ARS of Eastern US

Rhode island

The ARS “Ani” 

Chapter of Providence

The histories of these ARS chapters are intertwined and can be traced all the way back to 1904 – before the ARS was established – in the founding of an ARF Auxiliary Gomideh in Providence , RI . Those pioneering Auxiliary members were Mrs. Baronian, Mrs. Kalimian, Marie Klerjian, Anna Havedian, Anoush Baligian, Hripsime Arvanigian, and Araxie der Tovmanian. By November, 1910, in the presence of ARS founder Agnouni, the Providence ARF Red Cross was born. Joining the original ARF Auxiliary Gomideh members in the new ARF Red Cross were Akabi Bargamian, Zarouhi Khimetian, Yeretsouhi Baligian, N. Shadoian, M. Boyadjian, Mrs. Kalafian, Miss Kalemkerian, Mrs. Jamgochian, Mrs. H. Toumaian, and Mrs. Kachadourian.

By the time the ARS held its first convention in 1915, the ARS Providence Chapter was established and an active convention participant.

In 1933-34, a special meeting was called to discuss the formation of an Armenian school to serve the educational needs of the community’s young people. The special meeting resulted in the establishment of the Mourad Primary School . By 1940, three Armenian schools had been established, all under the administration of the Providence ARS. The Mourad National Armenian School Committee was formed in 1954 to include representatives from the entire community in the life and decision-making of the Armenian school, including representatives from Sts. Vartanantz Chuch, the ARF, the AYF, and the church Ladies’ Auxiliary.

A major project of the Providence Chapter – along with other ARS chapters across the United States – during the late 1940s and early 1950s was George Mardigian’s Armenian National Committee to Aid Homeless Armenians (ANCHA) project. The Providence Chapter spearheaded a community committee to resettle Armenian refugees in the Providence area and the descendants of these refugees are active and contributing members of the Providence community today.

An important decision was made effective in 1959 when the Ani “Junior” Chapter was chartered to attract young women to the ranks of the ARS. The remaining “Senior” Chapter members constituted the Arax Chapter.

Through the years, the two chapters have participated together, and worked independently, on various projects to serve the Providence community. An important joint project of the chapters was the establishment of the Providence ARS Social Service Center in 1982. Much help and expertise was provided by important community members who ensured the Center operated professionally. In the beginning, the Center’s work was primarily focused on fulfilling the needs of the community’s elderly community. However, its work expanded in 1990 when refugees from Yerevan and Baku – survivors of the Sumgait massacres – began to immigrate to Providence in need of immediate aid. The Center is operated by an executive committee comprised of community members and is supported with an annual grant by the Ararat Association.

Today, the Ani and Arax chapters continue their distinct community activities and continue to collaborate when the need arises.

The ARS “Arax” 

Chapter of Providence

The histories of these ARS chapters are intertwined and can be traced all the way back to 1904 – before the ARS was established – in the founding of an ARF Auxiliary Gomideh in Providence , RI . Those pioneering Auxiliary members were Mrs. Baronian, Mrs. Kalimian, Marie Klerjian, Anna Havedian, Anoush Baligian, Hripsime Arvanigian, and Araxie der Tovmanian. By November, 1910, in the presence of ARS founder Agnouni, the Providence ARF Red Cross was born. Joining the original ARF Auxiliary Gomideh members in the new ARF Red Cross were Akabi Bargamian, Zarouhi Khimetian, Yeretsouhi Baligian, N. Shadoian, M. Boyadjian, Mrs. Kalafian, Miss Kalemkerian, Mrs. Jamgochian, Mrs. H. Toumaian, and Mrs. Kachadourian.

By the time the ARS held its first convention in 1915, the ARS Providence Chapter was established and an active convention participant.

In 1933-34, a special meeting was called to discuss the formation of an Armenian school to serve the educational needs of the community’s young people. The special meeting resulted in the establishment of the Mourad Primary School . By 1940, three Armenian schools had been established, all under the administration of the Providence ARS. The Mourad National Armenian School Committee was formed in 1954 to include representatives from the entire community in the life and decision-making of the Armenian school, including representatives from Sts. Vartanantz Chuch, the ARF, the AYF, and the church Ladies’ Auxiliary.

A major project of the Providence Chapter – along with other ARS chapters across the United States – during the late 1940s and early 1950s was George Mardigian’s Armenian National Committee to Aid Homeless Armenians (ANCHA) project. The Providence Chapter spearheaded a community committee to resettle Armenian refugees in the Providence area and the descendants of these refugees are active and contributing members of the Providence community today.

An important decision was made effective in 1959 when the Ani “Junior” Chapter was chartered to attract young women to the ranks of the ARS. The remaining “Senior” Chapter members constituted the Arax Chapter.

Through the years, the two chapters have participated together, and worked independently, on various projects to serve the Providence community. An important joint project of the chapters was the establishment of the Providence ARS Social Service Center in 1982. Much help and expertise was provided by important community members who ensured the Center operated professionally. In the beginning, the Center’s work was primarily focused on fulfilling the needs of the community’s elderly community. However, its work expanded in 1990 when refugees from Yerevan and Baku – survivors of the Sumgait massacres – began to immigrate to Providence in need of immediate aid. The Center is operated by an executive committee comprised of community members and is supported with an annual grant by the Ararat Association.

Today, the Ani and Arax chapters continue their distinct community activities and continue to collaborate when the need arises.