Guest Speaker: Mariam Baker, President RC of Seymour
Mariam told the club her life story from growing up in Alexandria in Egypt in the 1950’s, as an only child, to becoming the CBA Bank Manager at Seymour in 2009 and the current President of the RC of Seymour.  At the conclusion of her talk Mariam presented a Seymour Rotary club banner to our exchange student Kimberley
Mariam told the club her life story, growing up in Alexandria in Egypt in the 1950’s as an only child and how it didn't matter what religion one was. Mariam attended a private catholic school run by strict nuns and learnt German at school. Her parents spoke Arabic, French, Italian, Greek and English, though Mariam didn't know about the English part!  Her Dad moved to Australia in Feb 1966, due his place of employment being taken over by a Muslim and everyone who remained had to convert to Islam. Her Mum wasn't prepared to do that, so off to Australia they went, via the Suez Canal on a 22 day journey!
The family arrived at Fremantle then went on to Port Melbourne. Mariam was forced to learn English at the age of 10 at Clifton Hill PS, and found it challenging, but had mastered it in three months.
Mariam didn't feel connected to Australia until she and her first husband had their first child (Mariam was 17). As Mariam had not finished her education, what followed was years of working in factories to help support her family, a pathway Mariam was certain would continue.
At 32, her mother convinced her to apply for a position in the then State Bank, and to Mariam’s surprise, she got the job. She climbed steadily in the bank and then dropped back again when the then State Bank was absorbed by the CBA. Mariam climbed again from being a teller, until finally becoming the Bank Manager at Seymour in 2009.
Mariam and husband Ralph were looking to be more connected with their local community and one of Mariam’s first tasks as Bank Manager was to give away a $1000, which she gave to the RC of Seymour. She and Ralph were invited to a Rotary meeting and the rest is history!
Mariam’s story is one of a determination to succeed in a new land, overcoming many obstacles on the journey. Congratulations Mariam and what a wonderful journey your life has been thus far.
PP Dickie Dashwood and Greg Byers (PP of Seymour)                                                                                                                Sandra Hanley and Ruth Byers (PP of Seymour)                                                                                                                                Yea A. P. and H. Catering Group