News

Honoring a Half-Century Milestone

The roll call of delegates of the 120th Diocesan Assembly was an occasion to honor a stalwart, beloved figure at Diocesan Assemblies over the past decades: Nubar Kupelian, distinguished longtime member of the Diocesan staff.

In a special tribute during the opening assembly session on Friday morning, Bishop Daniel introduced “Baron Nubar” with the announcement that the summer of 2020 had marked his 50th anniversary of service to the Eastern Diocese. While the pandemic had caused a delay, he said, the Diocese wanted to recognize the milestone at this time. The delegates stood and burst into loud applause as Mr. Kupelian and his wife Anahid approached the dais.

There, Diocesan Vicar Fr. Simeon Odabashian read a congratulatory letter from Bishop Daniel in honor of the occasion. “Throughout his time here,” he read, “Nubar has been the heart and soul of this organization: an inspiration to all who devote their time and creativity to God and His church; a mentor to his co-workers; and an example of the fine, humane, patriotic qualities that have been the most noble expression of Armenian civilization.”

The letter continued: “Nubar’s 50-year presence at the Diocesan headquarters has been an enduring grace upon the entire Armenian Church. He is a devout Christian, an Armenian patriot, a man of quality to whom all of his colleagues look up. We have become better Christians, and better Armenians, for having shared our days with him.”

After some gracious remarks of thanks, Nubar Kupelian read the roll of delegates in the familiar voice that has endeared him to the community. The occasion was recorded for posterity on the online Zoom platform.

Read Bishop Daniel’s congratulatory letter below.

* * *

A Letter of Congratulations & Appreciation to Nubar Kupelian

In many ways, our institutions define us as a people: embodying the long, proud history behind us, and the untapped future ahead.

But institutions draw their vitality from the people who serve, develop, and defend them in their respective eras.  For a few rare individuals, the duration and devotion of their service becomes virtually inseparable from the greater mission of the institution itself.

On July 1, 2020, one such individual reached a milestone in his service to the Armenian Church of America. On that date, Nubar Kupelian—lovingly known as Baron Nubar to several generations of Diocesan Assemblies—marked his remarkable 50th year of service to the Diocesan Center in New York.

Alas, because of the circumstances afflicting us all in 2020, we could not pay proper tribute to that milestone, in person. But this occasion today gave us a welcome opportunity to rectify that omission. And so here we are.

Nubar’s roots in our church go very deep. A native of Cairo, he was educated at the seminary of the See of Cilicia, where he was a student of the great Catholicos Karekin Hovsepian—among other historic intellectual figures of our church. He was also a classmate of many worthy clergymen-in-training, including the future Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian and Catholicos Karekin I Sarkissian—not to mention the young Der Mampre Kouzouian, Der Carnig Hallajian, and others.

Settling in America, he joined the staff of the fledgling Diocesan Center in 1970, becoming a trusted advisor and friend to Archbishop (later Patriarch) Torkom Manoogian, and a disciple of Jack Antreassian, the center’s unparalleled first director. Together, they were all men of quality and talent, who saw in our newborn Mayr Dajar a call to duty, to realize its promise for our entire community. What a blessed era that was!

In the five decades since then, Nubar became the ever-reliable administrative assistant to three Primates, including Torkom Srpazan, Khajag Srpazan, and myself—as well as a confidant and inspiration to his fellow staffers.

Throughout his time here, Nubar has been the heart and soul of this organization: an inspiration to all who devote their time and creativity to God and His church; a mentor to his co-workers; and an example of the fine, humane, patriotic qualities that have been the most noble expression of Armenian civilization.

By the order of Catholicos Vasken I, Nubar was awarded the St. Nersess Shnorhali medal in 1991. It was one of the first medal presentations made by Khajag Srpazan, early in his primacy. Nubar himself remains a model of the kind of virtues these distinctions are meant to honor.

Nubar’s 50-year presence at the Diocesan headquarters has been an enduring grace upon the entire Armenian Church. He is a devout Christian, an Armenian patriot, a man of quality to whom all of his colleagues look up. We have become better Christians, and better Armenians, for having shared our days with him.

Today, we join in expressing our thanks, admiration, and love to Baron Nubar Kupelian, and also to his wife, Deegin Anahid. Such figures give life to our institutions, shape our history, and project our finest qualities as a people to the surrounding world.

Asdvadz kez meechd bahaban, Baron Nubar.

With my prayers,

Bishop DANIEL
Primate

Above: Nubar and Anahid Kupelian, at the 120th Diocesan Assembly in New York.

Share it on

3 Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support Our Programs