My parents never told me why Armenian was never spoken at home. Although it was spoken in front of me all the time on our weekly visits to see my grandfather, called Hairig, by everyone in the family. Perhaps they thought I would ‘integrate’ better. I now have the embarrassment of only speaking English. My grandfather, born in Smyrna in 1885, was multi-lingual, speaking Armenian, Greek, Turkish, English and French. And in his 80s, was comparing Armenian grammar with Russian! He did try to teach me the Armenian alphabet though when I was about 10.

I am now the custodian of the family bible bought nearly 200 years ago in 1820. By which time it was already fifteen years old, having been printed in Venice in 1805. Handwritten in the frontispiece are the essential details of Garabed Takvor YEGWARTIAN, born the 3rd August 1850.

Taking up the priesthood he became Der Haroutune YEGWARTIAN and became primate of the Holy Trinity Church in Manchester.

With a strong interest in family history, I have slowly put together a tree. So if anyone has knowledge of names like:

ALPIRIAN (ALPIAR) with a French connection

please contact me for help or with any information –

Mike Yegwart is one of our project contributors with an interest in genealogy

Coronavirus Notice


Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large and ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our staff and volunteers are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from Monday 16 March 2020, all our services including the face-to-face advice work, the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend Hayashen until further notice and call NHS 111 for advice.

However, as we wish to support you as best as we can, our advice work continues by telephone, email and online. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website ( to leave an enquiry or email us on

Please let us know what other forms of communication are available to you, such as Whatsapp, Viber, Messenger etc.

You can also follow us on social media

The main symptoms of Coronavirus are high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of or changes in your normal sense of smell or taste, but for full details, including Government guidelines and precautions you should take, please search for “Coronavirus” on the following Government and NHS websites.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors.           20 June 2020