GLENDALE–A touching–quaint–historical gathering took place on Saturday–June 7–when the Central Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Western Region welcomed long lost friends–Christapor Mikaelian’s grandchild Yelena Cheliapova (daughter of Christapor’s son Roupen)–her son Nicolai Cheliapov–his wife Irina and their children Vera and Nicolai. Those present were astounded at the physical similarity of father and son Nicolai to Christapor Mikaelian.
Present were members of the ARF CC–Armenian Youth Federation Central Executive and ARF members.
On their arrival to the Peshekerian Center for the gathering–Yelena Cheliapova and family were greeted by ARF CC members–and Hagop and Knar Mangikian.
Addressing the special guests–ARF CC Representative Hovig Saliba said–"We are proud and touched to welcome–within these walls–the descendants of one of our organization’s founders–Christapor Mikaelian." Saliba presented a brief overview of ARF history–undertakings and fundamental goals–and continued by introducing those present.
Clear moved–Yelena Cheliapova conveyed that having lived in the Soviet Union for decades–she remained distant from Armenia’s and Armenian existence throughout her life. Fearing reprisals–no one dared divulge to her the reality of her familial roots.
With awe–she viewed the photograph of the founders of the ARF hanging on the wall; those present disclosed that wherever there are Armenia’s–in all corners of the world throughout Armenian centers–the same picture decorates the walls.
With her quivering hands–Cheliapova opened the locket hanging from her neck to show grandfather–Christapor Mikaelian’s thumbnail photo.
The guest inquired about present ARF activities and praised the fact that a large number of youth are involved in the organization.
The senior Nicolai said that he is saddened his mother–due to advanced age–is unable to travel to Bulgaria to visit her grandfather’s grave.
The ARF CC presented the visitors with a placard engraved with the ARF Coat of Arms; the family then toured the building becoming acquainted with the offices housed there. After an hour-and-a-half meeting–the family departed with great impressions.