekmalian, treasurer.

Hamilton, Ontario. Founded Oct. 13, 1934, 229 Gibson Ave. Executive: Garabed Arakelian, president; Toros Ohanian, executive secretary.

Preston, Ontario. Founded Oct. 1934, 505 P.O. Box Preston. Executive: Boghos Derderian, president; Arsen Partanian, executive secretary; Krikor Derderian, treasurer.

Brantford, Ontario. Founded Oct. 14, 1934, 129 Market St. Executive: Garabed Mouradian, president; Mardig Apigian, executive secretary; Hampartzoum Apigian, treasurer; Tomas Manoogian and Manoog Manoogian, advisors.

Windsor, Ontario. Founded Nov. 11, 306 Felix Ave. Executive: Kaspar Aghajanian, president; Khatchig Haroutounian, executive secretary; Vahan Morlian, treasurer.

Niagara Falls, N.Y. Founded Dec. 25, 1934, 541 9th St. Executive: Mamigon Krikorian, Aristakes Shakarjian, Boghos Garabedian.

Lockport, N.Y. Founded Dec. 27, 1934, 268 Genesee St. Executive: Soghomon Der Zakarian, Yervant Babigian, Levon Kalajian

Toronto. Founded in Dec. 1934, 85 Seaton St. Executive: Setrag Maghakian, Hairabed Mateosyan.

Granite City, Ill. Founded Nov. 17, 1934, 809 Pacific Ave. Executive: Nishan Varadian, Arsen Haroian, Aslan Khachigian.

Meadeville, Pa. Founded Dec. 8, 1934, 1157 Water. St. Executive: Garabed Aloian, Abraham Papazian, Arsen Haboian, Bedros Khvoian.

East St. Louis. Founded Nov. 18, 1934, 17105 Missouri Ave. Executive: Hovaness Doumanian, Janig Kloian, Tavit Melkonian.

Erie, Pa. Founded Dec. 9, 1934. Executive: Sarkis Andonian, Yeghishe Sirounian, Sarkis Margosian.

Waterveliett, N.Y. Founded Dec. 13, 1934, 311 25th St. Executive: Megerdich Vosgerchian, Israel Derderian, Hrant Yekmalian.




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