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Hairenik Mortgage Burning Drive at Sts. Vartanantz Church

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The Hairenik Mortgage-Burning Drive New Jersey Committee


Hokevor Hayr, Badvarzhan Hiurer, Ungerner yev Ungerouhiner. I have been asked by the New Jersey Dro Gomideh to act as Master of Ceremonies for to-day’s program. My full name is Charles Garabed Der Kasbarian. However, most of you know me as Charlie, and that’s good enough for me. However, I do travel under another name, which until now I kept from those of you who don’t already know, but which I am now forced to divulge, if I am to talk about my connection with the Hairenik.

Almost ten years ago, when Antranig Kasbarian was the assistant editor of The Armenian Weekly, I proposed to him an idea for a limited column of short articles and anecdotes, mostly humorous, for The Weekly. He didn’t think much of the idea. I decided to appeal to the editor, Mimi Parseghian, and she thought it was a great idea. I submitted enough material for several columns, but just imagine my consternation when she used it all in one issue. Now I had to decide whether or not I was going to be able to continue for the long haul. So I labored week by week and, of course, weeks became months, and months became years. And this is how Uncle Garabed’s Notebook came to be. I am indebted to The Editors of The Weekly for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the paper in some small way.

For today’s occasion I searched through some of my old columns for a suitable story about Nasreddin Khoja.

(Hokejash story in Armenian)

The occasion for today’s Luncheon and Reception is, of course, The Hairenik Mortgage-Burning Drive organized by the New Jersey Committee. The Hairenik Association can boast of having had as editors of its official organs, such luminaries as: Reuben Darbinian, Minas Teoleolian, James Mandalian, James Tashjian, Kourken Mkhitarian, Kevork Donabedian, and going back to the period before the Genocide of 1915, Simon Vratsian, Arshag Vramian and Siamanto. Such a venerable institution did not come into existence by itself. It was built piece by piece with the contributions of all who abandoned material comforts for a life of sacrifice and dedication to a just cause : the emancipation and re-enfranchisement of a dispersed and dispossessed people. This is not to minimize the contributions of the rank and file supporters who sustained the efforts of the aforementioned with their nickels and dimes, especially during periods of economic uncertainty. It is therefore fitting to appeal to that same rank and file to help keep the great institution economically viable.

We are fortunate to have with us today members of the staff of the Hairenik Publications: Vahakn Karakashian and Peter Nersesian, who will give us the benefit of their views on matters of interest to us all.

But first, it gives me pleasure to introduce to you one of our own home-grown young leaders, Antranig Kasbarian, member of the ARF Central Committee and Co-Chairman of the Hairenik Mortgage-Burning Campaign, who will talk about the history of the Hairenik Building and the Mortgage-Burning Campaign.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ARS for co-sponsoring this occasion and to congratulate the members of the ARS who have so willingly consented to participate in today’s program.

I mentioned earlier that the sacrifices of those who built the reputation of the Hairenik Association as a venerable institution was supplemented by the moral and material contributions of their rank and file supporters. You who are assembled here today are the ones who have made it possible, by means of your financial support, for the Hairenik to fulfil its sacred mission. We already have received contributions from members of our community. I would like to read their names:

Nishan & Zivart Balikjian $1,000. Souren Papazian $1,000. Vahe & Elizabeth Amirian $ 500. Charles & Alice Kasbarian $ 500. Richard & Maral Krikorian $ 500. ARS-Bergen County Chapter $ 325. Mark & Nicole Alashaian $ 300. Levon Baghdassarian $ 250. ARS-Agnouni Chapter $ 150. ARS-Shake Chapter $ 150. ARS-Spitak Chapter $ 150. Shant & Louise Harootunian $ 100. Keghanush Kinosian $ 100. Jirair & Sylvia Muserlian $ 100. Alice Movsesian $ 50. Aram Terlemezian $ 50.

Nationwide, approximately $55,000. has been collected.

Should you desire to make a contribution, rest assured that any amount you choose to give will be welcome.

The Committee has placed donation cards on all tables for your convenience. Committee members will come around to collect them.

It gives me pleasure to introduce Vahakn Karakashian, Editor of the Hairenik Weekly, who will talk about plans for next year’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hairenik.

(Vahakn Karakashian)

(Announce new donations.)

It now gives me pleasure to introduce the newly-appointed Editor of The Armenian Weekly, another home-grown young leader, Peter Nersesian, who will talk about The Armenian Weekly.

(Peter Nersesian)

(Announce new donations.)

When I was combing through my previous columns, I came across another Khoja story that I’d like to share with you today.

(Beggar’s story in English)

(During the course of the collection, B. Massoyan will provide results for announcing names and amounts received. Announce also that results will be published in the Hairenik and Armenian Weeklies.)