Homenetmen, is an establishment that holds today 105 regional chapters worldwide since its foundation in 1918, and looks after more than 28 thousand members who made it a mission to preserve and enrich the values and the traditions of the Armenian identity.
As a result, Homenetmen London was established in 1979 by a few who believed in the ethos of Homenetmen: "To Elevate Yourself and To Elevate Others With You". Since its establishment, the “Miutyun” worked tirelessly through its dedicated members, affiliates and supporters to instil the Armenian spirt in the hearts and minds of our youths, to be an active part of the wider Armenian community in the UK and to prepare future generations of responsible, confident and trustworthy leaders in the UK.
To celebrate the 36th anniversary of the establishment of Homenetmen London, an evening was organised by a devoted subcommittee and steered with the active participation of members from all the divisions; Scouts, Sports, Homenetmen Youth Events, and the Dndesagan, Parents and the Fund Raising committees.
Since this annual anniversary coincided in the year of the 100th commemorative anniversary of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks, the Executive Committee found it most suitable to dedicate this evening to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, and entitled the ceremony “ԿԱՆՔ, ՊԻՏԻ ԼԻՆԵՆՔ ՈՒ ԴԵՌ ՇԱՏԱՆԱՆՔ”.
The evening took place at Greenford Hall on Sunday 4th October 2015 and started with the flag bearers marching toward the theatrical stage and showcasing a precision marching routine. That was followed by the entry march of nearly 70 scouts and scout leaders. Rank elevation ceremony was then undertaken for a few of the scouts. Speeches were delivered by Yeghpayr Armand Abramian, Chairman; Mr Armen Liloyan, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the United Kingdom; Yeghpayr Zorik Gasparian, Vice Chairman of the Armenian Community Council of the UK; and by Very Reverend father Movses Sargsyan, visiting Pastor on behalf of the Armenian Primacy of the UK and Ireland.
Yeghpayr Armand congratulated and well-wished Yeghpayr Alek Khachaturyan for being elected as an Executive Board Member of Homenetmen Central Committee during the General Meeting from 7th - 11th September, in Armenia, which is held every 4 years.
All the speeches stressed the effect of the Armenian Genocide on the youth and on the Armenian identity, and how Homenetmen played and still plays a pivotal role in bringing up role model members of the community, either in the Diaspora or in Fatherland Armenia. They all echoed the beauty and the power of “Բարձրացի՚ր, Բարձրացո՚ւր” in real life and how every individual should set it as their guiding slogan.
At this point the first part of the evening came to its end and gave the 200 members of the audience an interval during which to help themselves to warm Armenian food and drinks, all with the help of the Dndesagan, the parents committees and volunteers.
The second part of the evening was a showcase in itself. A theatrical play of fine art “գեղարուեստական բաժին” by nearly 70 members telling a real life story of a group travelling from London to Fatherland Armenia to take part in a Pan-Armenian camp. Along the journey they meet another group from Canada and the USA in an airport terminal lounge and they start to get to know each other, and needless to say the play starts with “Դուք Հայ է՞ք”. The inspirited travellers congregate in the lobby and they start their enlivened group singing, dancing, arm-wrestling, music-playing and poetry-telling, as well as parents chasing naughty kids and many other acts full of joy and emotion.
The centrepiece of the play was the survival stories of the travellers. One by baron Ohannes, a grandparent who tells the story of his father who himself was a witness and a survivor of the atrocities of the Genocide, and another by young Armen, who told the story of his freedom fighting father in Artsakh. Both emotional, real stories enthused the audience but most importantly it taught the travelling young scouts important lessons of history and the experiences of their ancestors.
When the groups reached Armenia, one of the first things they did was to visit the Birds Nest memorial “Tzizdernagapert” and paid their respect to the victims of the Genocide. The whole stage was transformed artistically from an airport lobby to the memorial site, and delicate and sensible acts were performed. The emotions were high and the evening came to its summit when two actual blood brothers sang Aghpers ou Yes (My brother and I), and reminded everyone that fighting for freedom is the destiny of all the Armenians.
As the evening came to its conclusion, the London Armenian community felt blessed to have such devoted and motivated members of its community, and for days afterwards echoed “I Remember and I Demand”.
Կեցցէ՚ Հայաստանը եւ Մեր Ժողովուրդի արդար պահանջները։