The Holy Martyrs community celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Narrec, the monthly newsletter of the parish, with an elegant afternoon of festivities on Sunday, May 4. As parishioners entered into Kalutsyan Hall, they were greeted with a glass of champagne punch and a décor of spring colors. The tables, decorated beautifully with flowers and an assortment of delicious hors d’oeuvres, were arranged to highlight the Swarovski Gouldian Finches (the 60th anniversary raffle prize) placed centrally on a pedestal.
The celebratory program began with a prayer by Fr. Abraham and welcoming remarks by Dr. Lynn Cetin, a member of the Narrec Editorial Committee. Dr. Cetin reminded the attendees that the Narrec was born out of the need to have a channel of communication for a new community of Armenians in Queens and Long Island in the 1950s. The Narrec started out as a small two-page semi-monthly publication in January 1955. In 60 years the Narrec has grown and blossomed into a publication that is continually referenced and admired by lay and clergymen throughout the Diocese. The Narrec has been published non-stop since its inception. Mary Selvinazian, Managing Editor of the Narrec reflected on this milestone anniversary after a toast in her honor.
The afternoon’s celebratory program continued with musical selections in Armenian by choir members Vartan Esenyan and Greg Dosttur. The talented two-man group entertained the audience with vocals, keyboard and guitar. Karine Kocharyan, Executive Producer and host of Voice of Armenians Television, was the guest speaker for the afternoon. With powerful and heartfelt words, Kocharyan reflected on the meaning of the name “Narrec,” – the publication was named after St. Gregory of Narek’s “Conversations with God” – and the importance of the written word in healing others. Kocharyan, through her work in television production, also spoke about the fulfillment she feels each time a viewer thanks her for her work. “I feel like I get wings and can fly,” she said in Armenian. With the same breath, she publicly thanked each member of the Narrec Editorial Committee for their dedication to the publication.
The afternoon’s festivities continued with vocal selections by Yeretzgin Karine, accompanied by Juliet Gregorio on piano. Yeretzgin’s lovely voice brought the audience to tears and a surprise duet with Fr. Abraham made everyone clap with joy.
The wonderful afternoon of celebration concluded with a lavish dessert table, celebration cake and the much anticipated raffle drawing for the Swarovski Gouldian Finches. Evelina Malkhasyan picked the lucky winning ticket. Congratulations to Hilda Sheshedian!
The Narrec is our voice to our brothers and sisters outside of the walls of Holy Martyrs. It is where our community rejoices and shares its successes and challenges with others. The pages of our Narrec throughout the past sixty years are like the pages of our family photo album. On Sunday, May 4, together as one family, we celebrated this beautiful gem in our community.