Avedis Sarajian was born in Efkere in 1890, and immigrated to the United States as a young man in the years immediately preceding the First World War. In the United States, he remained committed to the well being of his hometown, and played a key role among Efkeretzis in the US (particularly the New York area) in forming and maintaining an organization of compatriots from Efkere. For a time, he served as president of this organization. Prior to the War, the principal aim of the organization was to raise funds for the girls school of the village, which was in the process of being rebuilt and improved upon. Following the War, the aim became to aid and assist any Efkeretzis that survived 1915, both abroad and in the United States.
Avedis’ life story is told lovingly by his son, Haig Sarajian, in The Silent Generation, which was published in 1999, and is well worth seeking out by anybody with even a passing interest in this period of Armenian history.
I am deeply indebted to Avedis’ son, Haig Sarajian, for these papers. I hope that, by placing them on the internet, Avedis’ contributions, as well as the contributions of other Efkeretzis in the diaspora, will not be forgotten.
By-Laws of the Constitution of Hefkara (Caesaria) Girls School Educational Association. 1913
A letter from the Armenian General Benevolent Union to the Efkere Eduacational Union.
February 18, 1930
The Honorable Administration [of] the Efkere Educational Union
We received, with thanks, your donation of 50 dollars to the cause of migrants from Syria. Please find the enclosed receipt.
We are happy that the Educational Union has rushed to the aid of our unfortunate brethren from Syria. If only other Unions and Companies would follow your kind example. We wish you success in your efforts for our nation.
I remain, respectfully yours,
Kr. H. Kalousdian
Minutes of Meeting, April 3, 1935. It is interesting that, although the girls school had long since ceased to exist, the association kept the name for which it was initially formed. The officers consisted of Avedis Sarajian, President; Hagop Nergizian, Treasurer; Dadour Papazian, Secretary; Paroug Sinamian, Collectory; and Mardiros Touvalyan, Collector.
Handwritten notes from various meetings
Correspondence to the Organization