The ARS 70th International Convention in Athens

Armenian Relief Society (ARS) members from many corners of the world emerged in Athens, Greece for the ARS 70th International Convention.

On Saturday, October 8, 2011, a dinner-dance was held at the Zavarian center hosted by the Armenian Blue Cross in Athens.

Fifty four delegates from 12 regions and 10 chapters-at-large, CE board and staff members, in addition to 70 observers attended the meeting. The official guests included ARF Bureau member Hagop Der Khachadourian and Hamazkayin CE member Vera Gosdanian. An invited observer was Shoushan Der Hagopian of the Tehran Hay Gin association.

Following official opening ceremonies, the delegates moved to the meeting hall, where, CEB Chairperson, Vicky Marashlian, called the convention to order.

Anna Boulgarian and Silva Kouyoumjian were elected co-chairs of the convention for Armenian and English, respectively. Peggy Bagoghlian and Rita Hintlian were elected secretaries for Armenian and English. Later on, Silva Toufenkjian and Taline Mgrdichian were elected secretaries as well, joining the temporary officers, who were elected as permanent officers

Nyree Derderian was appointed as Parliamentarian.

The ARS-Canada delegates were Nairi Shahinian (nominating committee), Armine Karabetian (auditing committee), Houry Najarian (resolutions committee) Seta Malkhassian (credentials committee), Anna Boulgarian (Tivan chair). Varsenig Sarkissian and Keghouhi Bastadjian were elected as guests of the convention.

The delegates discussed the ARS centenary commemorations all over the world and the continuation of the ARS Centennial Fund, which is now the ARS Endowment Fund. The convention approved the newly established ARS entities as chapters-at-large, Dubai-Sharjah in United Arab Emirates and Vest Eros in Sweden. Ungerouhi Salpi Apelian was present as delegate for the first time from the new chapter in Dubai.

The convention thoroughly examined the existing ARS programs, funding levels, and ways to make them sustainable, particularly for those in Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk and Bulgaria.

The term of the CEB was changed to four years and the following were elected as the new Central Executive Board members: Vicky Marashlian, Rosie Bedrossian, Annie Keshishian, Pauline Getzoyan, Caroline Shmavonian and Sona Akelian, (USA); Nayiri Shahinian (Canada); Graciella Kevorkian (South America); Zepur Reyisian (Middle East); Liza Avakian (Europe) and Alicia Bejanian (Armenia).

The elected alternates in order of their election follow. U.S.A.: (1) Nartuhi Abrimian; (2) Ani Attar; (3) Nanig Kupelian; (4) Christine Hovnanian; Canada: Varsenig Sarkissian; South America: Maral Torigian; Europe: Lusine Shaghgayan; Middle East: Anna Der Hagopian; and Armenia: Vosguehad Mouradkhanian.

Elected to the Auditing committee for the upcoming term: Canada: Armine Garabedian and Jojo Bedrossian and from East Coast U.S.A, Muriel Parseghian.

Thank you for the hosting Region for their hospitality and very well organization.