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Village Documents


Postal Cancellations. All of the following cancellations from the post office in Efkere date from 1912-1915.



The following is a booklet, printed in New York in 1913, discusses administration for the Akabyan School for Girls in Efkere.



Educational Society of the Girls School of Hefkara (Cesaria)
Founded 1913, New York
Gochnag Publishing House
New York, 1913

Preface: We consider reading long discourses or encomia about the helpfulness of the School needless because we see everyday that strong nations measure their greatness by the advancement of their schools and their sciences. Because it is the School that is the source of all their strength, be it economic, moral, or physical.

Humanity is not in its former living conditions. Those conditions have been totally revolutionized. New means in the fields of health, agriculture, art and engineering have been created which are convenient and lucrative. And all those nations that were once large and populous but are today are devoid or far from the knowledge of this progress have gotten run down, are forced to weaken, and one day expire. And human emotionality or previously outlined rights cannot even react on the expiry of a race. The main stimulus for preservation is strength--Strength defines rights, and that Strength is obtained from Knowledge--from the School.

My fellow Armenians, if we still have some sense of self-consciousness, if we still want to stay alive, we need to make a lot more sacrifices than the larger nations. Considering our weakness, we have immense need for Knowledge. Every Armenian two-house village must have its own school. That is the source of our existence, our self-preservation, and will be the weapon of our future Greatness.

In the multi-racial country of the Ottoman Constitution, we will make the strength and advancement of our race felt through the advancement and usefulness of our Schools. We will put the rights we have received and are going to receive on the scale of the balance of our schools' advancement. But, in this way, we will be able to obtain that advancement only by accordingly fulfilling our duties, which are: living less egocentrically, less covetously. Simply put: all for one and one for all.

We, the founders and members of the Educational Society of the Girls' School of Hefkara (Cesaria), zealous about the greatness of our Nation and our Village, have deeply scrutinized the helpfulness of the School and, starting in 1913, as one heart and one soul, have further advanced this nation-building establishment and we will not flinch in the face of any difficulties.

And we appeal to the honest community reading these lines, and especially to our Compatriots of Cesaria, to come to bear the invincible shield of our nations greatness and self-defense, which are the School and Knowledge.

Therefore, long live the Girls School of Hefkara.

May Armenian education live long and always.

Art. 1: The name of our Society is the Educational Society of the Girls' School of Hefkara (Cesaria).

Art. 2: The objective of our Society is to aid in the task of Hefkara's education; especially to protect the Akabyan School for Girls.

Art. 3: The means employed to fulfill material requirements are membership fees, contributions, shows, donations from Armenian and foreign individuals, as well as estate income.

Art. 5: The administration may govern the functioning of the Society as per the Statute.

Art. 6: The administration is elected by a general members meeting, assembled on September 1, by the majority of votes. The previous administration may be re-elected.

Art. 7: The general members assembly may, through a special commission, prepare four lists of eligible candidates, as well as postpone the date of the election by a few days; that assemble may elect an account-verification committee as well, which, having checked and ratified the accounts of the previous administration, hands them over to the next, prepares a report in that regard and presents it to the next general members assembly.

Art. 8: The administration consists of five individuals--Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Collector and Counselor.

Art. 9: The Chairman presides over board and general members meetings; along with the Secretary, he forms the cabinet and draws up all paperwork.

Art. 10: The Secretary prepares reports, maintains the head register and records the minutes of meetings. The minutes are not to be registered until their ratification at the next meeting.

Art. 11: The administrative body elects the Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer within itself. The latter receives funds and, along with the Secretary, signs receipts and maintains a separate accounts register. He is obliged to present the accounts every 3 months. The administration hands over any amount exceeding $25 to a local, trustworthy bank, under the official stamp of the Society.

Art. 12: The Collector's duty is to regularly collect fees, giving receipts, and to pass them on to the Treasurer, taking a receipt. He is obliged to give a $25 guarantee in exchange for the $5 remaining with him.

