He stood ten feet tall, a dynamic, charismatic figure.                Antranig   Bakerjian   symbolized   the   enduring,   fighting   soul   of   the kaghakatsi Armenian.   He   had   the   carriage   of   those   in   command   of   the situation, and the courage to stand up to the challenge.                Some   of   the   means   he   employed   verged   on   the   autocratic   -   he   had no   shortage   of   detractors   -   but   there   was   no mistaking   the   steely   determination,   although admittedly    there    were    some    who    were intimidated by his bearing.                A   man   of   manifold   tastes   and   various talents,   he   doted   on   drama   and   literature. (Edgar Allan   Poe's   "The   Raven"   was   one   of   his favorite poems).                 A   keen   host,   he   delighted   in   having people   over   and   on   Christmas   Eve,   when   the kaghakatsi   revelers   completed   their   round   of midnight    visits    to    friends,    relatives    and neighbors    in    the   Armenian    Quarter    ending their    crawl    at    his    home,    he    would    perch behind   the   bar,   serving   drinks,   joining   in   the songs.               A   born   leader,   he   tried   to   be   a   man   of   the people.                     Under    his    tenure,    the    Jerusalem Armenian   Benevolent   Union,   the   "Agoump," the    centre    of    the    kaghakatsi    Armenians'    cultural    aspirations    and expression, enjoyed its golden age.                Khawaja   Antranig,   as   he   was   popularly   known,   had   a   special interest    in    furthering    the    range    and    activities    of    the    Boy    Scouts Movement,   the   14th   Massis   group.   And   in   enhancing   the   artistic   and cultural   aspirations   of   young   people.   The   stage   was   his   preferred platform:   aspiring   thespians   and   orators   had   an   open   invitation   to mount the steps and sally forth, under his critical eye.                Among   his   favorite   poems   was   Edgar   Allan   Poe’s   “The   Raven” which   he   liked   to   have   one   of   the   young   fellows   recite   in   front   of important visitors.                As   chairmanof   the   Kaghakatsi   community   “Jerusalem   Armenian Beneveolent     Union”     (the     JABU),     he     organized     endless     social activities,    most    importantly    dances    and    balls    with    the    Armenian Rhythm band providing the accompaniment.                His   drive   and   ambition   saw   him   rise   to   the   position   of Area   Officer with    the    United    Nations    Relief    and    Works   Agency    for    Palestinian refugees.                     Perhaps    one    of    the    fondest    memories    one    has    of   Antranig Bakerjian,   is   the   New   Year’s   Eve   reception   he   held   at   his   house. Everyone   was   invited   -   no   one   had   to   bring   anything,   because   he provided all the food and drinks for an unforgettable night.
Armenian Jerusalem
A ball at JABU
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
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