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Diran Terzian

Diran TerzianDiran Terzian (1912 – 2009)

Diran Terzian was born in the historic city of Erzerum in June 25, 1912.  In 1915, at the age of 3, he managed to escape the Armenian Genocide but sadly the majority of his family lost their lives in the Genocide.  Mr. Terzian was rescued by a kind individual and grew up in an orphanage in Allepo.

In 1954, Mr. Terzian immigrated to Canada with his wife Ester and 3 children Shoushan, Vazken and Varoujan and established his home in St. Catharines.  He was very active in the Armenian community in St. Catharines and played a major role in its growth.  In 1986 he moved to Toronto.

diran_terzian_linkMr. Terzian had become a regular honoured attendee at community events organized by the ANCT, including a reception in October 2007 on the occasion of the Town of Markham’s unanimous passage of a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide.  Town of Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti, recognized Mr. Terzian as a special guest at the reception and presented him with a gift on behalf of the Town of Markham (pictured below).


Mr. Terzian remained a mainstay at the community’s events until his final days.  As pictured below (left) on December 8th 2007, Mr. Terzian participated in a cake cutting ceremony at an event at the Armenian Community Centre.


Mr. Terzian was also present in the Ontario Legislature on March 26, 2007, when The Honourable Brad Duguid, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough Centre, and currently the Minister of Labour, introduced Bill 189 which would designate April 24 of each year as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day.  Mr. Duguid specifically mentioned the presence of Diran Terzian in his address to the Legislature.

For years, Mr. Diran Terzian has been an icon of the Armenian community.  Particularly for the youth, Mr. Terzian represented a tangible living link to the Armenian ancestral homeland including places such as Erzerum, Van, Ani, Dikranagerd and Kharpert, before they were stolen from the Armenian nation in the Armenian Genocide.

Mr. Terzian was a long-time member of the ARF and other Armenian organizations, an ANC activist and supporter, and one of the oldest remaining survivors of the Armenian Genocide.  He passed away on April 10, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario.  Mr. Terzian, lived a life full of faith and dedication to the Armenian Cause.  Mr. Terzian is survived by 3 children and their spouses, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.  Pictured below are 4 generations of Diran Terzian’s family.