Art. 13: An officer or plain member committing an offense that threatens the existence of the Society, either morally or materially, will be reprimanded by the official body to which he belongs and, if necessary, a general members meeting having assembled, verdict will be pronounced upon him. A resigned or banned member does not have the right to ask for the return of his fees.

Art. 14: If an officer leaves, the individual in the candidates list who won the most votes is elected.

Art. 15: If an officer is absent from three consecutive meetings without reasonable explanation, he will be considered resigned.

Art. 16: The administration is obliged to assemble a meeting once every three months to present its quarterly accounts. If a majority does not assemble, the meeting is not opened.

Art. 17: All Armenians can gain membership paying a 50 cent entry fee and 25 cent monthly fees. Fee and entry issues are dealt with in accordance with local conditions, outside America.

Art. 18: Members who do not pay the fees without reasonable explanation are deprived of their right to vote.

Art. 19: In a year, three quarterly general members meetings will be assembled, or, if a petition is presented, signed by five members. General members meetings may be postponed only for serious reasons; meetings which do not consist of a majority are considered void.

Art. 20: If a member is absent from a meeting, he loses his vote, but may forward suggestions and proposals to the meeting through the Chairman.

Art. 21: The Society is considered dissolved if its membership falls below five and fails to increase within a year.

Art. 22: If the Society is considered dissolved, it will hand over its assets to the Municipal Body of the Village, and if it reforms within two years, it will receive its assets back and continue working as per its statute. In case it does not do so, the durability of the institutions established by the Society has already been safeguarded. The Prelacy is obliged to govern these institutions in accordance with their statutes.

Art. 23: This statute may be modified once every 3 years, except for articles 1, 2, 4, and 22.

Art. 24: The order of the meeting is as follows: A. Opening. B. Reading and ratification of previous meeting's minutes. C. Correspondence. D. Information. E. Election of Officers. F. Committee reports. G. Unfinished matters. H. New issues, suggestions, and proposals. I. Closure.

A letterhead for the "Educational Society of Hefkara--For Girls School." The letterhead, like the above booklet, is marked "New York". In the years following the First World War, those Efkeretzis in the United States, particularly in New York and Detroit, would be responsible for preserving the memory and history of this village. This letterhead courtesy of the Avedis Sarajian Collection.


A letter from the Armenian General Benevolent Union to the Efkere Eduacational Union. Courtesy of the Avedis Sarajian Collection


February 18, 1930

The Honorable Administration [of] the Efkere Educational Union

Dear Sirs,

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
Administrative Secretary


Minutes of a meeting of the Hefkara (Caesaria) Girls School Educational Association from 1935. It is interesting that, although the girls school 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, Collector; and Mardiros Touvalayan, Collector. Courtesy of the Avedis Sarajian Collection


While maintaining a distinct identity in the diaspora, Efkeretzis also frequently joined with natives from other villages and towns in the Kayseri/Caesarea region for social functions and other causes. The document to the right (courtesy of the Avedis Sarajian Collection) is an example of such as an occasion. It translates as follows:

Unprecedented All-Caesarean Concert Ball.

An initiative of
the Cesaria Reconstruction Union
Roubinian Educational Society of Fennesse
the Everek Compatriotic Union
the Efkere Educational Union
which will take place on
May 3, 1936 Sunday, 2 in the afternoon at
5th Avenue, at 110th Street, New York City
Entry - 50 cents
Details will follow


The following map, initially published in Cairo in 1937, shows many of the villages surrounding Kayseri. Kayseri is underlined in red. Efkere, to the northeast, has a red box surrounding it. Other key villages of interest include Moonjoosoon (underlined in purple), Tomarza (underlined in yellow), Everek and Fennesse (underlined in green), and Talas (underlined in blue). The second map highlights just the area around Caesarea (Kayseri), with some of names of key cities and villages translated.

Questions or Comments? Email Dr. Jonathan Varjabedian.