Armenians abroad-Nshan Grigoryan was 20 years old when his father encouraged him to migrate from Western Armenia and start a new life, as thousands of Armenians did, trying to escape Turkish violence. Nshan travels to Europe and purchases a ticket to the 3rd class of the Titanic.
“His father urged him to leave Ottoman Turkey and start a new life in Canada in order to invite his younger brothers in the future,” says Nshan Grigoryan’s grandson Van Solomonyan and continues: “My grandfather and 4 other Armenians went to France, to Cherbourg, where By the will of fate, purchased tickets for the “Titanic”.Nshan was one of 700 3rd class passengers.
According to Solomonyan, his grandfather said that on April 14, when the ship collided with an iceberg, he and his friends were playing cards.After the impact, panic began. The situation was complicated by the fact that the passengers of the 3rd class were on the lower floors, and the doors were locked, since it was ordered to rescue the passengers of the 1st and 2nd classes in the first place. “They barely manage to get out and go up on deck. My grandfather climbed into the 10th boat and was rescued, ”says Solomonyan.
Most of the 3rd class passengers were unable to escape. More than two thirds of the passengers were killed because they could not get on deck.The total number of passengers was about 2,200, only 700 were saved.
After being rescued, Nshan Grigoryan went to Canada, where he finally settled in the city of St. Catherine.Working at the General Motors plant and earning enough money, he fulfilled his father’s dream and moved his younger brothers to Canada, and also founded the first Armenian church in this city.
Nshan died in 1985 at the age of 89.Van Solomonyan, who now lives in Toronto, describes his grandfather as a taciturn man who spoke little English and always fingered traditional Armenian rosary in his hands.Nshan rarely spoke of the fateful events that took place on the Titanic, but he never forgot the horror of that day.
“After that, he never boarded a ship again in his life,” Wang recalls. – There was a beautiful beach on the shores of Lake Ontario in St. Catherine, where our family went for a picnic every Sunday, but Nshan’s grandfather never entered the lake. He could not overcome this fear. “