Mr Nassef Cassem Albimona
1, 26, was a peddler, originally from Shana (Shaneh), Lebanon.
Albimona emigrated to America in 1903 and settled in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he ran a dry goods store and restaurant. In 1912 he returned to Lebanon, which at the time was part of Syria, to visit his wife and son
2. On his return to America he was to bring a family friend, the 11 year old Master Houssein Hassan, to visit the boy’s parents in America.
To reach their destination of Fredericksburg, Virginia, he bought third class ticket No. 2699 for £18 15s 9d. They boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg.
In 1938 he was persuaded to tell his story in an account which appeared in a North Carolina newspaper. He reported that after the collision he had placed Houssein on his shoulders and pushed through the crowds to the boat deck. He then placed the boy in a lifeboat, later he states that the boy drowned despite his efforts to save him. Albimona also claimed that after all the boats had gone he helped a woman and her children to lower themselves down a rope into the water, he then jumped into the water himself. Buoyed up by his lifebelt he was fortunate that a lifeboat passed by him and he was helped aboard. The truth of this account is questionable, it is almost certain that Albimona got into lifeboat 15 before it was lowered from the deck. Why his young charge did not do the same is unknown.
After arriving in New York, Albimona went to his uncle George Hassan at Fredericksburg, Virginia. He moved to Roxboro, N.C. in 1915. During the depression years he would send money to his relatives in Lebanon.
(Courtesy of Phillip Gowan, USA)
Nassef was married to Najmie and had four daughters by her. He died in 1962 and is buried in Lebanon.
- He is sometimes listed as “Nassef Belmenly Cassem”. Belmeny is an Americanization of Albimona. It seems that on most documents he would sign himself “Nassef Cassan Balman.
- The 1912 immigration list says he was unmarried at the time whearas descendents report that he was married with, ultimately, five childen. Indeed, it was reported that his wife was pregnant at the time of the sinking and on hearing the news went into premature labour, delivering a son who, when he came to America, became known as Mike Belman. It is unclear whether his wife in Lebanon later came to America or if he remarried.