Community Feb 24, 2018 by Gord Bowes Dundas Star News
Members of the Hamilton Malayalee Samajam executive — president Mariamma Baby (left), secretary Susan Jacob, youth secretary Aleena Joseph; property management chairman Matt Mathews and property management committee members Binu Baby and Sony Poulose — stand in the lobby of the organization’s community centre on Woodburn Road. Jan. 17/2018 - Staff/Metroland
The new executive of Hamilton Malayalee Samajam has an extra measure of pride as it celebrates International Women’s Day this year.
All the top positions on the organization’s executive are held by women for the first time.
Not surprisingly, a special International Women’s Day event is planned.
“Women play a very important role in our community, but we haven’t had a get-together just for women before,” says Mariamma Baby, president of Hamilton Malayalee Samajam.Women play a very important role in our community, but we haven’t had a get together just for women before - Mariamma Baby
“This will be the first time.”
Joining Baby on the executive this term are Susan Jacob (secretary) and Betty Kurian (vice-president).
Women's Day is being celebrated March 10 at the Hamilton Malayalee Samajam’s building on Woodburn Road in Hannon.
Doors open at 5 p.m.; the celebration begins with a Kerala style dinner. Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas MP Filomena Tassi is one of several guest speakers and there will also be entertainment. Cost is $10 ($5 for 18 and under). See hmsnet.org or call 289-7800-0328.
Hamilton Malayalee Samajam is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to enrich the Canadian cultural mosaic by preserving the Kerala heritage among Malayalee community.
Kerala is a state in India on the southeast coast, next to the Arabian Sea. It covers 38,863 square kilometres — about the size of southwestern Ontario, but with nearly as many people as Canada itself.
The organization started in 1986. But it didn’t have a permanent home until 2003, when, with growing demand a need for space to hold programs for the community, the organization purchased the former Parkwood elementary school and its 6 1/2 acres of property south of Rymal Road East.
Today it offers regular cooking, computer, recreational dance and yoga classes for seniors as well as programming for youth.
There is also a plan in place for soccer pitches on the property along with volleyball courts and a patio.
Right now, Baby says, there isn’t enough money to pay property taxes and the utilities plus staff it every day, so the building is only open one day a week.
“Our dream is to make this a full community centre every day,” she says.